WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – U.S. President Joe Biden has criticized the Texas priority voting bill by the Republicans, called Senate Bill 7, as a “part of an assault on democracy”.
“Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote. It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year –and often disproportionately targeting Black and brown Americans… In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House on Saturday.
A committee of state representatives and senators on Saturday finished drafting a bill that limits early hours to cast ballots, bans drive-through polling sites and places new requirements on voters.
The committee sent it to both Republican-led chambers for a simple majority vote expected sometime this weekend, with Republican Governor Greg Abbott indicating that he will sign the bill into law.
The move, which marks the latest attempt by Republicans to impose voting restrictions at the state level, comes in the wake of former president Donald Trump’s persistent and baseless claims that the November presidential election was stolen.
If approved and signed into law, the bill would prohibit election officials from sending absentee ballots to all voters, regardless of whether they had requested them.
Using tents, garages, mobile units or any temporary structure as a polling location would be banned too. In addition, the bill would further limit who could vote absentee and add new identification requirements for voting by mail.
Texas is the latest in a flurry of states that have seen Republicans push for more restrictive voting laws, which supporters often call “election integrity”.
Biden has been a critic of “election integrity” legislation, particularly new Georgia voting legislation.