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Texas GOP advances voting bill after Democrats’ holdout ends

Posted at 1:38 AM, Aug 27, 2021

Texas Republicans have advanced new voting restrictions after months of protests by Democrats.

The work on the bill — and the Texas legislature as a whole — ground to a halt earlier this month after 50 Democrats in the state House of Representatives fled Texas to prevent the bill from being passed.

By leaving the state, the House was not able to field a quorum, or the required number of lawmakers needed to advance a bill.

Democrats continued their holdout until last week when the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the lawmakers who fled could be arrested or detained if they failed to show up at the capitol.

The sweeping bill that passed the Texas House late Thursday comes one week after Democrats ended a 38-day walkout to stop it from passing.

Texas is now back in line to become the latest big GOP state to pass tighter voting laws in response to former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Georgia and Florida have also passed similar laws that restrict access to ballot boxes.

Senate Bill 1 includes proposals to ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting options and enhances access for partisan poll watchers, the Texas Tribunereports. Such options were used in Houston and other high-population areas in Texas during the 2020 election.

The bill now goes to the Senate. It’s on track to reach Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk in the coming days.