A bill that would slash the number of days allowed for early voting is likely to be pulled after scathing testimony Monday from opponents who said the bill was discriminatory and retrogressive. House Bill 2093, by state Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, would limit the early-voting period in Texas to seven days before general and primary elections. Current law mandates 12 days. Harless initially said the measure was necessary to help elections administrators hire workers and volunteers, saying that a 12-day early-voting period as a possible deterrent. But after testimony at Monday’s House Elections Committee hearing, where critics slammed its intent as little more than an effort to make casting a ballot harder for everyone, Harless said she would not ask the committee for a vote.
“This bill wasn’t about voter suppression, it was not about limiting access to the polls,” she said. “I will be happy to pull the bill down. I think it’s perfect for an interim study.”
Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, said the bill would move Texas backward by limiting the number of voting days available and by creating longer lines on days when voting is permitted. She added that increased wait times would drive potential voters away.
“The bill lacks a rational basis in election administration and will reduce voter confidence in Texas,” she testified.
Full Article: Bill That Cuts Early-Voting Period Likely to Be Pulled.