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100 state legislators joining Texas Democrats in Washington to turn up pressure on voting-rights bill


State Democratic lawmakers hold a press conference with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, after their departure to Washington, D.C. - TWITTER / @REPLLOYDDOGGETT
  • Twitter / @RepLloydDoggett
  • State Democratic lawmakers hold a press conference with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, after their departure to Washington, D.C.
With the Texas Legislature in the final week of its special session, 100 lawmakers from other states will join Texas Democrats in pushing for Congress to pass new voting-rights legislation.

Lawmakers from at least 30 states are heading into Washington D.C. to kick off a “week of action” urging federal lawmakers to pass elections packages that can thwart measures in statehouses across the country that would make it harder to cast ballots.

Roughly 60 Texas Democrats left the state earlier this summer to break quorum before Republicans in the Texas Lege could force a vote on a sweeping voting restriction bill. Voting-rights advocates say the legislation is engineered to keep people of color and other likely Democratic voters away from the polls.

"Our democracy is on the brink. The Big Lie has infected nearly every state legislature in the county, giving rise to a calculated and brazen assault on the freedom to vote,” said Texas State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, in an emailed statement. “Texas has always been a hotbed for the worst anti-voter laws in the country, but this time it's worse than ever. That's why my Texas colleagues, risking our livelihoods and positions, took a stand to deny Republicans the quorum they needed to trample over our communities."

Martinez Fischer and other Texas Democrats want the U.S. Senate to pass the For the People Act, a massive voting-rights proposal that passed the U.S. House but was shut down by GOP members in the upper chamber. Democratic lawmakers from Texas and other states will launch their advocacy push with a rally on Tuesday.

So far this year, 18 states have enacted new rules making it harder for people to cast ballots, according to the Brennan Center, which monitors voting access.

The GOP-backed proposals follow former President Donald Trump's widely debunked claims that fraud cost him the November election. Supporters of the restrictive voting bills claim they're necessary to prevent voter fraud but have been unable to demonstrate that it takes place on a widespread basis.

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