Sen. Hughes voting bill passes in House, heavy with amendments

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 9:50 AM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas House has passed an East Texas legislator’s sweeping election reform bill following a marathon session which ended after 3 a.m. Friday.

The House came back Friday afternoon and gave the bill final passage after about 90 more minutes of testimony.

According to the Austin American Statesman, SB 7, authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) passed on an 81-64 vote. The passage came with 18 amendments after the bill authors met with Democrats behind closed doors to come up with an agreement. This made the bill look much different than the version passed by the Senate.

The bill passed after a third reading on a 78-64 vote on Friday afternoon.

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.

State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) began the debate shortly before 6 p.m. Democrats immediately began lining up with questions for Cain on the bill. Cain was visibly frustrated for several hours. According to the Statesman, Cain announced at 10:30 p.m. that action on SB 7 would be postponed while amendments were negotiated. More than three hours later, the House approved 18 amendments.

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