Legislators in Texas are expected to vote on a bill restricting voting rights, the latest of several similar measures in the United States.
US President Joe Biden condemned a proposed bill restricting voting rights in Texas, saying that the measure “is part of an attack on democracy” and will disproportionately harm people of color.
in a statement On Saturday afternoon, Biden said that Texas legislators had introduced a bill to “join with Georgia and Florida to advance a state law that attacks the right to vote.”
“This is part of the attack on democracy that we have seen Too frequent This year—and often disproportionately targeting black and brown Americans. This is wrong and non-American. In the 21st century, we should make it easier for every eligible voter to vote, not harder,” he said.
Texas’ comprehensive bill-known as Senate Bill No. 7-would abolish drive-through voting, give partisan opinion poll observers, and limit voting on Sundays when many black churches go to vote, among other restrictions.
These changes need to be approved before midnight on Sunday, when the state’s Republican-controlled legislature will end its meetings.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott said he would sign the measure, and Democrats said they would challenge it in court.
The proposal is one of them Multiple legislation After the 2020 presidential election, Republicans across the United States have proposed restrictions on voting rights-critics say the purpose is to make it more difficult for blacks and other people of color to vote.
FloridaIn recent months, Georgia and Arizona have also approved new voting restrictions.
Georgian LawPassed in March to implement stricter identification requirements, restrict drop boxes, give legislators the power to take over local elections, and shorten the early voting period for all runoff elections. This also makes it a misdemeanor for people to provide food and water to voters waiting in line.
This measure has caused civil rights advocates and Business leaders, And from Biden, who description It is called the “Jim Crow of the 21st Century”-referring to the segregation laws that were once used to suppress voting by African Americans.
The New York University Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks national voting legislation, said that between January 1 and May 14 this year, at least 14 states in the U.S. enacted 22 laws restricting voting rights, and dozens of other states are working hard. . Through the state legislature.
The Brennan Center’s attempt to prevent the surge in voting is related to former President Donald Trump’s repeated false claims that the November election was stolen, and to prevent a repeat of the historic voter turnout in 2020 Say On its website.
“Americans are in unprecedented danger of getting the right to vote,” it said.
Back in Texas, large companies including American Airlines and Dell warned that the proposed bill could harm democracy and the economic environment.
But Republicans dismissed their opposition and, in some cases, criticized business leaders for outspokenness.
The top Republican negotiator, state Senator Brian Hughes and state Rep. Brisco Kane called the bill “one of the most comprehensive and wise electoral reform bills” in Texas history.
They said in a joint statement: “Even if the state media minimized the importance of election integrity, the Texas legislature did not succumb to headlines or corporate virtue signals.”
Texas already has the strictest voting restrictions in the country and is often referred to by nonpartisan groups as a particularly difficult state to vote. It is one of the few states that did not make mail voting easier during the COVID-19 pandemic.