The House Elections Committee heard public testimony on Senate Bill 9, an omnibus “election integrity” bill by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), during a contentious hearing today (Wednesday). A committee substitute offered by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), the committee’s chair, appeared to make a number of significant changes from the Senate-passed version, but those changes did not appear to change opponents’ views of the bill overall:
- The Texas Assoc. of Election Administrators called the bill “bad policy” as it subjects poll workers – many of whom are volunteers – to new or increased criminal penalties.
- Disability advocates objected to provisions that they argue would make it harder for people to assist disabled voters.
- The League of Women Voters had several objections, including to provisions which would impose “burdensome and unnecessary new forms just to help people vote” and would give “state officials more access to voters’ private information.
- MALDEF and the American Civil Liberties Union argued several of the bill’s provisions would have the effect of suppressing minority voters.
According to the Texas Tribune’s Alexa Ura, 233 of the 256 people who registered a position on the bill were opposed.
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