Several Texas Democrats and Independents are lamenting several pieces of legislation out of Austin, two of which (S.B. 823 and S.B. 1993) they contend, will allow Republicans to easily throw out of office any elected official they choose, specifically district attorneys and judges they deem “progressive.”
Senate Bill 823 gives the Secretary of State the authority to fire election administrators without just cause, while Senate Bill 1993 gives the Secretary of State the authority to overturn Harris County elections.
Democrats are calling foul, and view the bills as back door ways for the Texas GOP to control seats they were unable to win during the last election.
But few political analysts are shocked by moves some deem as “undemocratic” and bordering on fascism.
“Is there any surprise? This is a national Republican push that goes back to Richard Nixon’s law and order presidential campaign strategy. What is old is new again,” said Dr. Michael O. Adams, a Texas Southern University political science professor and head of TSU’s Executive MBA program. “People who care about what is happening now would be wise to go back and study Nixon and Reagan’s presidential campaigns. Where do you think ‘Make America Great Again’ came from? It’s Reagan’s campaign message theme.”
Texas Democratic Party Deputy Director of Voter Protection Brenda Cruz released a statement describing what some of her fellow party members are calling a GOP legislative “shock and awe” strategy to disenfranchise Texas voters.
“From suppressing voter turnout to undermining the authority of local election administrators, these Republican efforts to undermine Texas voters would erode the foundations of our very democracy in Texas,” said Cruz. “Instead of focusing on regressive and restrictive pieces of legislation, our lawmakers should be creating policies that can actually improve the lives of our communities – like expanding access to healthcare and ensuring a quality public education for all Texas children.”
Texas Democrats are also identifying other GOP-authored legislation as problematic. These include S.B. 220 which allows for the creation of a “partisan election police force” similar to what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis created in his state; and S.B. 1600 which creates what Democrats and many Independents describe as creating even more barriers to voter registration for eligible Texas voters than the barrier that already exist.
“Today, everyday Texans and Democratic lawmakers are fighting against a long list of bills designed to sow distrust in our elections and disenfranchise Texas voters. The right to vote for millions of our fellow Texans is at stake — we would strongly urge all Texans to call their State Senator immediately and tell them to vote NO on any one of these bills that would gravely corrode our democratic process.”