ISSUE

Those who believe every eligible Texan should have an equal opportunity to register and vote in fair elections must speak up now. Otherwise SB 7, notoriously worse than the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s-1960s, will become law. If it does, Texans of color, those with disabilities, those who work shifts or several jobs, LGBTQIA+ citizens, the elderly, and the young will face unimaginable barriers to improving their lives by having a say in government.

During House debate, two voter suppression bills merged and became Jim Crow on steroids–Senate Bill 7. The new bill that the Conference Committee will consider will:

  • strip voter rights
  • financially burden local governments
  • discourage poll workers
  • elevate partisan poll watcher power above election official authority
  • ban drive-through and outdoor voting
  • restrict voters from dropping off completed absentee ballots
  • shrink early voting periods
  • create new costs for disabled voters
  • increase burdens on voters with disabilities to access assistance at the polls
  • criminalize assisting voters
  • embrace suppression of votes by people of color, the elderly, the young and, especially, the disabled

History

In the House, bill opponents knew they didn’t have the votes to kill the new SB 7. Bill proponents knew that a long public debate on more than 100 amendments would show them defending racist provisions and provide fodder for future lawsuits. So they negotiated. Two sets of backroom negotiations began May 5 and ended in the wee hours of May 7. Eighteen of the nearly 130 amendments were agreed to. This “less bad bill” passed along party lines.

Because the bill was amended, it went back to the Senate. And the Senate refused the changes.

Now the bill heads to a conference committee of legislators appointed by House and Senate leadership (all supporters of the bill). The Conference Committee has the power to change the bill, add back in the serious anti-voter provisions stripped in negotiations, and even add in other voter suppression measures that failed in the original bills!

Senate conferees are four Republicans and one Democrat–all White. The House has not yet chosen its members.

TAKE ACTION

It’s time to contact your state legislators, the speaker of the house, the lieutenant governor, and the governor. Lobby all your friends to do the same. Also call Conference Committee members and demand they kill the bill.

Note that it’ll probably be just a staffer taking a tally, so don’t worry about giving arguments and background.

Contact Your Representative and Senator

Find who represents you HERE.

Then find the contact info for your state representative HERE or HERE.

Find the contact info for your state senator HERE or HERE.

You can say…

My name is __________ and I live in __________ . My zip code is ______. I am asking {Representative/Senator} ________ to vote NO on Senate Bill 7 in whatever form it takes coming out of the Conference Committee. It is beyond repair and will suppress voting and voter registration in Texas. Please don’t let Jim Crow-type laws back into our state.


Contact Members of the SB 7 Conference Committee

You can say…

My name is __________ and I live in __________ . My zip code is ______. As a member of the Conference Committee, you are representing me, even though I am not in your district. I am asking that you kill SB 7, the most anti-voter bill in modern history. Please put fairness and constitutional rights over party and politics. Do what is right for Texans in every zip code, of every race, in every income bracket, and in any political party. Kill SB 7.

SB 7 Conference Committee

  • Paul Bettencourt, Paul.Bettencourt@senate.texas.gov, 512-463-0107
  • Dawn Buckingham, Dawn.Buckingham@senate.texas.gov, 512-463-0124
  • Bryan Hughes, Bryan.Hughes@senate.texas.gov, 512-463-0101
  • Beverly Powell, Beverly.Powell@senate.texas.gov, 512-463-0110
  • Lois Kolkhorst, Lois.Kolkhorst@senate.texas.gov, 512-463-0118
  • Briscoe Cain, Briscoe.Cain@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0733
  • Travis Clardy,Travis.Clardy@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0592
  • Jacey Jetton, Jacey.Jetton@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0710
  • Terry Canales, Terry.Canales@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0426
  • Nicole Collier, Nicole.Collier@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0716

Contact the House Speaker’s Office and the Lieutenant Governor

Contact Dade Phelan, Speaker, his policy advisor for elections, Ross Giesinger, and Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor.

You can say…

My name is __________ and I live in __________ . My zip code is ______. Senate Bill 7 serves the interests of no Texans except the powerful. In the interests of democracy and fair, open and safe elections, I ask that you prevent SB 7 from being heard again in the House and do anything in your power to stop this disastrous piece of legislation. Do what is right for Texans in every zip code, of every race, in every income bracket and in any political party.

  • Speaker of the House: Dade Phelan, Dade.Phelan@house.texas.gov, 512-463-1000
  • Speaker’s Policy Office Advisor: Ross Giesinger, Ross.Giesinger@house.texas.gov, 512-463-1100
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, dan.patrick@ltgov.texas.gov, 512-463-0001 (office line), 512-463-5342 (message line)

Contact the Governor

Call Gov. Greg Abbott at 512-463-2000 and try to speak to a person.

You can say…

My name is __________ and I live in __________ . My zip code is ______. I ask you to please oppose Senate Bill 7 in any form it comes out of the Conference Committee. It is beyond repair and will suppress voting and voter registration in Texas. It is within your power to stop this return to Jim Crow. Urge leaders in the Legislature to kill the bill or vow publicly to veto it.

LINKS