EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso State Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez issued a statement Wednesday on the breaking of quorum by Democratic legislators looking to block Texas voting reform.
Ordaz Perez, a former El Paso City Council member and freshman representative in Austin, is among the dozens of Democrats who traveled to Washington, D.C. to seek help from federal lawmakers, keeping Republicans from voting on their bill.
Governor Greg Abbott has promised retribution for the group’s stalling of the current special session.
You can read Ordaz Perez’s full statement below:
“It is clear to me and my Democratic colleagues that House Bill 3, legislation that attacks our freedom to vote, will not be allowed true debate or amendment. The hyper-partisanship displayed by the Texas GOP this session is starting to mirror the division in D.C. and Congress.
The Texas legislature has a proud history of working across the aisle. However, Republicans have abandoned that tradition. The 24-hour hearing on July 10 was not held in good faith to consider input from Democratic lawmakers and from the public who waited 17.5 hours before their voices were heard.
House Bill 3 cuts voting hours, bans drive-thru voting, empowers partisan poll watchers to harass and intimidate voters, allows partisan committees to throw out mail ballots based on opinions of a voter’s signature, forces seniors to provide sensitive information making mail-in ballots unsecure, and would make it a felony for elections departments to send mail ballot applications.
The authors of this legislation did not work with elections administrators, who say this legislation will make it unnecessarily difficult to lawfully get people registered to vote. They would not even be allowed to send unregistered, but legally entitled voters an application to get registered to vote.
The GOP knows that if eligible Texans were empowered to participate in the voting process, Republicans would lose their hold on Texas. They will do everything they can to maintain their power. Texas House Democrats are in Washington D.C. to urge Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would supersede these voting rights restrictions. We have done what we can, and we need them to act now.
As a Latina, it is not lost on me that the leadership for this historic walkout came from our Black and brown caucus members, particularly the women. I am grateful for the bravery of these Members who are deeply invested in defending the rights of Texans that will be the most harmed by this legislation.”Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez, Texas 76th District