The ending of the regular session of the Texas House of Representatives last week, without passage of the “Election Integrity Protection Act” on which the Governor and majorities in both chambers had seemed intent, leaves us wondering: what exactly is in the bill that occasions the passions and maneuvers that were on display in the final days and hours of the session: what are the specifics?
Some of the controversial provisions of the bill may make it more difficult for some people to assist others in getting to the polls. For example, the bill provides that any person who transports more than three other non-related people to the polls to vote must fill out a form providing the transporters’ name and address and stating the reason for assistance.
More controversially, the bill limits the hours for early voting. In particular, it prohibits early voting on Sunday mornings. This is significant, because many predominantly black churches have a practice of having congregants proceed to the polls after Church, calling this “souls to the polls.” The Sunday-morning specific ban has fueled charges that the bill is specifically aimed at the reduction of the black community’s turnout.
The Thing to Know:
During debate in the state Senate Sunday, Sen. Borris Miles (Houston) addressed a sponsor of the measure, Sen. Bryan Hughes (Longview), saying: “You really have no idea and no realistic vision about how things work in my neighborhood and neighborhoods like mine.”