Texas lawmakers close to adding new restrictions to voting process

HOUSTON – Senate Bill 7 has people talking from both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers spent Sunday night discussing the bill.

It would bring new restrictions and change how millions of Texans vote.

For one, the bill would end drive-through voting and 24-hours voting.

Last year, nearly 127,000 people cast their ballots at places like NRG Park. Republicans said this bill would make the election more secure.

“This may be more of an optics issue, restoring confidence with the American people and in my state who actually do believe there was tremendous fraud,” Rep. Michael McCaul said.

The bill is already receiving pushback from Texas Democratic leaders. Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro said it would make it harder for people to vote.

“Especially for communities of color by doing things like making it harder for people with disabilities to vote,” Castro said.

SB7 would also impose new limits on Sunday voting, tighten voting by mail, add proof of identity requirements for absentee voting and make it easier for a judge to overturn election results.

“It highlights I think how sloppy this legislation is. I think it highlights how intentional the discrimination is and yes it will end up in court,” Representative Collin Allred said.

Republican Rep. Jim Murphy, who represents District 133, released a statement: “I look forward to voting for this bill that makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat. With extending early voting hours and keeping curbside voting, more people will be able to participate in the democratic process.”

If the house passes the bill by midnight, Governor Greg Abbott has already announced that he will sign the bill into law.