Just A Reminder: Texas Still Hates People Voting
Just wanted to check in with you all to remind you that the Texas Senate passed a really awful voter-suppression bill last month, since as you may have noticed, the whole thing blew up on Twitter all over again yesterday. As far as we can tell, there's not any new news about the bill, introduced by rightwing fartsack state Sen. Bryan Hughes, but we are very glad to see it getting renewed attention. Maybe even enough attention to make its passage in the Texas House a little less likely. No telling -- Texas Republicans have never liked voting, especially if poors or browns do it. And since the Texas secretary of state's attempt at a big voter purge failed in March, Hughes's Senate Bill 9 seems like the best shot for the Rs to take another swing at the ol' voter suppression piñata.
The bill has been touted as an "election security" measure, and it has precisely one good idea in it: requiring that all elections systems, including electronic voting machines, include a backup paper trail to allow auditing of election results. But the rest of SB 9 is a stew of terrible measures aimed at scaring people away from the polls. For instance, the bill would make it a "state jail felony" for anyone to submit "false information" (even something as trivial as a wrong zip code) on a voter registration form. That had previously been a misdemeanor; now it'll be subject to a two-year sentence and fine up to $10,000. Texas, we should note, is not actually plagued by a wave of fake registration info, but hey, why not criminalize it anyway?
Worse, Hughes's bill would create a whole new felony to punish anyone who submits a provisional ballot if they're not actually eligible to vote. As we noted when the bill first went forward, that's pretty evil, since as a Democratic opponent of the bill pointed out, the WHOLE POINT of provisional ballots is to allow someone who's unsure about their registration status to have their vote counted if they are qualified. As Democratic state Sen. José Menéndez pointed out,
Under state law, provisional voting ballots automatically serve as a voter registration application [...This bill] would criminalize people who aren't sure of their registration status and fill out a provisional ballot.
Now don't be silly -- obviously no one ever does anything in error, and all mistakes at the polls are actually attempted fraud. How naive do you think Republicans are to your constant tricks?
Yesterday's Twitter outcry against the bill highlighted another odious part of the bill that would effectively ban organized efforts to take people to the polls unless they are literally, in the bill's language, "physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring their health." Fortunately, the person driving can simply fill in a detailed form; we imagine Hughes is saving medical exams for all elderly or disabled voters for his reelection bid.
You see, all Republicans believe in their hearts that Democrats bus mobs of voters -- probably illegal immigrants! -- from polling place to polling place to vote multiple times, despite the lack of any evidence. Look, Donald Trump said it's real, so it has to be real (It is not real).
Internet shitstain James O'Keefe even made a big production of tailing a pastor's bus on election day 2016, because bus = voter fraud.
Did O'Keefe find any illegal voting? HE HAD TO. THERE WAS A BUS AND BLACK PEOPLE!
SB 9 will forever free Texas from the scourge of pastors or anyone else driving people to vote, by Crom.
No more frauding by old people, hooray! Not that there was any to start with, but it's well-established that Texas Rs just HATE old black people voting. Maybe because they remember too much.
Instead, poor and elderly people will just have to rely on rural Texas's excellent public transportation services, like the Dime Box subway or the Bee Cave hyperloop.
Hughes insists there's nothing at all controversial about this, because he just wants to make sure people aren't up to anything funny.
The bill also would require people who help disabled voters cast a mail-in ballot officially certify that the voter they help is physically unable to enter a poll without risk to harm. In addition, it allows poll watchers to accompany both the voter and helper into the voting area. [...]
"This is not a partisan issue. ... It says if you're going to bring someone to the polls and help them cast their ballot ... then, yes. We want to know your names."
And watch you vote. Perhaps while we sneer at you. "Secret ballots" are so passe.
Also too, never forget: Were it not for John Roberts and other Republicans deciding racism was over in 2013, not a bit of this ballot-rigging fuckery would be happening.
You know, a cynical person might get the impression that Texas Republicans worry that if they had to face ALL the voters, they might not be carried to reelection on the sterling brilliance of their ideas. Which is why so many of their ideas involve not facing all the voters.
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