(AUSTIN) – Today, Texas House Democrats hosted a press conference to speak out against Gov. Abbott’s earlier press event where he continued to undermine trust in Texas elections and our democracy by making baseless statements on the incidence of voter fraud.
Abbott also used the press conference to promote anti-voter legislation that voting rights advocates have called some of the most disenfranchising and discriminatory bills filed since the Jim Crow era.
In response, House Democrats used their press conference to push back against Gov. Abbott’s misinformation campaign, and to fight for changes to our election laws that would make voting safe, easy and accessible.
“Today, Gov. Abbott was forced to admit there are no known cases of voter fraud in the 2020 elections in Texas. Nonetheless, he continues with his campaign to distract Texans from his failures in last month’s winter storm,” said Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie), chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus. “Instead of telling Texans the truth — that our elections are safe, secure and free — the governor instead chooses to fan the flames of conspiracy theories by entangling Texas in this national Republican strategy to make it harder for Americans to vote.”
“I am proud to stand here alongside my colleagues to commit to fighting for legislation that will make participating in democracy and accessing the ballot box as simple as possible,” said Rep. Jessica González (D-Dallas), vice chair of the House Elections Committee.
“We can’t talk about elections without talking about equity and equality, without acknowledging the disproportionate impact laws like these have on our black and brown communities,” said Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. “This is another Republican effort in a long war to disenfranchise Texas voters, specifically voters of color.”
“We have a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist, and that solution will take away people’s right to vote and ability to cast their ballot,” said Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), chair of the Legislative Study Group. “This has been the MO of the Republican party and Donald Trump and the people who believe that voting is not a right, that it’s a privilege for their particular group of people. It’s not. It’s a right for everyone, and people should have the opportunity to exercise that right.”
“As public servants we need to be making it easier, not harder, to vote,” said Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), policy chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. “This is happening everywhere in the country. It’s intentional. And we need to stop it.”
“We know COVID-19 hits our brown and black neighbors harder and at higher rates, and we know the recent blackouts also were worse for our marginalized communities,” said Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), member of the House Elections Committee. “In this context, it is unbelievably insulting to watch the governor waste time this morning patting himself on the back for championing the most restrictive voting rights legislation since the Jim Crow Era.”
“Two weeks ago, the Secretary of State’s Office stood in front of the House Committee on Elections and told us Texas’ 2020 elections were a success, and that they were smooth and secure,” said Rep. John Bucy (D-Austin), member of the House Elections Committee. “What has changed in the last two weeks? Voting rights should not be politicized for personal gain.”
“Our current electoral processes are sound because Texas has long been a proponent of election integrity,” said Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas), representing the Senate Democratic Caucus. “The bulk of SB 7 serves only to promote a false and corrosive narrative — that if a Republican loses a Democrat must have cheated — and to impose a burdensome and harassing regime of Big Government impediments to the exercise of voting rights. If the supporters of SB 7 are really interested in meaningful election reform and not vote suppression, let’s fix SB 7, honing it into a law that promotes voter participation and public confidence in the results.”
The live stream of the event is archived on the Texas House Democratic Caucus’ Facebook page.