AUSTIN – Five prosecutors, including Dallas County’s John Creuzot, sent Governor Greg Abbott a letter Thursday expressing strong opposition to several Republican-backed electoral laws.
In addition to House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7, two bills that GOP leaders prioritized earlier this year, prosecutors urged lawmakers not to pass eight other bills that they said would be “harsh criminal penalties against voters “Propose volunteers to support voters”. and officials. “
“As district attorneys, our number one priority is protecting our communities. The behavior that these bills are intended to criminalize is an integral part of the electoral law and does not pose a threat to public safety, ”said her letter. “For far too long, our legislator has wrongly targeted and discriminated against color communities. These bills are another attempt to discriminate against the same communities while suppressing their right to vote. “
Travis County Attorney Jose Garza, Bexar County Attorney Joe Gonzales, Nueces County Attorney Mark Gonzalez, and Fort Bend County Attorney Brian Middleton also signed the letter issued by the Texas Organizing Liberal Advocate Project has been sent. All five prosecutors are Democrats.
The Dallas Morning News reached out to Republican leaders, including Abbott, who prioritized the passage of these bills during this year’s state legislature meeting, which ends late next month. Through a spokesman, House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, brushed aside prosecutors concerns.
“This letter is science fiction stuff and is completely separate from reality,” Enrique Marquez said in a statement.
House Bill 6, written by Deer Park Republican Briscoe Cain, and Senate Bill 7, written by Mineola Republican Bryan Hughes, are both collective bills that would tighten electoral laws in Texas.
If passed, the bills would make it harder for certain voters to get support and increase penalties for election workers who break the law. Critics say this could apply to election workers who unwittingly make mistakes and could discourage volunteers from voting. The bills would also take control of some procedures, e.g. B. when and how an early vote should take place outside of local officials.
Democrats say the bills reflect a controversial electoral law recently passed in Georgia in response to the huge turnout in 2020. Many of the specific provisions of the bills affect the voting procedures Harris County sought to introduce last year, such as the 24-hour voting and the sending of unsolicited postal votes to all registered voters.
Republicans argue that the changes will tackle electoral fraud, which experts and courts believe is extremely rare.
“How much cheating is okay?” Hughes asked his Senate colleagues during a recent debate about his bill. “I want to know it.”
He added, “I don’t think any of us want the county officials to make their own rules after the people of Texas have been talking through the legislation.”