Why Texas Democrats Fled

 

AUSTIN, TX — Both the Texas House and Senate, run by their respective Republican majorities, have proposed sweeping voting integrity legislation that doorstops Democratic Party efforts to expand voting opportunities. Republicans claim the measures enhance the security of voting in Texas while Democrats claim the measures restrict voting opportunities, particularly by persons of color.

While the Democrats are talking disenfranchisement, the Republican proposals, too, are aimed at minimizing disenfranchisement. That is, if a ballot is cast illegally, as many Republicans have claimed was done across the country during the November 3 presidential election last year, each illegal vote cancels a valid and legal vote. Margot Cleveland argued in a post on The Federalist that, “Illegal voting might not be glamourous and it definitely doesn’t garner the headlines, but every illegal vote counted cancels out a lawfully cast ballot, thereby disenfranchising the latter voter.” More here.

The Texas Republican legislative leaders have proposed 8 new rules for handling future elections in Texas. A few of the provisions are aimed at ending entrepreneurial voting procedures initiated in Harris County (Houston) during the 2020 presidential election.

The Republican legislation will ban drive-thru voting. Harris County tested the process in November and found that 10 drive-thru voting centers attracted 10 percent, or 127,000, of in-person voters. Republicans argue that in-person voting inside a voting booth is better because no one else is inside the voting booth who can coerce or influence the voter. Inside a car, however, an activist can be located in the driver’s seat, back seat or passenger seat to exert undue influence on the voter. Such a practice is called “forced assistance” and is alleged to be a popular Get Out the Vote (GOTV) tactic by leftist activists to sway elections.

The Republican legislation will ban 24-hour voting. This is another service pioneered in Harris County during early voting leading up to the November election. Republican concerns are that public confidence in the polling places can be a distraction and can lead to claims — true or not — of chicanery that could happen during the dead of the night. Still, the Republicans propose to extend early voting hours from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. in the Texas Senate version or 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. in the House version. Democrats want 24-hour voting because, some Democrats argue, persons of color are more likely to vote in the wee-morning hours. On a more pragmatic side, San Angelo Rep. Drew Darby said 24-hour polling locations will be expensive, especially for rural counties in his District 72.

“Most of this is being driven by Harris County,” Darby said. There are 2.4 million voters there.

The Republican legislation will ban the distribution of mail-in ballot applications. Both Senate and House bills ban the unsolicited distribution of mail-in ballot applications. The bills also prohibit the use of public funds “to facilitate” mail-in ballot distribution, according to the Texas Tribune. The ban also prevents counties from providing ballot applications to local activist groups for general distribution. The Republican plan is to more closely guard ballot applications to make sure the ballots are distributed to Texans who can legally vote. In Harris County, the Texas Supreme Court blocked county officials’ attempt to preemptively mail ballot applications to all 2.4 million registered voters for the November 2020 election. The voter rolls in Harris County are in shambles, Republicans argued. There is not way to insure a ballot application is actually being mailed to a legal Texas voter.

Stricter ID requirements for voting by mail are proposed. The bills from both houses will require either a driver’s license number or, lacking a driver’s license, the last four digits of the voter’s social security number, when applying for a ballot. The ID numbers must match on the ballot returned. This new restriction is atop the current requirements for voting by mail in Texas: One must be 65 or older; be out of the country, be in jail yet otherwise still eligible to vote, or cite an illness or disability preventing in-person voting. Republican angst over mail-in ballot harvesting and the potential accompanying fraud is driving their desire to place more restrictions on mail-in voting. Currently, Texas has a signature matching process to verify ballots. In 2020, Democrats had perfected the using mail-in voting to enhance their GOTV efforts.

A process to correct and count rejected ballots. The bills from both houses contain language that will create a process to correct ballots ordinarily rejected due to a missing signature or if the local election officials determine the ballot should be rejected.

