AUSTIN, Texas — A restrictive voting bill in Texas that was on the verge of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk has failed to pass Sunday night after Democrats walked out of the House chamber before a midnight deadline.
Abbott swiftly said he would call a special session to try passing a voting bill again, but did not say when.
The bill known as Senate Bill 7 would have imposed a raft of election changes that eliminate drive-thru voting, empower partisan poll watchers and impose new requirements in order to cast a ballot by mail in Texas, which already has some of the toughest voting laws in the nation.
The push for more restrictive voting laws in Texas is one of just dozens proposed by Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. States like Georgia and Florida have already passed laws in recent months that make it harder for many citizens to cast a ballot.
At the federal level, Democrats are attempting to pass legislation that would expand voting rights for Americans across the country. The bill would set national baselines for ballot access, make it easier to register to vote and attempt to end partisan gerrymandering.
While the House passed the bill in March, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate where the chamber is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.