United States President Joe Biden has denounced a bill in the state of Texas that would restrict the right to vote, saying the measure “is part of an attack on democracy” and would disproportionately harm people. people of color.
In one declaration On Saturday afternoon, Biden said Texas lawmakers had introduced a bill “that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing state law that attacks the sacred right to vote.”
“This is part of an assault on democracy that we have seen far too often this year – and often disproportionately targeting black and brown Americans. It is false and not American. In the 21st century, we should make it easier, not more difficult, for every eligible voter to vote, ”he said.
Texas’ sweeping bill – known as Senate Bill 7 – would eliminate drive-thru voting, empower pro-ballot observers, and limit voting on Sundays, when many black worshipers go to the polls , among other restrictions.
The changes are expected to be approved before midnight Sunday, when the state’s Republican-controlled legislature concludes its session.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will sign the measure, which Democrats have said they will challenge in court.
The proposal is one of several legislative texts put forward by Republicans across the United States in the wake of the 2020 presidential election that would restrict access to the vote – and which critics say are aimed at making it harder for blacks and others to vote color.
Florida, Georgia and Arizona have also approved new voting restrictions in recent months.
Georgian law, passed in March, imposes stricter identification requirements, limits drop boxes, gives lawmakers the power to take over local elections and shortens the early voting period for all second-round elections. It also makes it a crime for people to offer food and water to voters in line.
The move prompted a swift rebuke from civil rights activists and business leaders, as well as of Biden, who described he as “Jim Crow of the 21st Century” – referring to the segregation laws once used to suppress the vote of African Americans.
New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks electoral legislation across the country, said at least 14 states across the country passed 22 laws restricting access to voting between Jan. 1 and Jan. 14. May this year, while dozens more worked their way. by state legislatures.
The surge in attempts to limit access to the vote is linked to repeated false claims by former President Donald Trump that the November election was stolen from him and attempts to prevent the historic voter turnout seen in 2020 from being repeated , the Brennan Center mentionned on its website.
“Americans’ access to the vote is in unprecedented jeopardy,” he said.
Back in Texas, big companies including American Airlines and Dell warned the bill could damage democracy and the economic climate.
But Republicans ignored their objections and, in some cases, criticized business leaders for speaking out.
Senior Republican negotiators State Senator Bryan Hughes and State Representative Briscoe Cain called the bill “one of the most comprehensive and sane electoral reform bills” in the world. Texas history.
“Even though the national media downplay the importance of electoral integrity, the Texas legislature has not bowed to headlines or reporting corporate virtue,” they said in a joint statement.
Texas already has some of the toughest voting restrictions in the country and is consistently cited by non-partisan groups as a particularly difficult state to vote. It was one of the few states that did not facilitate postal voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.