Houston-area leaders decry voting bills moving through Texas Legislature

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks about voting bills during a news conference in Kingwood, Texas, on April 22, 2021. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Houston-area leaders continue to denounced voting bills that are moving through the Texas Legislature.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins were joined Wednesday by other lawmakers for a news conference to discuss House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7 – legislation aimed at changing the way elections are run in Texas.

RELATED: Senate Bill 7 proposes changes to how and when you vote

Turner said the bills amount to a revival of Jim Crow-era laws. He said that if they’re passed, it will lead to less access to the polls and intimidation of voters.

“They’re not good for this state,” Turner said.

Hollins, who oversaw the 2020 election, said his expansion of polling locations, including 24-hour and drive-thru voting, said the bills are only aimed at making it more difficult for people of color to cast their ballots. He said it is imperative that voting opportunities be expanded to eligible voters instead of restricted.

“We need to protect this as basic America, democratic principles,” Hollins said.

On Thursday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo echoed their concerns, saying there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“Why make things more difficult?” Hidalgo said.

Proponents have said the bills are aimed at making elections more secure and cracking down on voter fraud.

According to the Texas Attorney General’s website, the state has successfully prosecuted 534 election fraud offenses against 155 people since 2005.

A replay of the news conference can be watched below.