Dozens of Texas Democratic state representatives left town this week in a bid to stop a vote on state Republicans’ plan to change state voting laws.

Some of Galveston County’s elected state representatives, all Republicans, are calling for the Capital Ds to be punished.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter

@johnwferguson.

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(8) comments

Gary Miller

If Texas Voters would read and compare the proposed bill with present Texas election law they would learn the only changes do nothing to legal voters rights but make it harder to cheat. The conduct of Democrats who left the state indicate they want easy cheating in our election law.

Ron Shelby

Miller. Please don’t continue disseminating false information. You haven’t read the most recent version of the proposed bills, which absolutely reduces the ability for many to vote. (....or you're intentionally ignoring the fact that it does.)

1) It bans the new practice of Drive Thru voting pioneered by Harris County which helps motivate those with disabilities, or simply difficulty, with mobility. Drive Thru voting also helps those who have anxiety attack issues. There are many application in which Drive Thru voting helps additional people have access to voting.

2) It bans 24 hour voting which Harris County pioneered. This obviously allows those with odd work schedules to have additional access to voting.

3) It bans non-profits and other groups from helping to distribute applications for Mail-In ballots. Not everyone knows how to obtain an application for a Mail-In ballot, therefore it would direct impact those individuals.

Carlos Ponce

Ron Shelby:

#1. This from the bill:

https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB1/id/2423989

SECTION 5.01 (b-1) :A person other than a voter is only permitted to be inside a motor vehicle while a voter votes from the motor vehicle if the person would be entitled to accompany the voter to the voting station under other law."

Read the letter from AG Ken Paxton:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/elections-guidance-letter-drive-thru-voting

So curbside voting is permitted. As Ken Paxton states, "While election officials should not ordinarily question a voter's good-faith representation that the voter is physically unable to enter a polling place, officials should not actively encourage voters to engage in unauthorized curbside voting when they fail to meet the requisite legal criteria."

Texas Election Code§ 64.009(a)

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/EL/htm/EL.64.htm

Sec. 64.009. VOTER UNABLE TO ENTER POLLING PLACE. (a) If a voter is physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter's health, on the voter's request, an election officer shall deliver a ballot to the voter at the polling place entrance or curb.

Carlos Ponce

Ron Shelby:

"This obviously allows those with odd work schedules to have additional access to voting."

There are penalties if your employer will not allow you to vote:

SECTION 6.02. Sections 276.004(a) and (b), Election Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a) A person commits an offense if, with respect to another person over whom the person has authority in the scope of employment, the person knowingly:

(1) refuses to permit the other person to be absent from work on election day or while early voting is in progress for the purpose of attending the polls to vote; or

(2) subjects or threatens to subject the other person to a penalty for attending the polls on election day or while early voting is in progress to vote.

(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the person's conduct occurs in connection with an election in which the polls are open on election day or while early voting is in progress for voting for two consecutive hours outside of the voter's working hours.

Carlos Ponce

Ron Shelby:

"It bans non-profits and other groups from helping to distribute applications for Mail-In ballots."

Since mail- in balloting is legally restricted to certain individuals (65 years or older; sick or disabled; out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible). Texas Supreme Court - Harris County had to back down on sending applications to EVERYBODY. Doubtful if "non-profits" would know who is entitled and who is not to vote by mail.

Dan Freeman

Most states have a greater proportion of eligible voters voting than Texas at 60%. A healthy democratic republic would try to get more eligible voters voting, not make it harder.

Carlos Ponce

The proposed legislation would make voting easier, cheating harder.... but that won't stop Democrats from trying to cheat.

Ron Shelby

Carlos. You still failed to say those limiting items were not in the Bill... Because clearly they are. I believe that anyone reading those clearly understands the impact they will have in further limiting access to vote. Legislators already backed off the further limiting of Sunday voting. It was clear what their intent was. The intent here is no different. It’s a shame you support that, but no surprise.

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