LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A proposed bill in Texas creates limitations for early voting, drive through voting and mail in ballots: its called Senate Bill 7.
Some say this bill is modern voter suppression, and others say this bill will increase election integrity.
Republican lawmakers, along with senator Charles Perry, spearheaded Senate Bill 7.
The bill would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive through voting and it would make it illegal for election officials to, on their own, distribute mail-in ballot applications to voters, even if they qualify.
Lubbock county Democratic chairperson Gracie Gomez said this is voter suppression.
“We should never ever restrict voting. I mean, it is the basis of a democracy,” Gomez said.
Lubbock county Republican chairperson Cole Shooter said its voter security.
“Effectively the state has a good reason to make sure that our elections are fair and well regulated,” Shooter said.
According to the Heritage foundation, there were only two criminal convictions of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Data has not yet been available for 2020.
Gracie said drive through voting or expanded voting hours would not hurt election integrity.
“I don’t think a single case of voter fraud because of driving voting people chose this option in order to stay safe from a pandemic that has killed hundreds of 1000s of Americans and millions worldwide. Why on earth is driving voting being targeted? There’s no absolutely no reason when these people when people are trying to be safe and still be able to vote,” Gomez said.
Republicans argue changes during the 2020 elections because of the pandemic are now addressed in the bill.
“Certain things that were brought up like the curbside voting that may have been appropriate during Coronavirus are not appropriate now. And I think what they’re doing is they’re going through and just making sure that certain things are clarified,” Shooter said.
At this time, the bill has just passed the senate & will have to go back to the house before it’s passed.
Both chambers are Republican-controlled and this bill is on the Lieutenant Governor’s priority list.