By John Kanelis / email@example.com
Here we go … again.
Texas Democratic legislators are fleeing the state to deny a quorum from being present to enact a law they find onerous … so much so that they are willing to watch state government grind to a halt.
To which I say: More power to em!
Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session to deal with some unresolved issues left by the regular legislative session. One of them is this goofy notion of protecting the Texas electoral system against a phantom known as “widespread voter fraud.”
Read my lips: There is no such fraud in Texas!
Yet the Texas Republican legislative caucus insists on throwing up barriers to voter access to prevent the kind of fraud some of them suggest occurred during the 2020 election that President Biden won bigly over the Republican incumbent who masqueraded as POTUS for four years.
Texas Democrats managed to stymie this rush toward voter suppression at the end of the Legislature’s regular session in late May. Republicans made a few changes to the proposed legislation in an effort to make it more palatable to Democrats when they convened for their special session.
A lot of clunkers remain in the amended version embraced by the Texas GOP. They still want to ban 24-hour mail-in voting; they still insist on having partisan poll watchers on duty while Texans cast their ballots.
The essence of a thriving democratic system of government is to encourage more people — not fewer of them — to vote in our elections. Texas was among many states across the nation that enjoyed record voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election. The 45th POTUS carried the state’s vote by about 6 percentage points, yet the Republican Party of Texas has concocted this notion that Texas was infected by rampant voter fraud.
Indeed, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered any Texan a million bucks if he or she could produce fraud on a scale that GOP honchos insist occurred in 2020. So far no one has come forth. Imagine that, eh?
And so, Texas Democrats are playing hardball with their GOP colleagues, who in my view are using legislative procedure to make it more difficult for Texans to cast their ballots.