Democrat walk-out scuppers Bill for Texas vote overhaul

Biden had decried it as an attempt at voter suppression

Democrats in the Texas legislature used a dramatic walk-out late on Sunday to torpedo Republican plans for a restrictive voting Bill that President Joe Biden had decried as voter suppression and an “assault on democracy”.

The law would — among other changes — make mail-in voting more difficult by requiring voters to give extra information, bar local officials from sending absentee ballot applications to anyone who did not request one, and end after-hours and drive-through voting.

Supporters say Senate Bill 7 is designed to make voting more secure, but critics say it aims to make it more cumbersome for ethnic-minority voters, who tend to vote Democrat. “Republicans came into the legislative session hell-bent on passing legislation that would rig our democracy for their team,” Democrat state representative Jessica Gonzalez tweeted after the walk-out. “Tonight, Texas Dems drew a line in the sand and made it clear that we will fight day and night, every tactic available to us, for your right to vote.”

The Bill could yet make it into law. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would call a special session to get it through the legislature.

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