Ahead of an expected vote on House Bill 6, Democratic lawmakers gathered in front of the Texas State Capitol to denounce the voter suppression legislation.
House Bill 6 would restrict voting in Texas in a number of ways, including limiting voting hours and polling locations. It also has a provision that would lift many limitations on poll watchers, potentially allowing the videotaping of voters while casting a ballot.
At the press conference, State Rep. Nicole Collier called out specifically the measures in HB6 that would potentially empower poll watchers. “This is to keep you away from the poll,” said Collier. Collier also noted that Texas already has strict voting measures in place, and the focus of the legislature should be making it easier to vote. “We don’t want to go back to the past, we want to move forward,” said Collier.
U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett also spoke at the press conference, and described the voting rights legislation as “ugly because [it] goes at the heart of democracy.” Doggett also thanked the companies in Texas that have spoken out against the voter suppression legislation, but also urged companies that haven’t to do so immediately.
“But we need more, silence isn’t an option here. You either condone suppression, or you stand up for democracy,” said Doggett.
Yesterday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced they would not be delivering remarks at the Greater Houston Partnership, joining a chorus of organizations urging the group to denounce bills like HB6.
U.S. Rep Joaquin Castro also joined the press conference by urging all Texans to speak out against HB6, and its counterpart Senate Bill 7. “If we’re going to stop this bill from becoming law, Texans need to speak up now. Our business community needs to join the 75 Texas businesses or so that recently speak up against this voter suppression legislation.”
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call