ISSUE

Now in a third session of the Legislature (which Gov. Abbot called as COVID infections hit a new peak), state leadership is using every trick in the book to thwart voting rights and suppress turnout.

The bill that passed out of the house on August 23 is a complete House committee substitute for SB 1 that the Senate passed. Next stops for the bill are behind-the-scenes negotiations among committee members and other influencers. They will be reshaping the bill and adding or taking away amendments.

In every version of state Senate and House bills, proponents have included rules that would:

  • 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
  • embrace suppression of votes by people of color, the elderly, the young and, especially, the disabled
    criminalize the act of assisting voters

If SB 1 passes, it will have a damaging impact on our elections for decades. We must stop it now!

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

The members of the Constitutional Rights and Remedies Select Committee need to hear from you! Tell them what you don’t like and tell them what you’d like to see in amendments to the bill. You can also contact your own House representative.

Find who represents you HERE. Then find the contact info for your state representative HERE or HERE.

Make a call

You can say…

My name is ______ and my zip code is _______. As a Texas voter, I’m calling to oppose Senate Bill 1 and ask that you vote against it. Voting access is already harder in Texas than anywhere else in the nation. Our legislature should be working with local towns and cities to make access to voting easier, not harder. Without open access to voting, our country and state are doomed to having elected officials who are not held accountable and do not work to represent their constituents. {If you have a personal story of struggles with voting access, or can explain how the new bill would make it harder for you to vote, add those particulars here.} Please vote NO on SB 1! If you won’t vote NO, please fight for amendments that make it less awful. Thank you for your time.


Write an e-mail or post on social media

You can use anything in the TALKING POINTS section below or the phone script above to make your points. Be sure to include the hashtag #TXLege in your social media posts.

Constitutional Rights and Remedies Select Committee Members

TALKING POINTS

You could include these positive additions from the League of Women Voters of Texas (but keep it short):

  • Request the committee focus on solutions for all voters and help restore the level of trust in Texas elections.
  • Acknowledge that the existing Election Code safeguards and transparency.
  • Say that adding electronic voter registration to the omnibus bill would greatly increase the accuracy and integrity of the voter registration rolls, as well as reduce costs and help reduce fraud.
  • State that, to be effective, poll watchers should receive required additional training and should acknowledge the integrity of the polling space by executing an oath similar to election workers.
  • Request that a complete cure process (alerting voters to mistakes and allowing them to correct those mistakes) be included for mail ballots and applications. SB 1 includes the ability to cure incomplete applications or ballots to the electronic ballot tracking system approved in the 87th regular session; however, House action can add a way to alert voters of the need for a cure, giving clear instructions and making the process uniform in all counties–not optional.
  • Ask to add provisions that allow blind voters a way to securely and privately vote.
  • Say that the Texas COVID epidemic highlights, more than ever, the need for safer methods of voting. We need the safer options of expanded early voting, extended hours at polling places, and more options to return vote by-mail ballots. These are things that Texans want.

Or include these from Indivisible TX Lege:

  • Make drive-through voting optional for all counties
  • Make 24-hour voting optional for all counties
  • Make voting process rules for counties permissive rather than restrictive
  • Keep polling site order within the power of election judges

And don’t forget to include any personal stories!