AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Legislature’s conference committee released today the final version of the omnibus anti-voter bill, Senate Bill 7. The 67-page document combines elements of the bills passed by the House and the Senate — in addition to new provisions that were not contained in either version of the bill and have not been subject to public hearing or budget analysis. See the ACLU of Texas analysis on the final draft of the bill here.
This combined, mega-version of SB7 remains a voter suppression bill. SB 7 will make casting a ballot even more difficult, especially for voters of color and voters with disabilities, by eliminating drive-through and 24-hour voting and eliminating drop boxes where voters can submit their ballots. It adds and expands criminal penalties to the election code, while empowering partisan poll watchers to intimidate voters. It adds an entirely new provision that makes it easier to seek to overturn an election based on unproven allegations of “fraud.” The ACLU of Texas is reviewing the bill in advance of the floor vote in the House and Senate anticipated to take place this weekend before heading to the governor’s desk.
The following quote can be attributed to Sarah Labowitz, policy & advocacy director of the ACLU of Texas:
“SB 7 is a ruthless piece of legislation. It targets voters of color and voters with disabilities, in a state that’s already the most difficult place to vote in the country. The defining message of the 2021 Texas legislature is clear: Political leaders chose to punish their constituents instead of fixing the electrical grid or providing pandemic or blackout relief. The fight for voting rights in Texas doesn’t end with the governor’s signature. We’ll continue to hold our leaders accountable and make sure that Texans know how legislators let them down.”