UPDATED 10:45 AM PT – Thursday, April 1, 2021
The Texas Senate has advanced a new voting bill. Senate Bill 7 passed in the state’s upper chamber in a 18-13 vote on Thursday, after hours of debate.
The legislation would impose several new measures, including limiting early voting hours and stopping the automatic mailing of ballots to all voters.
After several hours of debate, Senate Bill 7 (Election Integrity) and Senate Bill 12 (Social Media Censorship) fully passed the Texas Senate early this morning. #txlege #SB12 #SB7 @Scott_SanfordTX @BriscoeCain pic.twitter.com/HdQPc2FBy7
— Senator Bryan Hughes (@SenBryanHughes) April 1, 2021
The bill has received backlash from Democrats who said it amounts to voter suppression.
Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas), emphasized the legislation is meant to protect the integrity of future elections.
Yesterday, Republicans in the Texas Senate passed much-needed election reforms. SB 7 helps ensure each election outcome’s integrity and that only those eligible to vote may do so. Thank you, @SenBryanHughes and @LtGovTX, for prioritizing ballot security. #txlege pic.twitter.com/7a33nSMCOF
— Texas Senate GOP (@TexasSenateGOP) April 1, 2021
“There’s really one thing that all of us can and should agree upon, and that is we must have trust and confidence in our elections,” Abbott stated.
The bill is now heading to the Texas House of Representatives.