Rep. Shawn Thierry leads way to Barbara Jordan Memorial Parkway
Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Tex., offers her view on impeachment of President Richard Nixon during a night session of the House Judiciary Committee in Washington Thursday, July 25, 1974. (AP Photo)

Recently, the Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act (S.B. 61) was filed by the members of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus. The Act will protect Texans’ freedom to vote and ensure ballots are cast freely, safely and fairly.

“The first Black woman elected to the Texas Senate and the first Black Texan elected to the United States Congress, Barbara Jordan was a steadfast defender of Texans’ Constitutional rights,” stated a TSDC press release. The release went on to say that the Democratic members of the Texas Senate are working to honor the legacy of Barbara Jordan, introducing legislation in her name that will:

●      Expand voter registration to meet the needs of Texas’ growing and diverse populations through automatic and online voter registration

●      Reform vote by mail eligibility to allow more Texans to safely and conveniently cast their ballots

●      Increase access to the polls for hard-working Texans and single-parent families by incentivizing countywide voting locations and promoting weekend voting

●      Expand access to the ballot box through the expansion of early voting, classifying election day as a state holiday and other common-sense reforms

●      Modernizing the election process to meet the needs of the 21st century while ensuring common-sense accountability

The lead bill author State Sen. Royce West said, “Today we are once again talking about the BIG LIE. Let me repeat it: YOU LOST–in one of the most secure elections in American history. Our own Texas Secretary of State called the 2020 election ‘smooth and secure. What the Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act will do is update our election system to make it more convenient to vote, insure transparency and fairness and that’s no lie. Let’s make Barbara proud.”

Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Sen. Carol Alvarado continued, “I think the choice is clear for Texas. S.B. 1, the Jim Crow 2.0 Act is about silencing the people, creating barriers to vote and overturning fair elections. S.B. 61, The Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act is about making our voice heard, making it easier to vote and preserving our democracy.”

The Barbara Jordan Act takes real steps to safeguard our elections while guaranteeing all Texans have free and fair access to the democratic process. Texas Senators, who work every day in the shadow of Barbara Jordan, have a duty to see to it that no Texans are excluded from “We, the People” ever again.

In addition to the Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act (one pager attached), Senate Texas Democrats have filed numerous standalone bills to promote the freedom to vote for all Texans, incuding the following:

Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Voting Rights Legislation

Lead authorS.B. #One sentence description for press conference one pager
AlvaradoS.B. 46Directs the Secretary of State to create an online voter registration process using an individual’s driver’s license or personal identification card. Directs the Secretary of State to implement a program to allow individuals to request, submit, and track an application to vote by mail.
EckhardtS.B. 57Gives the Early Voting Clerk the authority to determine suitable locations for ballot depository boxes and allowing voters to deliver their marked ballots to any of those authorized locations.
EckhardtS.B. 56Permits certified, non-partisan election observers to help create greater transparency during the voting process
EckhardtS.B. 51Re-enfranchisement of people on parole/probation
HinojosaS.B. 50Requires a voter to know he/she is ineligible to vote to be prosecuted for illegal voting
MenéndezS.B. 44Requires college campuses to have a polling location and adds additional locations dependent upon the population size of the school.
MenéndezS.B. 40Allows every Texas voter to vote by mail.
MenéndezS.B. 41Allows a registered Volunteer Deputy Registrar to register a voter in the state, regardless of county.
MenéndezS.B. 43Automatically registers a person to vote when they renew their license or ID card.
MenéndezS.B. 42Allows every county to have countywide polling.
MenéndezS.B. 45Expands the number of acceptable forms of identification to vote with.
MilesS.B. 47Expands the current criminal offense of refusing that an employee be absent on election day, in order to vote, to include the early voting period.
MilesS.B. 49Allows voters to personally deliver marked mail-in ballots to any location designated by local election officials, including during early voting.
MilesS.B. 48Requires the Secretary of State to provide voter registration forms to each high school, each semester, as needed by each high school per the TEA.
WestS.B. 52Designates November general election date as a state holiday
ZaffiriniS.B. 58Allows 17 year old’s to vote in a primary election if they would be 18 in the general election
ZaffiriniS.J.R. 7Allows 17 year old’s to vote in a primary election if they would be 18 in the general election
ZaffiriniS.B. 38Provides an opportunity to cure a defective mail-in ballot.