“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,” Biden said in a statement.
“It’s wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote,” he added.
The president’s statement is just the latest rebuke from Democrats over a string of bills being mulled in GOP-led states that look to impose new restrictions on voting.
The Texas bill, which was finalized Saturday, would limit early voting hours and local voting options, ban 24-hour voting and curtail the use of ballot drop boxes, among other provisions.
Biden’s statement comes as Republicans in Texas began circulating a draft of the legislation, with votes on it expected to take place in both legislative chambers in the coming days.
Republicans in Texas and across the country have been touting the need for new “election integrity” measures to ease GOP concerns over ballot security. The worries have boiled up amid repeated, evidence-challenged claims from former President Trump and his allies that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread fraud despite several recounts and audits confirming Biden’s November victory.
Democrats have condemned the nationwide effort, arguing that Republicans are merely trying to limit the number of people who can vote after losing the White House and Senate last year.
The party has responded with its own voting rights measures, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The For the People Act would requires states to offer mail-in ballots and a minimum of 15 days of early voting while calling for online and same-day voter registration, and the legislation named after civil rights icon John Lewis would reauthorize and strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“I call again on Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. And I continue to call on all Americans, of every party and persuasion, to stand up for our democracy and protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections,” Biden said Saturday.
Texas joins several other states, including Arizona, Florida and Georgia, in either passing or mulling new election restrictions. Some states have already faced a string of lawsuits over their bills, and Democrats on Saturday warned that Texas will be sued too if its bill is greenlighted.
“If this is enacted Texas will be sued,” tweeted Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias.
If this is enacted, Texas will be sued. https://t.co/k39UJBJIjn
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) May 29, 2021
Via The Hill