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Texas lawmakers passed a final version of Republican-backed legislation to restrict access to voting across the state, despite protests from state Democrats to impede its passage amid the GOP nationwide campaign to restrict access to the ballot.

Gov. Greg Abbott – who has called lawmakers at State House for two special sessions to pass the measure – will sign the bill, which is expected to lead to legal challenges from voting rights advocates across the country. State and Democratic lawmakers.

Only a Republican member of the State House joined the Democrats in opposing the legislation; the Senate passed the bill on a party line vote.

His stint marks the latest GOP victory in a campaign to quash access to ballots and consolidate electoral oversight in the hands of Republican-dominated state legislatures, emboldened by the baseless “election” narrative. volle “of Donald Trump which echoed in state houses across the United States, under the guise of protecting” voter confidence “and” electoral integrity “despite an unprecedented turnout in the elections of 2020 and no evidence of widespread fraud.

In the first months of 2021, lawmakers in Republican states introduced nearly 400 bills in nearly every state to cancel postal voting, impose strict voter identification requirements, reduce voting hours anticipated and criminalize the distribution of food and water in long queues at polling places, among other measures.

In mid-July, at least 18 states enacted 30 new laws restricting access to the ballot, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.

A parallel effort by GOP lawmakers saw more than 200 bills in 41 states that would give themselves more authority over the electoral process, according to the United States United Democracy Center.

The persistent lie of “stolen elections” has “turned into a cancer in our politics” and poses “an existential threat to our democracy,” Senator Sarah Eckhardt told lawmakers ahead of her chamber’s vote.

In approving the bill, she said Republican lawmakers had propelled “a narrative that leads us toward authoritarianism, violence and the kind of insurgent action we’ve seen in Washington DC.”

Texas legislation would encourage poll watchers to harass election workers and voters, critics of the bill argued. The measures banning 24-hour early voting and driving – which proved popular during the coronavirus pandemic – largely distinguish Harris County, one of the nation’s largest counties, and where voters of color numbered. disproportionately over expanded access.

Despite the bill’s disparate racial impact, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan told lawmakers not to use the word “racism” when debating the bill.

The bill also criminalizes election workers who make unintentional mistakes or send unsolicited requests for postal ballots, and prohibits local courts from implementing their own policies to expand voter access, among other measures.

In a statement, the governor said Senate Bill 1 “will strengthen confidence in the outcome of our elections by facilitating voting and fraud.” I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1, Ensuring the Integrity of the Texas Elections ”.

Texas Democrats have presented the bill as a “racist and undemocratic bill that will solidify Texas’ ranking as the hardest state in the country to vote.”

Last month, a group of Texas Democratic lawmakers traveled to Washington DC in a last-ditch effort to block passage of the legislation in a special legislative session called by the governor to pass several items on his agenda. .

While on Capitol Hill, lawmakers lobbied the White House and members of Congress to push for broad protection of federal voting rights while stressing that their time was running out and the signing of the Governor Abbott was likely imminent once they were forced to return.

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to delay this day forever,” Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Chris Turner said in a statement. “Now that this has happened, we need the United States Senate to act immediately to pass federal legislation to protect Texas voters from Republican attacks on our democracy.”

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said “Republicans in Texas are determined to stay in power at all costs, even at the expense of our democracy.”

“This bill has always been about silencing the voices of millions of Texans from Republicans because they cannot win otherwise,” he said in a statement.

He urged Congress to pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a pair of federal election bills passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives that face GOP blockages in a Senate also divided.

“Nothing less is at stake,” he said.

The Independent Gt

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