AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Democratic Party joined Congressman Beto O’Rourke and organizers from across Texas at the For the People Rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sunday to show support for protecting voting rights in Texas and across the country.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa discusses the importance of defending voting rights at the For the People Rally at the state Capitol on June 20. (Photo: Brigitte Bowen/Texas Democratic Party)
Voting rights have been under attack in Texas and across the country as Republican state lawmakers, still upset over the historic voter turnout and Democratic wins last November, are proposing and passing laws directly targeted at voters who tend to support Democrats — especially people of color. These laws make it harder to vote and make it easier for election results to be overturned in cases where Republicans do not agree with the outcome.
Already this year, Republicans in 48 states have introduced at least 389 voter suppression bills and 14 of those states have already passed 22 bills to restrict access to the vote.
Democratic representatives in the Texas legislature stopped SB 7, the Texas Republicans’ voter suppression bill, from being passed, but now Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the legislature back to Austin on July 8, and he has previously indicated voter suppression would top his agenda for that special session. And in a dictatorial move to retaliate against state Democrats, Abbott defunded the state legislature, and all those who work in it, on July 18. Yet state Democratic lawmakers remain strong in their resolve to uphold the voting rights of fellow Texans. From bringing Texans together at the For the People rally to encouraging constituents to share their stories and support for federal laws, Texas Democrats are continuing this fight.
Today, Democrats in the U.S. Congress continue to lead the fight to protect the right to vote with the For the People Act (S.1). The For the People Act would be the first major federal legislation to protect voting across the United States in over 55 years, when President Lyndon B. Johnson, a fellow Texas Democrat, signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
S.1 would modernize voting systems and make elections more democratic across the country through a number of provisions including automatic voter registration, campaign finance reform, ending partisan gerrymandering, and much more. Yet, all the Republicans in both chambers of Congress voted against this much-needed reform.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Voting is fundamental to our democracy, and we need to make sure that right is guaranteed to Americans across this country. Texas Democrats, just like Democrats in Congress, will not stop until this massive assault on democracy is defeated in all forms. That can only happen with federal legislation to protect our right to vote — the cornerstone of American democracy.
“I thank the brave Texas Democratic legislators who killed SB 7, Beto O’Rourke, our partners and allied organizations, and every Texan who came out to the Texas Capitol this past Sunday to show their support for voting rights and stand up against Republican assaults on voting.
“While Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the For the People Act today, the fight is not over. Republicans keep giving us a reason to pass sweeping federal protections and to finally modernize the democratic institution of voting in free and fair elections in every town, city, and state in the country.”