News & Politics

Republicans in Texas Pass Voting Integrity Bill. New York Times Hardest Hit.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Did you know that the world ended yesterday? Kind of snuck up on ya, didn’t it? It seems that evil Republicans are conspiring to deny the right to vote to women and minorities in Texas by passing a law that has the temerity to suggest that no one should be allowed to vote who isn’t who they say they are.

Imagine that! The gall! Why don’t those evil Republicans just trust everyone who shows up to vote to be who they say they are? It’s unAmerican!

Besides, the idea that anyone in America wants to try and steal an election in this day and age is crazy, right?

At any rate, after Republicans passed the new voting integrity law, the ground opened up, the dead began to walk, fire and brimstone fell from the sky — you know the rest. Positively biblical, if you listen to the left. We’re doomed.

Naturally, the guardians of American democracy — or, at least, their version of it — are upset.

New York Times:

The legislation takes aim in particular at Harris County, a growing Democratic bastion that includes Houston and is the nation’s third most populous county. The legislation forbids balloting methods that the county introduced last year to make voting easier during the pandemic, including drive-through polling places and 24-hour voting, as well as temporary voting locations.

It also bars election officials from sending voters unsolicited absentee ballot applications and from promoting the use of vote by mail. The bill greatly empowers partisan poll watchers, creates new criminal and civil penalties for poll workers and erects new barriers for those looking to help voters who need assistance, such as with translations. It requires large Texas counties — where Democrats perform better — to provide livestreaming video at ballot-counting locations.

And this “restricts voting” how? No black people or people of any color are barred from voting. If you need a ballot in a foreign language you can still get it. As far as making voting “easier,” is that always a good thing? What if by making voting “easier” you make it easier to cheat? Democrats never address that part of the equation, they never offer alternatives that would prioritize ballot security.

Even a cursory reading of the history of American elections shows widespread and shocking fraud and cheating. To pretend it doesn’t happen today is out and out lunacy.

“There’s no evidence of widespread fraud,” say critics. Of course there’s no evidence. No one is looking. We’re assured that the ballot security measures are good enough to prevent all but a handful of fraudulent votes. If you challenge that assumption, instead of an explanation you’re accused of being a conspiracy-monger.

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Even something as simple as asking for voter ID — a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport — is portrayed as Bull Connor hosing down black people to keep them from voting. It’s absurd. It’s insane. And it’s got to stop.

This wild, hysterical, exaggerated rhetoric that suggests grandma won’t be able to vote because early voting won’t be open 24 hours is ludicrous.

The Texas voting law is still a long way from going into effect. Lawsuits will challenge every aspect of it.

As the legislation headed to the governor’s desk to become law, civic and voting rights groups were already preparing lawsuits to its many provisions.

“I tell Republicans all the time, ‘You may have the votes, but we’re all equal in federal court, so don’t delete any emails,’” said State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat who organized the effort to leave the state. “And I think that that’s where we are.”

The Sturm and Drang over this bill is a tempest in a teapot. That’s because it won’t prevent a single person from voting. It won’t even inconvenience people. There is still plenty of time to vote early in Texas, there is still access to drop boxes, and there are still rules that make it ridiculously easy to vote.

The bill became an issue because, quite simply, Democrats decided to make the issue of voting integrity a litmus test on race. And Republicans are guaranteed to fail.