The Elections Committee of the Texas House voted Friday to advance a controversial voter fraud bill that critics say could send people to jail for making an error while filling out a voter application.
The committee approved Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes' Senate Bill 9 on a 5-4 party-line vote two days after sitting through a lengthy testimony session dominated by groups opposed to the measure
, according to the Texas Tribune.
Voting-rights advocates charge that SB 9 is less about rooting out voter fraud than scaring potential Democratic voters
away from the polls. At least one top Republican elections official has also crossed the aisle to voice concern
over the proposal.
SB 9 makes it a state jail felony to provide incorrect information on a voter application, currently a Class B misdemeanor. That, critics argue, could scare first-time voters from registering — especially the young, the elderly and people of color.
To become law this session, the proposal must be approved by the full House before midnight Tuesday, according to the Tribune
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