You’ve surely heard the long-used phrase “fight fire with fire.” That’s exactly what Texas Democratic legislators are doing by sponsoring their own election reform bill as a response to Republican election suppression legislation being pushed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state’s GOP majority legislature.
The anti-democracy GOP in Texas has been trying to curtail citizen access to voting in an attempt to suppress minority voting in the state, which tends to favor Democrats. Such measures as adding ID requirements for voting by mail, banning drive-through voting, increasing criminal penalties for election workers who run afoul of the regulations, and expanding the access and authority of partisan poll watchers, are part of the draconian election “reform” package being pushed by the Texas GOP.
The Texas Democratic legislators have taken proactive steps to block the GOP’s repressive efforts, such as walking out on a late-night legislative session to stop any new bills from going forward. As a result the Texas governor called a special legislative session to push through his election curtailment bill, even holding meetings overnight.
The Democrats have now countered with their own version of an election reform bill, named after Barbara Jordan, the first black woman elected to the Texas legislature, who later served with distinction in Congress.
The Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act would expand mail-in voting, automatically register people to vote upon receiving their driver’s license, and allow people to register to vote online.
The Democrat legislative offensive is succeeding in chipping away at the Republican voting suppression bill. Prior provisions limiting Sunday voting and increasing the ability to overturn an election, have been dropped from the current GOP legislative proposal.
The Democrats’ direct rebuttal to the GOP election bill, is in effect fighting voting suppression fire with voting expansion fire. It also demonstrates to Texas and American voters the stark contrast between the two political parties in protecting— as opposed to quashing—individual voting rights.