‘The two most dangerous voter suppression bills’

5 things you need to know about House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas legislature is hearing public testimony on House Bill 6, hours after Senate Bill 7 passed the Texas Senate today. Pro-voter allies across the nation haven’t given up on a course change for the anti-voter bills that are on their way to Governor Abbott’s desk.

Both Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6 will put in place restrictions to the voting rights of Black and brown voters, disabled, elderly and low-income voters. The bills have been said to be the worst attack on voting rights in Texas since Jim Crow.

Below is a list of what you need to know about House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7:

1. House Bill 6 will criminalize local election officials who provide eligible voters with information about their voting options and those who send absentee ballot applications or absentee ballots without proof of voter request. Violation of this bill will result in a felony charge.

2. Senate Bill 7 will prolong poll wait times, lines and poll worker shifts by requiring the number of polling places to be strictly proportional to the number of voters. This unnecessarily restrictive provision doesn’t account for daily changes in population density.

3. House Bill 6 will increase the likelihood of voter intimidation. The bill gives partisan “watchers” special rights to intimidate voters and disrupt polling places, as long as the “watchers” aren’t explicitly committing election fraud. This bill also allows “watchers” to video record voters they believe to be suspicious, opening up even more opportunities for racially motivated intimidation.

4. Senate Bill 7 also requires counties with populations greater than 100,000 to have a livestream video surveillance system streaming at all open times in the central counting station.

5. House Bill 6 will make it harder for eligible voters who require voting assistance to cast their ballots. This bill adds unnecessary hoops for voter assistants to jump through. It will require two additional pieces of information voter assistants already have to provide: the manner of the assistance they are providing and their relationship to the voter.

Considerable measures would also: require that anyone assisting elderly or disabled voters fill out paperwork, restrict the ability of voters to drop off absentee ballots and prohibit voting outdoors or in movable structures—a direct response to the success of drive-through voting in 2020.

Measures under consideration would also: require that anyone assisting elderly or disabled voters fill out redundant and onerous paperwork, restrict the ability of voters to drop off absentee ballots, and prohibit voting outdoors or in movable structures—a direct response to the outstanding success of drive-through voting in 2020.

MOVE Texas Communications Director Charlie Bonner released the following statement:

“Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6 are the two most dangerous voter suppression bills ever to come through the Texas legislature. They supersede what we saw in Georgia and the entire country should be outraged that they are even being considered.

“We need every Texan to mobilize now. We have one chance to stop these bills and if that fails, we must do everything in our power to register voters and vote these cowards out of office. This is bigger than partisan politics. Our entire Democracy is on edge. This is the difference between right and wrong.”