Texas state lawmakers staged a mass walkout over Memorial Day weekend to protest voter suppression legislation introduced by radical-right lawmakers. The legislation, designed to strip individuals of their voting rights, has been labeled as one of the most restrictive anti-voter bills in the nation.
More than 60 progressive politicians poured out of the state capitol building on Sunday evening, a move that delayed the passage of what many call “Jim Crow 2.0-styled” voter suppression.
“This attempt to pass draconian voter-suppression legislation is a slap in the face to democracy,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The right to vote is sacred, and any attempt to derail that is un-American.”
Senate Bill 7, voter suppression legislation, would make it easier for judges to overturn elections and end drive-thru and 24-hour voting. It would also add stringent ID requirements and end Sunday morning voting, a timeslot often used by African-American churches who encourage members to vote during that time of day.
SB 7 is yet another illustration of how this #txlege has chosen to divide, rather than unite, and to put a purely partisan political playbook ahead of the people of #Texas. #SB7 #1u pic.twitter.com/N8RyyB9GLW
— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) May 31, 2021
By walking out, lawmakers opposing the legislation defeated the bill. Their absence left the House without a quorum, which requires two-thirds of the 150 House members to be present, needed to take a vote. The fight is not over as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signaled that he intends to call for a special session to allow lawmakers to approve the legislation.
“We applaud the Texas lawmakers for defeating this harmful legislation, but we know that the radical elected officials will not stop until they pass voter suppression legislation in the state of Texas,” said Martinez.