Earlier this week, the Texas House Democratic Caucus fled the state in order to avoid voting on a legislative session that would pass a special new election security bill.
Vice President Kamala Harris commended the missing lawmakers for their attempt to block the legislation and compared their actions to the legacy of great civil rights and voting rights leaders of the past and praised them for their “bold, intrepid action.”
“They took bold, courageous action in line with the legacy of Frederick Douglass, to the legacy that involves women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and all those folks who shed blood on the bridge in 1965 to pass the Voting Rights Act,” Harris said Wednesday.
“And now, we have in 2021, the Texas Legislature,” she continued. “Many of them traveled to Washington, D.C., at great sacrifice to stand up for the American right to vote, unencumbered.”
Republican Texas state senators were able to pass the voting reform without the missing Democrats in a party-line vote on Tuesday.
Democrats have claimed the laws proposed by GOP senators are suppressive attempts to block voter turnout, Republicans maintain the laws would secure the elective process.
Under the bill, a ban would be implemented on drive-thru voting, video surveillance would become a requirement, and tracking devices would be installed on all electronic devices used to count ballots to follow “input and activity.”
Changes would be made to the state’s poll-watching system, and mail-in voting would receive renewed scrutiny – requiring all voters to include a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number on their ballot.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott threatened to arrest every state lawmaker who fled in a failed attempt to evade the House vote the moment they step foot back in the state.