FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2021
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760- 6567 | JuanRamiro.Sarmiento@younginvincibles.org
Texas’ Elections Overhaul Ushers Chilling Effect on Democracy
An All-Out Attempt to Further Cement Minority Rule in the Lone Star State
(Austin, TX) – On Tuesday, the Texas Legislature approved an overhaul of the state’s voting elections code to make it harder, and even legally risky, for Texans to cast a ballot. Governor Greg Abbott (TX-R) vowed to immediately sign the new legislation. Texas is already home to the most restrictive voting laws in the country. The most significant changes include: empowering partisan poll watchers, limiting opportunities to vote, new obstacles to mail voting, and expanding criminal penalties. Many of the new restrictions target measures employed by the largest and most diverse counties in Texas to prevent virus transmission amid a global pandemic.
Emblematic of the scale and severity of these changes is the exhaustive measure the legislative minority took to prevent the passage of Senate Bill 1 by fleeing the state to break quorum. Ultimately, the Governor’s unrelenting deployment of special legislative sessions to bend democracy towards minority rule won out.
In response, Aurora Harris, Southern Region Director for Young Invincibles, issued the following response.
“In a nation that has struggled for centuries to expand voting rights, Texas stands in direct opposition to a vision of a multiracial democracy. The ruling legislative majority in Texas has, vociferously and unapologetically, pursued its most pressing priority this legislative session, an all-out assault on democracy in an effort to cement minority rule, at the expense of the state’s most urgent issues.
Instead of addressing the electric grid failure that ushered in the deaths of hundreds of Texans over the winter months, the legislative majority chose power.
Instead of protecting vulnerable Texans by expanding health coverage during a once-in-a-century global pandemic, the legislative majority chose power.
Instead of protecting Texas students from the crushing effects of student debt, the legislative majority chose power.
The Texas legislative majority is not interested in improving the lives of its residents, they are interested in preserving their political power at all costs, even the very lives of its constituents.
We urge the United States Congress and the Biden Administration to defend democracy here at home and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, even if it means abolishing the filibuster. The long-term stability of our nation and the wellbeing of our residents depend on it. The preservation of our democracy is an act beyond political partisanship and those who would
dismantle democracy to preserve power relinquish their credibility as democratically elected members in a constitutional democracy like our own.”