Texas is trying to join a group of over a dozen states to pass laws making it harder to vote since the 2020 election. Since last November, Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed 28 laws in 17 states to restrict voting access, CNN reports.
In the Lone Star State, state House Democrats, who are the minority in the legislature, walked out of the remaining 26 days of the special legislation session on Monday to prevent Republicans from approving Senate Bill 7. Without quorum— i.e. enough members present to conduct business at the state capitol— a vote on the bill cannot proceed.
The bill would make mail-in voting more challenging, ban drive-thru voting center and 25-hour voting, and effectively outlaw the “souls to the polls” initiatives in Black churches, among other restrictions.
“Today, Texas House Democrats stand united in our decision to break quorum and refuse to let the Republican-led legislature force through dangerous legislation that would trample on Texans’ freedom to vote,” a joint statement reads.
The stronghold of the GOP in Texas extends beyond elections. Well before the latest controversy about teaching the history of America’s racism, Texas has been steadily promoting ahistorical, “patriotic” education, while restricting abortion access and encouraging a state-funded border wall.
Texas Democrats have been lobbying Congress to pass the For the People Act to counteract many Republican voter restrictions. They previously broke quorum in May to block the voter restrictions, which led to the state’s current special legislative session.