By: Roy Douglas Malonson
Old Jim Crow laws have officially returned to Texas. Really, they never left. Lawmakers in Texas are already trying to attack the Black vote ahead of the 2022 midterm elections by making it even tougher to cast a ballot.
The State Senate approved an election law that is basically ending all of the provisions made last year that made it safer and easier to vote during the pandemic. They have now put roadblocks in place, including statewide limits on polling-place hours, a new formula for locating polling places and a ban on drop boxes to assist mail-in voters. The proposal also would ban anyone except the voter who filled out a ballot from dropping it in a mailbox or delivering it to an election official. This move adds new paperwork requirements for voters who need help because of language problems or disabilities. And it will give so-called poll watchers the right to videotape voters if they deem them suspicious.
We know what this is — a clear case of voter suppression. They may as well ask us to count jellybeans in a jar again!
Texas is now following in the footsteps of Iowa and Georgia, where lawmakers also attacked voters’ civil rights by tightening voting rules last month.
‘Trump Republicans’ are waging a war after jumping on the baseless claims that former President Donald Trump was “cheated” out of the election.
Despite there being no evidence of election fraud in Texas last year, supporters of the bills say their measures are needed to make the state’s elections more secure.
“This bill is designed to address areas throughout the process where bad actors can take advantage, so Texans can feel confident that their elections are fair, honest and open,” State Senator Bryan Hughes said during Senate debate.
Forgive my speech, but that is complete and total BS. There was not voter fraud and Trump lost, plain and simple. What everyone fails to realize is that Trump said early on that he would not accept any decision of defeat, with the egomaniacal thought he would not — or could not — lose to any candidate. He clearly said that, if he lost, it would mean someone cheated.
Critics of the Senate bill illustrated how Republicans are trying to stack the deck disproportionately against people of color, who are mostly Democrats.
In reference to the clause allowing “poll watchers” to videotape voters – that appears to be nothing more than intimidation.
For the clauses limiting voting hours to 6 a.m. to. 9 p.m., banning drive-through voting and changing the formula for allotting polling places in counties with more than one million residents — that would apply mostly to counties with big cities like Houston, which expanded its voting hours and allowed for drive-through balloting in November. And Houston has a large Democrat population of voters.
Some big companies are taking a stance against these laws which are designed to harm Black Americans.
Corporate giants American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, and Dell Technologies, headquartered in Round Rock, were among the first to take a position.
American Airlines said in a statement that it was “strongly opposed” to the bill that passed the Texas Senate “and others like it.”
In Georgia, civil rights groups and activists pressured some of its biggest corporations, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, to oppose the law.
Major League Baseball announced it would no longer hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta this summer, with commissioner Robert Manfred saying the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
We applaud everyone who has stepped up, but it is going to take a whole lot more of us.
It looks like Texas is trying to become the next Georgia. Don’t let it. Make sure you do what you did in the presidential election: VOTE – AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT… Guess what, it does!