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Controversy Swirls in Texas Over Proposed Election Reforms

Posted on in State Government · Texas · Georgia · Elections · Voting Laws · American Government

The House Elections Committee voted on a party line to advance an election security bill that would, among other things, makes it a crime for local officials to send  unsolicited mail in ballot applications. HB 6 is the companion bill to SB 7, which was already passed by the full Texas Senate and places other limits on voting.

Texas Democrats have spoken out forcefully against what they describe as voter suppression efforts by state Republicans. Republicans, led most notably by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, have defended the bill as the only way to ensure election integrity.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Controversy Swirls in Texas Over Proposed Election Reforms"

Links

“Texas Republicans say their proposed voting restrictions are color blind. But many see “Jim Crow in a tuxedo.””
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/09/Texas-voting-GOP-suppression/
 
“Pressure builds over restrictive voting bills in Texas”
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/pressure-builds-restrictive-voting-bills-texas/story?id=76904062
 
“Corporate giants come out against Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting in Texas”
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/01/american-airlines-dell-voting-texas/
 
“Texas activist groups slam SB 7 and HB 6 as ‘voter suppression’ bills”
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/texas-activist-groups-slam-sb-7-and-hb-6-as-voter-suppression-bills/269-848e65d3-2575-44a0-93e5-b40860c9bba1

“Lt. Gov. Patrick Tells Corporations to Stop Meddling in Politics, Defends SB7”
https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/lone-star-politics/watch-lt-gov-dan-patrick-discusses-texas-election-ballot-security-bill/2598206/

“U.S. companies face boycott threats, mounting pressure to take sides in America’s voting rights battle”
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/03/georgia-texas-gop-election-laws-us-companies-face-pressure-to-oppose.html
 
“Breaking down claims about Georgia’s election law: What’s true and what’s not?”
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/breaking-claims-georgias-election-law-true/story?id=76897349
 
“What Georgia’s Voting Law Really Does”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/us/politics/georgia-voting-law-annotated.html

Assessment

  • Writing: Describe some of the political ramifications of adopting more restrictive voting legislation in Texas. Why has it been so difficult for proponents of said legislation to gain wide public support for their actions?
  • Debate: Should election security laws only be passed if after there is documented proof of voter fraud?
  • Poll: Should corporations involve themselves in political debates?.
  • Short Answer: How can Texas state government make voting more accessible to eligible voters and maintain integrity in elections?

Current events quiz:

1) SB 7 in Texas would prohibit what type of voting?

a. drive-thru voting
b. early voting
c. mail-in voting
d. runoff voting

2) What was Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s response to statements made by corporations opposing proposed election security bills?

a. He welcomed the input.
b. He urged punitive action by the state against these corporations.
c. He urged corporations to stop meddling in politics.
d. He dismissed criticism because the corporations are from out of the state.

3) The most vocal opponents of the proposed election security bills in Texas compare it to what?

a. socialism
b. an authoritarian regime
c. slavery
d. Jim Crow laws

4) Texas SB 7 and HB 6 are in response to expanded voting access in Tarrant County during the 2020 election. (T/F)

5) SB 202 would make it a misdemeanor to give food or water to people waiting in line to vote in Georgia. (T/F)

6) Georgia and Texas are the only states who are pursuing selection security legislation. (T/F)

Answers:

1) A

2) C

3) D

4) False

5) True

6) False

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Featured Image Credit: Larry D. Moore

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