Texas to pass tough new voting restrictions

Texas Republicans were on the verge of approving a new law tightening voting restrictions in America’s second most populous state, in the party’s latest tough move to limit access to voting nationwide.

A new Texas law would eliminate e-mail, car-voting and Sunday voting – reversing voting restrictions imposed by other Republican-controlled states, including Florida and Georgia this year.

It would also make it easier for defeated candidates to challenge election results through the courts – as former US President Donald Trump unsuccessfully sought to do in the 2020 election against Joe Biden.

The Texas law was approved by the Lone Star State Senate early Sunday after a tense overnight debate with Texas Democrats who vehemently oppose the legislation. It is expected to be approved by the Texas House of Representatives later on Sunday, before being signed off by Greg Abbott, the Republican governor who supports the bill.

On Saturday, Biden issued a scathing statement saying that Texas law attacks the “sacred right to vote” in America.

“It’s part of an attack on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year – often disproportionately targeting black and brown Americans,” the US president said. “It is wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we must make it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote.”

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, described it in his tweet as “Jim Crow 2.0, plain and simple.”

Democrats in Congress are trying to counter Republicans’ campaign for new restrictions on voting by passing legislation at the federal level that would ban certain restrictions and ensure access to the ballot. But while the legislation has passed in the House, it is stalled in the Senate, where the Democratic majority is not large enough to circumvent the Republican opposition and overcome the 60-of-100 vote threshold required to advance the legislation.

Voting restrictions passed Georgia Earlier this year it caused a rift between Republicans and corporate America, as many large corporations come under pressure from employees and the public to resist legislation that limits people’s ability to vote publicly.

The tension came on top of the friction over many Republican lawmakers’ support for Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election results. But Texas legislation shows that Republican lawmakers are betting that their traditional allies in the business community are unlikely to cut ties with the party because they still support many of their policy goals including low taxes and light regulation.

Voting law was introduced in Texas as the traditionally conservative state was gradually shifting to the left, with Democrats coming in handy to win statewide contests again and force Republicans to fend for themselves there.

While Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by nine points in 2016, he beat Biden by six points in 2020. Texas has the second-largest delegation to the US House of Representatives and the second-largest number of Electoral College votes in the presidential election, making it a major prize for both parties.

In addition to moving to pass strict limits on voting access, Texas Republicans have also sought to limit miscarriage Rights as early as six weeks into pregnancy, with gun laws liberalized to allow people to carry guns with fewer inspections.

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