Democrats are considering a new version of the Texas two-step as they try to prevent Republicans from passing election reforms.
In May, Democratic state legislators walked out of the Texas state House when faced with GOP-drafted reforms. The tactic ensured that there was not a quorum, meaning no business could be conducted.
After the stunt, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session of the legislature in an effort to ensure that Republican efforts to bolster the integrity of elections in Texas would be considered.
As The New York Times reported Friday, Democrats are considering a more extreme version of that performance as the special session convenes, rather than showing up and engaging Republicans in dialogue on the bill.
According to The Times, some Democrats are bandying about the idea of getting out of the state for a month — the period for which the session is authorized.
“Part of the calculus is how we shape the narrative because all eyes are on the state of Texas when it comes to our voting rights,” Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer said.
“We should leave,” fellow Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett added. “Our constituency wants us to fight to the bitter end.”
According to The Times, one of the flaws in the plan is that Abbott could then declare another special session, and another, until Democrats finally stop running away.
But Crockett said she is willing to do anything to stop the Repubiicans’ election reforms from becoming law.
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“The cat and mouse game needs to go on until somebody is tired,” she said. “I can’t say when that happens for our side, but hopefully it will get to the point where our Republican colleagues will say to the governor, ‘Can we chill out a bit?’”
Some Democrats said they view running away as a last-ditch option.
I think it’s a little bit early for that option to be discussed in a wholehearted way,” Democratic state Sen. Beverly Powell said.
“We want to air this out. We want the opportunity to hear it out in committee [Saturday], allow the public to hear about this bill in its entirety, and to do everything that we can in an attempt to make this bill better for our citizens.”
Democratic state Sen. Sarah Eckhardt said Democrats can use the system against Republicans.
“Procedurally, we’ll throw everything that we have at it,” she said.
“People want a paper trail to back up their vote,” Patrick said. “They like the idea that we’re not allowing our machines to be hooked to the internet, so no one can hack it. But they are glad we are putting security on our mail-in ballots because that’s where fraud can and does happen.”
“We’re not rolling back anything,” he added. “I take it personally when they say that we’re trying to stop anyone from voting, because in Texas we lead the country in increasing voting turnout. As Republicans, we would never do anything to stop anyone from any background or any party from voting.”
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