Texans less free than 49 other states in the US
Here in Texas, we pride ourselves on the freedom to drink our sweet tea with or without sugar. We decide whether to pay a little extra to go fast down the 99 tollway or weave our way through the trees down 1324 and 242 in North Houston. You can have your taco with fajita beef, Baja shrimp, or fried avocado.
From property rights to business-friendly policies, Texans revel in their freedoms in almost every way except when it comes to voting.
Attorney General Ken Paxton finally said the quiet part out loud: while American citizens in many states have the freedom to vote by mail from home — if Texas had allowed such liberty — Trump would’ve lost Texas.
“Trump won by 620,000 votes,” he explains to Steve Bannon. Then, our attorney general brags about how he made sure that 2.5 million tax payers and registered voters in Harris County couldn’t have the same freedoms to vote as citizens of Vermont or Maine or Utah. If we enjoyed those liberties, Trump would’ve lost 38 more electoral votes.
In the November election, I was certainly jealous of some members of my family. My brother in Washington state received his ballot at home, so he could take his time and vote with accuracy and confidence. My mother-in-law in Colorado also received her ballot at home, so she didn’t have to put herself at greater risk on contracting COVID.
The truth is, 88% of states in the United States allow their conservatives the freedom to vote from home by mail, vote early, or vote in person on Election Day.
It shouldn’t surprise us that 97% of voters in Colorado did exactly what my mother-in-law did: they took advantage of their liberty — particularly during a pandemic.
But Texas was one of five states that denied its tax payers that power or protection. No wonder we rank 50th/50 states in a recent “cost of voting” study.
Despite a lack of evidence of mail-in-voting fraud or drive-thru voting fraud or any significant election fraud anywhere in our huge state, Republican Texas legislators will return to a Special Session to make sure we’re denied the freedoms so many Americans enjoy.
Representative Briscoe Cain could barely string together cohesive sentences when Representative Jessica Gonzales pressed him in the Texas legislature over the now-dead SB7 voting restrictions bill.
“Mr. Cain, why did you file this bill…what is the purpose of the bill?” She asks if there was a crime that was committed that inspired the bill. Cain had no specific answers, but Gonzales eventually got him to agree with the Secretary of State in Texas that we had “free, fair, and safe and secure” elections after he argued that “that’s their opinion.”
But Cain has been spinning the web of lies all along. He volunteered to represent Trump in suing Pennsylvania over the freedoms they granted their voters.
I wonder why people’s trust is, like, “down,” Mr. Cain?
The list of silly sound bites goes on and on.
“You know, when people do not have confidence in our electoral institutions, when political legitimacy is questioned, liberty is threatened,” Representative Cain has explained.
“Therefore, it is incumbent on the Texas Legislature this session to ensure that elections, the bedrock of our republic, are free, fair, and secure.”
But Republicans aren’t making voting in our elections free or fair.
Cain admitted to Rep. Rafael Anchía that no one conducted a single a study of the impact new restrictions would have on voters of color (who used mail-in and drive-thru voting in large numbers). This is despite the continuous federal lawsuits Texas has faced specifically for oppressing minority voters.
See, Anchía clarified that regardless of a bill’s lack of discriminatory intent, it can have a discriminatory effect.
Republican Senator Bryan Hughes was rightfully challenged by Democrat Senator Royce West over the limitations on voting times on Sundays and the impact that would have on Souls to the Polls and his community.
Hughes explained clerks needed time to go to church. Oddly, the Texas Republican Party can’t keep its lies straight. Rep. Travis Clardy later said there was a typo in the part of the bill.
So whether it’s the Republican-controlled legislature or the Republican attorney general, the words and actions of the Texas GOP is clear: they will fight tooth and nail to keep you from enjoying the liberty of how and when to vote — without intimidation — all to preserve their power and maintain The Big Lie.