SB7, also known as the voting restrictions bill, has amendments piling up behind closed doors. With an 81-64 Republican majority, the procedural discussion took place on and off the chamber’s floor all night.
Currently directed to restrict early voting rules, SB7 has faced widespread criticism as the legislation would move polling locations away from communities that tend to favor the democrat vote, such as Hispanic, Black and LGBTQ residents.
Civil rights groups and renowned businesses have collectively spoken against the proposed bill.
“We stand together, as a nonpartisan coalition, calling on all elected leaders in Texas to support reforms that make democracy more accessible and oppose any changes that would restrict eligible voters’ access to the ballot,” the joint statement read.
With not enough votes to either kill or block the bill, Democrats have pushed for amendments throughout the night, in an effort to make the bill’s provision less restrictive.
However, the Republican majority has redrafted the bill in a way that restrictive provisions are likely to pass the House, allowing it to move faster than expected in the chamber.
Rep. Briscoe Cain, one of the most outspoken defendants of SB7 and its previous attempt HB6, was questioned on the controversial language used in the bill, and the need to restrict early voters’ rights if there was no evidence on his fraud claims.
Cain said he ignored the matter.
According to the Texas Tribune, the bill will need a second House vote, expected later Friday, before it can head back to the Senate where it will then likely go to a conference committee largely outside public view.