Texas Democrats staged a mass walkout late Sunday night time as a last-ditch effort to stave off a vote on a GOP “election integrity” initiative that will overhaul the state’s voting legal guidelines, reviews mentioned.
“Members, take your key and go away the chamber discreetly,” state Rep. Chris Turner, the Democratic caucus chair of the home, wrote in a textual content message to get together members at 10:35 p.m. native time, the New York Instances reported.
Turner added: “Don’t go to the gallery. Depart the constructing.”
The dramatic departure got here after a marathon tug-of-war with the Republican get together and prevented the Home of Representatives from having the minimal variety of lawmakers obligatory for a vote earlier than the midnight deadline.
Round 11 p.m., the State Home speaker Dade Phelan was compelled to adjourn the session because the required 100-member quorum was 14 members brief following the walkout, leaving the invoice successfully lifeless till the subsequent legislative session.
Whereas the protest did purchase Democrats a while — it’s not anticipated to final lengthy.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued a press release on Twitter late Sunday saying he plans to name a particular session to ensure the invoice will get handed.
“I declared Election Integrity and Bail Reform to be must-pass emergency gadgets for this legislative session. It’s deeply disappointing and regarding for Texans that neither will attain my desk,” Abbott mentioned.
“Making certain the integrity of our elections and reforming a damaged bail system stay emergencies in Texas. They are going to be added to the particular session agenda. Legislators might be anticipated to have labored out the small print after they arrive on the Capitol for the particular session.”
Republicans are nonetheless favored to get the invoice by in a particular session however they’d have to start out over from scratch following months of roadblocks and staunch opposition from Democrats.
The invoice was launched by Republican legislators following former President Donald Trump’s loss to President Biden within the 2020 Election and baseless allegations that voter fraud was the explanation why. Purple states throughout the nation have rushed to cross strict “election integrity” legal guidelines that Democrats have lambasted as an assault on democracy.
Texas’ invoice included punishments for errors or offenses dedicated by election officers and provides new ID necessities for mail-in voting. It additionally makes it against the law for native officers to ship poll functions to voters who haven’t requested them.