Fri, 03/11/2022 - 16:17

Texas GOP-Championed Voter Suppression Bill Had ‘Significant Negative Impact’ on March Election, Says HCDP Chair

Mail-Ballot Rejections in Harris County Increased by Over 5000% from 2018

HOUSTON — Thousands of Texans were disenfranchised in the March 1 Primary, mostly a result of new, restrictive voting measures put in place by state Republican leaders during the last legislative session. In Harris County, 6,919 ballots were rejected — all but 31 of them due to new ID requirements detailed under SB1. The total number of mail-ballot rejections increased this year by over 5000 percent from 2018 when only 135 mail ballots were rejected.

Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu issued the following statement in response:

“When SB1 passed, we feared it would have a chilling effect on voters, and that has proven true in the first election under the new rules. The Texas GOP-championed voter suppression bill had a significant negative impact on our election and on the rights of Texans who wanted to make their voices heard.

“Almost 7,000 Harris County citizens who took time to engage in the Democratic process were denied their right to participate in the March election — a more than 5000 percent increase from 2018. Not only is this unfair, it is unjustifiable and shameful — and exactly what Texas Republicans were hoping for.

“Democrats have repeatedly witnessed this rabid-dog mentality from the GOP whenever we take steps to make voting easier and more accessible for everyone who is eligible to cast a ballot — Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

“Using false claims of fraud, Republicans limited polling hours, banned drive-thru voting, and prohibited 24-hour voting. They created new rules for mail-vote ID requirements and designed criminal penalties aimed at poll workers and those who assist the disabled and elderly during an election.

“This immense effort by the GOP to suppress our voice — our freedom to vote — points to the urgent need to protect our voting rights and to fight for free and fair elections. It’s time for the federal government to intervene and pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”

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For Immediate Release
March 11, 2022
Contact:
Elisa Rochford
(832) 316-1865
elisa@harrisdemocrats.com