Common Cause Texas launches letter campaign to make sure Speaker Phelan sees viral poll watcher video

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Last week, Common Cause Texas released this deeply alarming video in which we hear the presenter call for volunteer poll watchers who will have the “courage” to go from the predominantly Anglo Harris County suburbs to the Black and Brown communities in the urban core.

The video has now been viewed over 100k times on Twitter, and has been the focus of national news stories on NBC, CNN, the Washington Post and many others.

With SB 7 voted out of the state senate, and HB 6 voted out the house elections committee, both are a path to soon be eligible to be brought up for debate on the floor of the state house.

Today, Common Cause Texas launched a pressure campaign aiming to make sure Speaker Phelan sees this video and rejects the dangerous expansion of poll watcher powers by keeping the proposed bills from being brought to the floor.

Following is a statement by Common Cause Texas Executive Director Anthony Gutierrez:

“We’ll be calling on our more than fifty-thousand members across Texas to email, call, and tweet asking the Speaker to watch the video, consider the dangerous implications, and take a stand in opposition to the expansion of poll watcher powers.

We’re thankful so many people are seeing this video but right now our main concern is that Speaker Phelan watches it and thinks very hard about what our elections will look like if he allows the bills enhancing poll watcher powers to become law.

If the voter suppression bills being considered become law, the poll watchers described in this video will have increased powers to intimidate and videotape voters, disrupt voting, and all with the knowledge that the election workers will be nearly powerless to kick them out of the poll site. 

What we see in this video is the exact same dangerous rhetoric that led to the insurrection at the Capitol but this time the target is Black and Brown communities in Houston. 

Speaker Phelan has taken a stand against dangerous voter fraud rhetoric before, Texans need him to do it again. (1)

This video shows in a clear and compelling way why it would be a downright dangerous idea to expand poll watcher powers. Speaker Phelan now has the power to make sure that never happens.”

(1) Phelan interview with the Texas Tribune: