The U.S. civil rights group says the legislation will make it ‘more difficult and more intimidating to vote’, especially for people of color.
The U.S. state of Texas is nearing passing a controversial bill on voting bans ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “part of an attack on democracy” that would not equally harm Black people and other people of color.
The bill, which Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says he plans to sign into law if passed, would eliminate drive-through voting, empower poll-wielding partisans and limit voting by voters. Sunday, when more Black churchgoers go to the polls, along with other bans.
The Texas Senate passed the investigation by an 18-13 vote shortly after 6 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday after an evening of debate, The New York Times reported, and the House is expected to take the step at a later date. . The legislature session is scheduled to end at midnight.
Civil rights groups have criticized the law formally known as Senate Bill 7, or SB7 – as an attack on voting rights.
“The bill will make voting more difficult and more frightening – in a state that’s already the most difficult voting area in the country,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted in Texas on Saturday.
The research is one of several laws pushed by Republican lawmakers across the United States to prevent voting after the 2020 general election, which former President Donald Trump wrongfully said was tainted by widespread fraud by voters.
In a statement Saturday afternoon, Biden said the bill was “wrong and un -American”.
“It’s about an attack on democracy that we’ve always seen this year – and it’s always not equally targeted at Black and Brown Americans,” the U.S. president said.
The head of the Texas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Gary Bledsoe, declared Sunday that “this legislation is to take us back to the Jim Crow era that took place on the anniversary of the Black Wall Street Massacre”.
A race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, beginning May 31, 1921, left the city’s thriving Black community as a white mob broke into buildings and killed nearly 300 people.
“Our voices need to be heard now and always,” Bledsoe said in a statement.
Texas law prohibits Texans from using 24-hour polling places or voting in polling places located in car parks and parking lots. It also prohibits mobile units or temporary structures from being used as polling places.
The law also sets new requirements for Texans who want to vote by mail and prohibits election officials from sending unsolicited ballot applications mail-in to voters. It also made it even more difficult to remove obstructing poll watchers.
Florida, Georgia, and Arizona have also approved new voting bans in recent months.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which tracks nationwide voting law, says at least 14 states nationwide have enacted 22 laws restricting access to voting between January 1 and May 14 this year, while many more are running. by state legislators.