Legislation authored this session to strengthen Texas elections is largely due to local officials opportunistically making up rules as they went along in 2020.
The media is feverishly working to reframe this truth by attacking reforms, and incorrectly labeling them suppression; here’s a Dallas Morning News editorial straining to accomplish this feat.
The DMN, to its credit, acknowledges that election fraud is real, and then it sets a reasonable bar, “Good policymaking means identifying specific issues, raising them with the public and proposing solutions that fix what’s wrong.”
This is exactly what’s happening this legislative session and what didn’t happen in 2020, a fact that doesn’t fit the complaints the DMN editorial board has with proposed and needed reforms.
Harris County didn’t implement drive-thru voting under the DMN prescribed deliberative process.
The window dressing for drive-thru voting to, keep voters safe from the coronavirus, was a pretense to circumvent law and legislative intent after Democrats tried but failed in 2019 to expand curbside voting.
It certainly wasn’t about health. Bexar County didn’t implement drive-thru voting after the county medical officer testified the practice was more likely to spread illness.
In fact, the move to unilaterally implement drive-thru voting was reckless and put Harris County in real danger of being disenfranchised. Clarifying election law to stop further abuses like those perpetrated by Chris Hollins will protect votes.
The same pattern applies to reforms to mail-in balloting and when polls should be open to voting.
Current state law prescribes when polls should be open, 7 AM to 7 PM. The 2020 liberal interpretation of this is that it’s a minimum, not a cap. For decades, a plain reading of the statute has led to adherence to 7 AM to 7 PM voting.
It’s a bad-faith argument to suggest legislation clarifying that this is a range of hours within voting should happen is somehow suppression. It just ends goofy midnight vote rap concerts.
Like the voting hours, mail-in voting in Texas has a well-established record of legislative intent, that it be limited to the elderly, infirm, travelers, and the eligible imprisoned.
Democrats, in their assault on Texas elections in 2020, tried to expand mail-in balloting and make it universal. Some encouraged Texans to lie on applications and claim they were disabled.
Clarifying and adding safeguards is about stopping future planned assaults on elections, and it’s happening in the Texas legislature because it’s the will of the people.