Beto O’Rourke leads protest against voter crackdown law
Austin, Texas – More than a thousand people gathered in front of the Texas Capitol on Sunday to protest the Republican-led Texas Election Bill and show their support for the Federal Elections Bill in front of the US Senate this week. ..
Protesters gathered in the summer heat near the south entrance to the Texas Capitol and said, “Let’s vote! And “Jim Crow 2.0 must go! A lot of people put up a sign saying “Don’t Bankrupt Texas Voters” and “Voter Oppression Is Not American.” Dozens of people wearing T-shirts and carrying “Bet” signs are in the crowd in favor of former Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, one of the organizers of Sunday’s event. I did.
Dennis Hardy, 60, who stood in the crowd under his daughter’s umbrella to block out the late afternoon sun, was at the center of an African-American generation like her decades ago. He said he couldn’t believe he was back looking for voting rights.
“It’s shocking to me that in 2021 we were fighting again for the issues and rights that we fought in 1963,” she said.
Hardy said he didn’t want to use the word racism. Because it’s a word that has been thrown out too soon lately. However, she said, the restrictive election law proposed by the Texas Legislature this year is all too familiar and could hurt voters like her if passed.
“What’s so frustrating is how blatant this time around is,” she said.
Nationally, state governments have discussed and in some cases passed laws with varying degrees of restrictions on voting restrictions. Most of them were introduced by Republican lawmakers. Republicans argue that the “electoral integrity” bill aims to reassure voter confidence in the US electoral system.
Democrats and civil rights watchers have said the laws, including Texas Senate Bill 7, reflect the oppression of voters.
Legislative measures in many states have their origins in the 2020 presidential election. In the presidential election, former President Donald Trump and many Republicans cited unproven cases of fraudulent voting. State and federal judges have dismissed more than 50 cases filed by Trump’s legal team.
In response, Congressional Democrats proposed two federal election laws aimed at guaranteeing the right to vote. According to the Brennan Democracy Center, the popular law passed in the House of Representatives as HR1 will reduce voter oppression and make it easier for all Americans to vote and vote. A Senate vote is scheduled for this week.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (HR4) will restore full protection to the revolutionary Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The Sunday rally came shortly after the two-week tour, and O’Rourke visited about 20 cities across the state to build support for two federal election bills.
O’Rourke and his El Paso-based voter outreach organization, Powered by People, held a Sunday rally in Austin, the final event of the tour.
O’Rourke, a former US senator from El Paso, failed in a Democratic presidential nomination campaign before sacking Republican Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. El Paso Democrats lost the race to 2.6 percentage points, giving Democrats a wave of hope not seen in Lone Star in decades.
Last month, Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives became the center of a national election law debate when they derailed the Republicans-backed “electoral integrity” bill by leading a night strike. Political stunts kept the house from reaching quorum and essentially killed the floor bill.
If the bill passes, it would limit early voting time, limit the number of voting machines at polling stations across the county, and deprive local government officials of election control.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has vowed to call a special session to review Senate Bill 7, but has not yet set a date.
“This opportunity, this mission, this responsibility to save American democracy has fallen on us and this generation, so we have to ask ourselves, ‘What are you going to do with it? »» O’Rourke. Told the crowd on Sunday.
“We will fight anyway. We will continue to press until the right to vote is guaranteed in the United States and this democracy represents all of us, ”he said.
In the background, I heard in the crowd chanting: “Run, fight, run”.