TAKE ACTION to OPPOSE Voter Suppression Bills SB 7 and HB 6.
SB 7 is scheduled for its public hearing on Friday, March 26. The bill is an assault on Texans' voting right and would further limit access to the ballot, especially for voters of color, young voters, low-income voters and voters with disabilities. If passed, SB 7 would
Limit voting hours from 7 AM to 7 PM, preventing hourly workers, mostly Black and Latino –– who do not have the luxury of taking a long lunch break –– the ability to vote;
Ban counties from proactively sending out vote-by-mail applications and further prohibit them from merely encouraging voters to apply to vote by mail;
Prevent voter advocacy groups from distributing mail-in vote applications;
Would ban 24-hour voting, eliminate drive-thru voting, and prevent counties from using stadiums and convention centers as polling places;
Limit the number of polling machines in counties that use countywide polling, thereby creating long lines in areas that consist predominantly of people of color.
Create a financial burden to members of the disability community who would be forced to obtain a doctor's note in order to vote by mail. This will prevent them from exercising their constitutional right to cast their ballot. In the words of Rev. Dr. William Barber II from the Poor People's Campaign, "A poll tax by another name is still a poll tax."
Allow partisan poll watchers to videotape you in the polling place but threatens official election workers with unwarranted fines and penalties; and
Grant more power to the attorney general to hunt down “suspected” fraud cases, among other provisions.
⚡️There are 2 actions we need to take to stop this assault:
1. Call all members of the Senate Committee of State Affairs and express your opposition to SB 7.
Bryan Hughes, Chair (R-Mineola), 512.463.0101, firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Birdwell, V. Chair (R-Granbury), 512.463.0122, email@example.com Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels, 512.463.0125, firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Hall (R-Rockwall/Dallas area, 512.463.0102, email@example.com Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville), 512.463.0127, firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), 512.463.0112, email@example.com Beverly Powell (D-Burleson), 512.463.0110, firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), 512.463.0105, email@example.com Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), 512.463.0121, firstname.lastname@example.org
Script/sample texts for emails: (Including a few lines describing what you saw or experienced in the previous elections will help tremendously.) Hello, My name is ____________, and I live in (city, county, or district (if you know it)). I OPPOSE Senate Bill 7. Hundreds of thousands of voters across Texas benefitted from the secure voting opportunities that Senate Bill 7 would close off. Voting would take much longer for the Dallas voters who voted on Election Day at the American Airlines Center since they would have many fewer machines to vote on. And the 127,000 Harris County voters who used drive-through voting -- including voters from both parties -- would lose that option. This bill makes voting more difficult for our most vulnerable -- voters who have disabilities would have to show a doctor’s note in order to get a mail-in ballot. While voters who are elderly would simply sign an application, disabled voters would have to schedule and pay for an additional doctor’s appointment weeks in advance of the election just to be able to vote. It is unconscionable that we would put this type of barrier between our disabled community and their right to vote. Senate Bill 7 would make Texas the laughing stock of the country and of the world by ensuring we have hours long lines in our cities every Election Day. Instead of making up baseless lies and writing modern-day Jim Crow laws, we want you to focus on the true emergencies going on in Texas: like the 12.6 million Texans who are poor or low-income, the failures of ERCOT and an unregulated energy sector that caused 80 people to die last month and almost caused the state's power grid to collapse. (You can add your own story/comment of your experience here) and the pandemic, that has claimed the lives of 47,000 Texans. We want the state to do more to prevent our family members from dying by vaccinating frontline workers and reinstating the mask mandate.
2. Please contact your state representative and senator TODAY and demand them to oppose SB 7. You can use this link from the Poor People's Campaign to contact them: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/take-action-to-oppose-voter-suppression-bills-sb-7-and-hb-6?source=direct_link&. And find their number here and call them.
Another similar bill is also filed in the Texas House of Representatives: HB 6, scheduled for public hearing on Thursday, March 25. Send letters to your Rep and demand them to oppose HB 6: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/take-action-to-oppose-voter-suppression-bills-sb-7-and-hb-6?source=direct_link&. And find their number here and call them.
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