Texas Dems Block GOP Anti-Voting Bill By Walking Out Of Chamber

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 06:  on March 6, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
A line of early voters wait outside the Gardner Betts Annex on March 6, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
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Texas Democrats walked out the state’s House chamber during a crucial session on Sunday night and temporarily blocked the passage of the GOP’s sweeping bill, aka SB7, that would impose heavy restrictions on voting access.

The Texas Tribune reports that during the session, Democrats slowly began to trickle out of the chamber until it was left without a quorum that was required to hold a vote on the bill by the midnight deadline.

“We’ve used all the tools in our toolbox to fight this bill. And tonight we pulled out that last one,” state Rep. Nicole Collier (D) told the Tribune outside a nearby Baptist church where about 30 Democrats had gathered.

House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) blasted the Democrats after adjourning the session, saying “a number of members have chosen to disrupt the legislative process by abandoning the legislative chamber before our work was done.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) call on the legislature to hold a special session to take up the bill.

“Legislators will be expected to have worked out the details when they arrive at the Capitol for the special session,” he tweeted.

SB7 would gut access to voting, particularly in Texas’ communities of color, by slashing in-person voting to 15 hours, banning drive-thru voting, expanding partisan poll watchers’ ability to monitor in polling places, and other harsh provisions.

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