AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - Following about 25 minutes of opposing testimony, the Texas Senate voted in favor of an East Texas senator’s sweeping election legislation.
SB 7 passed on an 18-13 vote following a session which went into the early morning hours Thursday. Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) authored the legislation.
SB 7 would require applicants to affirmatively indicate eligibility when they register to vote and when applying for mail ballots. Also, it would standardize polling hours across the state as well as prohibit dropbox locations for mail ballots. The bill would also allow cameras into rooms where vote counting is taking place.
Sens. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), José Menéndez (D-San Antonio), Royce West (D-Dallas), Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas), César Blanco (D-El Paso), Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) spoke against the bill.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released the following statement:
“Maintaining the integrity of our elections is vital to preserving public trust so our democracy can flourish, and that’s why I have made election security a top priority again this legislative session. SB 7 will strengthen the public’s faith in our electoral process and ensure that every Texan knows that when they cast their ballot, their vote is secure. I congratulate Sen. Hughes and the Texas Senate for passing these comprehensive reforms.”