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Texas passes a major voting bill after Democrats cause controversy

Texas Democrats returned to vote on a voting restrictions bill

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Air cleaners at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas.

Air cleaners are seen before a news conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Former Rick Perry joined a group to promote the use of the biotech IVP biodefense filter to help set new standards for indoor air quality.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

Texas lawmakers took their next step toward passing a restrictive voting bill as the Texas House passed the bill despite efforts from Texas Democrats to stall it.

  • The bill passed the Texas House 79-37.
  • Lawmakers voted mostly along party lines.

Texas Democrats have been working to stop the passage of the bill, which “would add new ID requirements for people seeking to vote by mail; add new criminal penalties to the voting process; empower partisan poll watchers; and ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting options,” according to NPR.

The Texas voting bill drama, explained

The Texas drama began back in May when House Democrats had an 11th-hour walkout to stop the vote before the legislative session ended, putting the bill to rest at the time, The Texas Tribune reports.

Texas Democrats reacted by leaving the state, which riled up Republicans in Texas, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Texas Democrats planned to avoid Texas until Aug. 7 — which was when the special legislation would end.

  • So Abbott called for another special session to address COVID-19 relief funds, legislative rules and more.

Democrats returned to Texas in the middle of August, which allowed the Republicans to move forward with the bill.