Nonetheless, the bill includes a provision that could facilitate the annulment of an election. Previously, Texas election law stipulated that quashing election results on fraud charges required proof that illegal votes had in fact resulted in an unjustified victory. If the bill passes, the number of fraudulent votes required to do so should simply equal the differential of winning votes; it does not matter for whom the fraudulent votes were cast.
A day before the Texas bill was released, a new report highlighted Republicans’ broad nationwide effort to restrict the vote.
Amid months of false claims by former President Donald J. Trump that the 2020 election was stolen from him, Republican lawmakers in many states are pushing forward to pass laws that make it harder to vote and change how elections are conducted, frustrating Democrats and even some election officials from their own party.
- A key subject: Election rules and procedures have become a central issue in American politics. The Brennan Center for Justice, a liberal-leaning law and justice institute at New York University, has 361 bills in 47 states seeking to tighten up voting rules. At the same time, 843 bills were tabled with provisions aimed at improving access to the vote.
- The basic measures: Restrictions vary by state, but may include limiting the use of ballot boxes, adding identification requirements for voters requesting mail-in ballots, and removing local laws that allow automatic registration. for postal voting.
- No more extreme measures: Some measures go beyond changing the voting pattern, including changing the rules of the electoral college and judicial elections, cracking down on citizen-led voting initiatives, and banning private donations that provide resources for society. election administration.
- Repel: This Republican effort led Democrats in Congress to find a way to pass federal election laws. A sweeping voting rights bill was passed by the House in March, but faces tough hurdles in the Senate. Republicans have remained united against the proposal and even if the bill becomes law, it would likely face significant legal challenges.
- Florida: The measures here include limiting the use of drop boxes, adding more identification requirements for mail ballots, requiring voters to request one mail ballot for each election, limiting who can collect and deposit ballots, and empowering partisan observers during the counting process.
- Texas: The next big move could happen here, where Republicans in the legislature dismiss objections from corporate titans and move forward on a sweeping election bill that is said to be among the toughest in the country. It would impose new restrictions on early voting, ban drive-thru voting, threaten election officials with tougher penalties, and empower poll watchers.
- Other states: The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature has passed a bill that would limit the distribution of mail-in ballots. The bill, which includes removing voters from the state’s permanent early voting list if they don’t vote at least once every two years, may be just the first in a series of restrictions of votes to be adopted there. Republicans in Georgia enacted sweeping new election laws in March that restrict ballot boxes and make it a crime to distribute water within certain limits of a polling station. Iowa has also imposed new limits, including reducing the early voting period and the hours for in-person voting on election day. And bills to restrict the vote were passed by the Michigan Republicans-led legislature.
As of May 14, lawmakers had passed 22 new laws in 14 states to make the voting process more difficult, according to the report from the Brennan Center for Justice, a research institute.
In last year’s election, when Republicans easily won Texas – Mr. Trump won the state by more than 630,000 votes and the party maintained control of both houses of the Legislature – the Turnout has skyrocketed in densely populated cities and suburbs, which are increasingly becoming Democrats. In Harris County, home to Houston and one of the nation’s largest counties, turnout jumped nearly 10%.
The Republicans’ initial version of the bill put these densely populated counties squarely in the crosshairs, seeking to ban measures put in place in the 2020 election that brought turnout to record numbers. The original bill banned drive-thru voting, a new voting method used by 127,000 voters in Harris County, as well as 24-hour voting, which was held for a single day in the county and was been used by about 10,000 voters.
Although these provisions were omitted from an earlier version of the bill when it passed through the Legislature, they were reinstated in the final version of the bill, although the bill allows voting to begin. early as 6 a.m. and as early as 9 p.m. on weekdays. It also maintains at least two early voting weekend days.
More than any other state, Texas has also gone to great lengths to grant more autonomy and authority to poll watchers. Observers have been a cornerstone of the American vote for years, seen as a watchdog for election officials, but their role has become increasingly controversial, especially in Texas. Republican poll watchers were encouraged in particular by Mr Trump, who begged them to travel to major cities across the country and look for non-existent voter fraud.