Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) last week filed legislation to increase access to the ballot box and facilitate greater voter participation.
“The ability to cast a ballot is a fundamental right that has come under attack in the last few years,” said Representative Johnson. “I have filed legislation that seeks to reverse this trend in order to protect the rights of all voters, while at the same time making the process more welcoming in hopes of increasing participation,” he continued. These voting rights measures are the first five bills filed by Rep. Johnson in the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.
Three of the bills are meant to improve voter participation by means of creating uniform election hours at early vote locations, allowing for same day voter registration, and making Election Day an official state holiday.
The other two bills filed by Rep. Johnson seek to protect voting rights. One does so by repealing Senate Bill 14 from last session, the so-called “Voter ID” law, which has not yet taken effect because a federal court has blocked its implementation. The other aims to protect the voting rights of former felons, as the successful re-integration of ex-offenders into society is best served by encouraging their participation in the political process.