ECU experts explain Texas Democrats flying to DC, blocking voter restriction bill

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 7:59 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Democrats in Texas jetted off to Washington, DC Monday to bar Republicans from moving forward with voting restrictions in the state.

Democrats specifically oppose the proposed bans on 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting, measures implemented for the 2020 election during the pandemic.

“Both sides passionately believe that this is about fairness in the electoral process,” explained Peter Francia, a political professor at ECU.

“To Republicans, this is about making sure that the elections are fair and without fraud… it is about election integrity. To Democrats, this is an effort, they believe, to suppress the votes, particularly of minorities who would be most affected by some of the provisions in this law.”

Republicans need the Democrats present to have a quorum, or a minimum number of seats needed to move forward on legislation, in the state legislature.

Texas Democrats say they plan to stay in DC until the clock runs out on the session in August.

In the meantime, they are asking Congress to pass federal legislation that would override state voting restrictions.

Though this is a rare instance, Francia said this has happened before in 2003 over redistricting.

This flight to DC comes after Texas Democrats had another walk-out to avoid passing a voting bill in May.

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