Voter roll citizenship checks would be required. The senate version of the bill mandates that the Texas Secretary of State compare the statewide voter rolls with the DPS driver’s license database. If a registered voter is recorded in DPS records as a non-citizen, that voter must prove their citizenship to remain on the voter rolls. The bill’s language gives the secretary of state authority to create the policy.

The Crystal Mason exception. In 2016, a Tarrant County resident who was ineligible to vote because of a federal felony conviction cast a provisional ballot. She was charged with a crime. This exception will require evidence of a voter fraud crime to go beyond just casting a provisional ballot. In the Mason case, the defendant claimed she did not know she was ineligible to vote even though she was on supervised release from prison. The House provision will also require judges to instruct those convicted of a crime of their ineligibility to vote.

Poll watcher protections would be enhanced. Both bills offer volunteer poll watchers from either political party more autonomy inside polling locations. Both bills have language that allows “free movement” within polling locations. The current law is more restrictive, stating that poll watchers only be allowed to be “conveniently near” election workers. The provision adds criminal penalties for increasing poll watchers’ distance from workers arbitrarily or obstructing a poll watcher’s view of counting proceedings. Republicans complained of obstruction from more closely observing election workers in many of the swing states during and after the November 2020 elections.

Rep. Darby said while the Texas Democrats are absent, House Speaker Date Phelan has locked the remaining Republican representatives inside the House chambers to await the Democrats’ return. Tuesday, Republican House members were served a catered lunch of sandwiches while sequestered inside the chambers. Darby does not believe the Democrats will return in time to complete the special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to address not only the election integrity bills, but also a myriad of other unrelated issues.

These other issues include bail reform, benefits for retired teachers, Child Protective Services reform, and Article X funding. No business by the House can be accomplished without a quorum, and some Democrats are needed to return in order to get one.

President Joe Biden politicized the Texas Democrats’ flight from Austin by calling the Texas Republicans’ voter integrity bills “un-American” and “un-Democratic” and praising the Texas Democrats’ courage.

“The is all about getting Washington to nationalize our elections via (US) House Bill 1,” Darby said. US HB 1, titled “For The People Act,” is described as an assault on federalism and democracy by conservatives. The federal bill if enacted into law would prevent voter roll checks; mandate online voter registration; require same-day voter registration; mandate automatic voter registration of people who apply for unemployment benefits, Medicaid, Obamacare; or register for college. It will automatically register prisoners upon their release. The bill also creates a safe harbor against the prosecution of a noncitizen who reported they have been accidentally registered to vote. More ominously, the bill prohibits voter ID laws and disallows basic security checks of mail-in ballots. The US bill will encourage voter harvesting as long as the harvesters are not compensated per ballot. Curbside voting, ballot drop boxes, and a mandatory 15 days of early voting will be mandated. The bill will also mandate the registration of citizens as young was 16, though 16 year olds must wait until they turn 18 to vote. The bill also removes the authority of state legislatures to redraw voting district maps. Instead, unelected “commissions” would redraw the maps after the census held every 10 years.

HR 1 is stalled in the U.S. Senate because the Senate requires a 60-vote majority to override the Republican filibuster. Biden is being pressured to throw more of his weight behind the effort to eliminate the Senate filibuster so HB 1 will pass with a simple majority. Democrats have a 51-50 majority in the US Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaker vote (two senators are independents and expected to vote with the Democrats). Two Democratic Party senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Krysten Cinema of Arizona, have so far rejected their colleagues’ calls to eliminate the filibuster.

Now the Texas Democrats, who flew to Washington DC on a chartered jet Monday to break quorum in the Texas House and Senate, are being used as props for the national debate over HB 1. Darby doesn’t expect they will return before the special session ends during the first week of August. He mentioned there is a big fundraising effort by progressives to pay for the Democrats’ expenses while in hiding.

Each the Texas House and Senate must have two-thirds of its members, or 100 representatives and 21 senators, present to create a quorum. There are 83 Republicans and 67 Democrats in the Texas House and 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats in the Texas Senate.

Darby said before the Democrats nationalized the Texas voter integrity bills, there was good movement on reaching a compromise with the Democrats.

