Politics

Texas Democrats Out To Lunch On Election Claims

This isn't Jim Crow at all.

Image Credit: Youtube Screenshot

Texas Democrat state legislators who have walked off their jobs to protest the impending Texas election reform bill are giving a lot of reasons for their work stoppage. Still guarding us against Trump, Republicans are mean, and it’s very possible Godzilla, maybe Mothra, will suddenly show up and intimidate voters in and/or around a Texas polling place. All coherent reasons in their mental universe. The latest line is Jim Crow will reappear if the bill becomes law. Hans von Spakovsky makes short work of that argument.

Von Spakovsky: Texas Democrats held a press conference on Friday in Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, to continue their lies about the election reforms being proposed in the special session of the Texas legislature called by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Two of the speakers leading the press conference were Rep. Ron Reynolds and Rep. Nicole Collier, the vice chairman and chairwoman, respectively, of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Reynolds continued the false and historically embarrassing claim that the proposed reforms, such as extending the state’s voter ID requirement for in-person voting to absentee ballots, are “Jim Crow 2.0” and “Jim Crow revisited.”  In reality, the ID requirement is easy and simple to meet and is overwhelmingly supported by all voters, including Black voters.

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This is a truly bizarre claim for several reasons, starting with the fact that virtually all poll watchers are “partisan” because they are appointed by the candidates of both political parties, including his own Democratic Party, or by the party organizations themselves.

But most importantly, Texas law – just like the laws in every other state that authorize poll watchers – do not allow observers to interfere in any way with the voting and election process. Intimidating a voter is a criminal offense under both state and federal law and that would not change under the proposed election reforms.

Rep. Collier claimed that Texas has the “most restrictive voting laws in the country” and is now trying to layer even more restrictions on top of that. This claim is also factually wrong.  For example, Texas was one of the first states in the nation to institute early voting in the late 1980s; Delaware, the home of President Joe Biden, currently has no early voting although the state just passed a law to institute it in 2022. She also repeated Rep. Reynolds’ false claim about the dangers of “partisan” poll watchers, again ignoring the actual Texas law that governs observers as well as the language in the proposed bill.

The oddest thing about these fabricated charges was the site the Texas Black Caucus picked to hold the press conference. The Alexandria Library was the location in 1939 of one of the first sit-ins when a civil rights pioneer, Samuel Wilbert Tucker, organized a protest of the whites-only policy that prevented Black Virginians from getting into and using the library. Collier, Reynolds, and other speakers kept trying to compare what they were doing to the brave and admirable work of Samuel Wilber Tucker…

It is preposterous to equate the horrific segregationist rules of the old South to a law requiring someone to have a valid excuse like sickness or disability to use an absentee ballot, or requiring someone to write in the serial number of their free state voter ID card or the last four digits of their Social Security number to authenticate their identity when they request an absentee ballot. Not only do the American people as a whole know that, but I have no doubt that the voters of Texas do, too.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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