Texas special legislative session: Subverting democracy to advance voter suppression

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A special session of the Texas legislature began today and right away Republicans in leadership are showing a blatant disregard for the democratic process.

Omnibus voter suppression bills have been filed in both chambers. HB 3 and SB 1 are both highly complex 40+ page bills that were only posted within the last 24 hours.

Committee hearings in both chambers have been set for Saturday, at 8am in the House and at 11am in the Senate. If the bills are heard in order of posting in the House, it is highly likely both election bills will be being heard at exactly the same time, making it difficult to impossible for Texans to testify on both.

Republican lawmakers were asked by their Democratic colleagues to provide plenty of notice for Texans to be able to attend committee hearings; instead, the Texas Republicans are moving as quickly as they can to try and shield their anti-voting legislation from public scrutiny.

Despite Republican efforts to rush these bills past the public, voting rights organizations and Texans have vowed to fight these voter suppression bills at every step.

Statement from Common Cause Executive Director, Anthony Gutierrez:

“Gov. Abbott and his corrupt enablers in the Texas legislature are waging a war on our democracy from within the Texas Capitol. They lost their battle during the regular session when their voter suppression bill failed. Now they’re using this sham session to subvert our democracy once again.

The session just started today and they are blatantly trying to rush their anti-voter, Jim Crow 2.0  agenda through the process to try and block Texans from weighing in on these bad bills. 

Texas Republicans understand one thing: If democracy wins, they lose. They want to make it harder to vote and easier to silence Texans who are fed up with their corruption and incompetence. But we won’t be silenced. Voting rights advocates and everyday Texans are determined to keep fighting –and winning—these battles to defend our democracy and protect our freedom to vote. Expect us to keep showing up and raising hell at every step of the way.”