‘Leave the building’: Texas walkout escalates voting battles – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-05-31 17:40:00 –

Austin, Texas >> Midnight was just around the corner. The Texas House of Representatives will now approve one of the most restrictive voting methods in the United States.

It was 10:35 pm. Suddenly, all Democrats still in the seat received a text message.

“Members, please leave the room carefully with your key. Do not go to the gallery. Please leave the building.”

The strike was successful, and a few minutes later, Senate Bill No. 7 died. Texas Republicans have previously unseen restrictions, including those banning early voting on Sunday morning, because there aren’t enough members of the House to do business under the rules before the Sunday midnight deadline. For now, it has been forced to abandon the election overhaul that was packed during private negotiations. Time widely used by black church members in the “souls to the polls” campaign.

It was a dramatic last-minute rebellion. Democrats headed for the exit one by one and disappeared into the hallway. The voting machine on the abandoned desk was locked. In the unlikely event of a “convocation of the House of Representatives” -an extreme remedy to secure a quorum, mobilizing National Guard to force absent members to return. In preparation for the situation, the Democratic Party chose an unmistakable hideout in that sense. Zion Baptist Church, a black place of worship more than two miles away.

The rebellion gave Democrats and voting allies a moment of morale after months of losses in the Republican-controlled state legislature. Republicans are the 2020 falsehood of former President Donald Trump. In response to the allegations, he rushed to enact a wave of strict voting laws. The right to vote was stolen from him.

But a strike in Texas is likely to be just a fleeting victory: Republican Governor Greg Abbott has declared a new voting law a priority in Texas, but all Democrats are in the House of Representatives. He barely waited to escape from the chamber, but declared that he would order the end of the special session. Work. He said he had already begun to punish lawmakers and would refuse part of the state budget to fund lawmakers’ salaries on Monday.

“There is no payment for those who give up their responsibilities,” Abbott tweeted.

He hasn’t said when to get the legislator back to work.

“I understand why they do it,” said Republican Rep. Briscoe Cain, who was in charge of the bill in the House of Representatives. “But we all swore to the Texas that we were here to do our job.”

The 67-page-long Texas bill would have reduced voting time, empowered voting observers, and reduced voting methods. This included a ban on drive-through polling centers and 24-hour polling stations, both of which were used around Houston last year, reflecting how the Republicans were aiming for Texas’ largest Democratic base. ing.

Many were ideas that the Democrats had fought for months, but protested at the last minute that others had sneaked in. This included not only early voting on Sunday, but also provisions to facilitate the overturning of elections. Under the bill, the judge invalidates a candidate’s victory if the number of fraudulent votes can change the outcome, regardless of whether the fraud actually proved to affect the outcome. be able to.

This is a kind of provision that allows a judge in favor of a candidate to make a widespread allegation of fraud with little specific evidence, just as Trump was virtually unsuccessful. Democrats and voting groups were particularly wary of the GOP’s continued support for Trump after trying to overturn the 2020 elections with false allegations of large-scale fraud.

A few hours before the vote was scheduled to take place on Sunday, Democrats packed into the back room with Republican Speaker of the House Dade Phelan.

“We didn’t get a satisfactory answer as to why the bill was so bad,” said Democratic Rep. Gina Hinohosa. “Most of us left the meeting, realizing that this was our only option.”

However, Hino inojojo said that the momentum for the strike had been increasing before that. She said at a meeting of black and Hispanic lawmakers in the House of Representatives, she revealed that she was “angry, sad, and intolerant” about passing the bill. Another option was to run out of time, but with more risk.

It was the first time in about 20 years that the Democratic Party broke the quorum in Texas.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a voting group, the Texas bill meltdown was a rare victory for the Democratic Party in a year when 14 states enacted new legislation to tighten voting restrictions. These laws have usually been elaborated by Republican-controlled state legislatures and quickly signed by the Republican Governor. The Democratic Party’s potential bailout against the wave of restrictions — a drastic national voting bill — is stalled in Congress.

“We have set an example one after another in the Republican legislature, which has culminated in its vivid racism and reduced voting capacity of brown and black voters. “Fred Weltheimer, founder of the Voting Rights Group, said. Democracy 21. “The way they are fighting in Texas tells us how terrible the law is and how the Democrats are ready to do whatever they can to prevent it from happening. . “

Democrats and voting groups also want Texas to approve this bill, known as the For the People Act or HR1, in Congress. The bill is stuck in the Senate because some Democrats don’t want to end filibuster. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer debates the bill in hopes of breaking the deadlock. Scheduled to begin late May, activists will encourage Washington, DC counterparts to abolish such rules in the United States with the Democratic Party’s boldness to use quorum rules to thwart legislation. I’m hoping that the Senate.

At least the Democrats want the strikes to give them time. They left the church after midnight.

“We may have won the war tonight, but the fight isn’t over,” said Democratic Rep. Nicole Collier.

‘Leave the building’: Texas walkout escalates voting battles Source link ‘Leave the building’: Texas walkout escalates voting battles

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