“I had some Democrat members actually say to me about some of the provisions, ‘that actually makes sense,’” he said.

The politics behind the fleeing Democrats is also helping Gov. Abbott. According to the Texas Tribune, Abbott’s special session has energized Republican donors. He raised $18.7 million for his re-election during the final 10 days of June, the Tribune reported. Abbott’s poll numbers are quite good too. The Tribune reported that Abbott’s internal polls show him leading challenger Allen West 69-13 percent. Sen. Don Huffines and Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller each had 3 percent. The Republican primary is March 1, 2022.

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Why change the rules in a state that Republicans themselves say had a fair safe and honest election? Because it isn't about "integrity" at all, it is about suppression. The only way that Republicans can win going forward is to cheat, it is obvious. When Republicans can't win democratically they will not change their platform, they will reject democracy.

It’s actually democrats who attempted to “change the rules” by mailing unsolicited absentee voter applications to every single registered voter in Harris County ;)

Stupid question. Rules and laws are supposed to act as a deterrent…which is why one of the proposed “changes” is to increase the penalty for committing voter fraud.

Demo libs like to claim that there’s no need for laws to protect against voter fraud because it’s insignificant, but did you ever stop and think WHY that’s the case? It’s because laws are in place which discourage it from happening!

 

If it is already insignificant then why change the laws and make it harder for the people that follow the law to vote? Same thing as the gun debate, some want to make it harder to obtain a gun, which some say will just hurt law abiding citizens, and the "criminals" will still break the law to get guns anyway, no matter the laws. Is this not the same situation?

wow an almost impartial political article from San Angelo live.  You know its not Yantis suprised joe pulled it off. 

Laws, by themselves, are no guarantee that they’ll never be broken…especially depending on the extent to which they’re enforced which I feel is the bigger problem.

But that is your argument isn't it? If laws are there to discourage people from doing things, and the thing that you are trying to prevent is already rare, what is the point in making the law harsher, unless there is some ulterior motive at play?

Btw…I’m not the one claiming voter fraud is insignificant that would be you ;)

Good luck in your search for the “truth” you’re going to need it.

Well, show us some evidence then, because there are 60+ court cases that were thrown out that I can show you :D

Also, this makes it seem like you agree with me;

"Demo libs like to claim that there’s no need for laws to protect against voter fraud because it’s insignificant, but did you ever stop and think WHY that’s the case? It’s because laws are in place which discourage it from happening!"

You are wrestling in the mud with pigs.  The people that support the "Stolen Election" fiction are idiots, and the nonsense we see attempting to stifle voting is the result of their idiocy.

Even democrats admit that voting “irregularities” happened, but that it wasn’t enough to change the election.

As for me I’m over it I’m more focused on the current bunch of leftist morons occupying the White House ;)

I know I really get under their skin when I point out there hypocrisy and lies, I catch them in fallacies all the time and prove them wrong even more, it gets them beating on their desks and I get a good laugh.

Just understand that these morons' minds are stuffed with the same kind of stuff contained in Mike Lindell's products... you, know the My Pillow guy.  Nothing but fluff.

And yet you voted in a doddering, racist demented old fool and a nasty, obnoxious incompetent twit who couldn’t even garner support from those within her own state!

So you don’t have “fluff” for brains yours is more along the lines of human waste ;)

That will be the day when you “get under (my) skin” you’re a nobody ;)

What don’t you understand? It’s not Texas republicans who are trying to “change the laws” that was Harris County democrats whose intent was to mail unsolicited absentee applications to every single registered voter, as well as 24 hour voting which is simply not feasible ;)

"It’s not Texas republicans who are trying to “change the laws”"

What are you talking about, the democrats just left the state to prevent the republicans from changing the laws, is your head in the sand when it comes to the things that your party is doing?

And again with the mail in ballots, if they were registered voters, why are you against making it easier for them to vote? You seem to think that having to suffer, or "sacrifice" as you put it, in long lines in the heat is some kind of privilege, when we should be making it easier to vote for everyone. 

Ridiculous! Like I’ve told you before that’s the beauty of our constitutional republic. If for some reason you don’t like the laws in a particular state, then you can “vote with your feet” and move to another state.

Or you can challenge the law in court which I fully expect will happen ;)

" If for some reason you don’t like the laws in a particular state, then you can “vote with your feet” and move to another state."

I like the laws just fine, it is the republicans that are the ones trying to change it, with the voter suppression laws and all.

Other than laws increasing penalties for voter fraud which laws are they trying to change? All they’re doing is codifying laws already in place in order to stop attempts made by Harris County officials to circumvent voting rules.

Codifying existing laws, or adding measures that strengthen said laws, is not “changing the law” that is in fact what Harris County officials were trying to do by mailing unsolicited absentee applications to every single registered voter ;)

Again playing semantics when you are wrong, you don't realize when when to just admit you have been proven wrong, as I have done again and again. It is also hilarious that you keep bringing up one example of what you are talking about over and over and you think that it actually makes your case. Keep trying though, I love proving you wrong.

Also, did they actually mail out those applications, or was it only to people who were 65 or older? Because I think the Texas supreme court said they couldn't mail out those applications, which makes you wrong about that also. I may be wrong though, which I will admit when so, because I am not a child.

No you’re a brainwashed liberal ideologue which is worse than a child. And delusional also since you always think you prove me wrong when you don’t. 

I never said Harris County officials mailed out absentee voter applications en masse, what I said was they ATTEMPTED to, along with other things that were contrary to Texas voting law…which, in turn, made it necessary for the Legislature to put additional measures in for the the purpose of codifying existing law.

Just because you don’t have the ability to comprehend what I’m saying doesn’t make me “wrong”. And regardless of whether I’m right or wrong (not my particular obsession but yours) the fact is, unlike the last minute unconstitutional changes made to voter laws prior to the 2020 election, whatever “changes” end up being made are going to be done so through the legislative process described within the U.S. Constitution ;)

Dang, I really do get under your skin don't I. At least now you admit that they are trying to change the law, proving me right yet again, thank you. Also, since they didn't mail out the applications, you are griping about something that didn't even happen, which says a lot about you ;D

No. Just explaining what happened which led to the Texas legislature doing what they’re doing that’s all. Of course you know all of that you’re just being obstinate like the brainwashed liberal ideologue that you are ;)

I wasn't the one that tried to stop electoral votes from being counted, per the constitution, by storming the capitol and trying to take over the government to install a reality show host as dictator. The republicans are the one's who hate the constitution since it doesn't allow them to cheat in elections, which is why they are attempting to change the laws so they can. It it all really very obvious to anyone not blinded by hatred for their fellow Americans.

Also,

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/kremlin-papers-appear-to-show-putins-plot-to-put-trump-in-white-house

“Please show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”

Chris Cuomo

Just look at them. By all indications they’re proud of the fact they’re shirking their duties as elected officials IMO they’re nothing but a disgrace!

"shirking" You learned a new word, we are so proud of you!

I guess when republicans did the same thing you said the same thing about them too right?

I already told you…what happens in Oregon doesn’t affect me in the least. But to be fair, I’m sure there were plenty there from your ilk who felt the same way ;)

Btw…congratulations on your new “friend” hope you two are happy together ;)

Try to not throw him/ her under the bus like you did the last liberal malcontent lol.

It is just amazing how much you cannot stop thinking about ME, I really get underneath your skin so bad you have to comment about ME every chance you get, look at this, incredible.

Also…”shirking” is not a new word. Maybe for you since your vocabulary is obviously limited ;)

Probably due to the fact that you can’t think for yourself, and instead depend on a decidedly leftist media to tell you what to think. In the future I’ll try to take that into account before responding to your specious remarks ;)

What are your “marching orders” for today? Is it blaming the CRISIS at the border on Trump, or maybe insinuating that anyone and everyone opposed to the current administration is a racist…because, quite frankly, it changes every day ;)

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