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LETTER FROM THE SENATOR
*Texas District 21 Senator Judith Zaffirini issued the following statement this week on her decision to remain in Austin to continue voicing opposition to proposed legislation (Senate Bill 1) that she believes affects the abilities of some constituents to cast votes.
“Each legislator must determine how to best represent his or her district. I believe the most effective way to represent my constituents is by staying in Austin to vehemently oppose Senate Bill 1, which, unfortunately and inevitably, will pass — whether during this special session or the next.
I proposed five amendments and co-authored another one that would eliminate some of the most egregious provisions in SB 1 and would mitigate its detrimental effect on persons with disabilities and persons of color, who would be impacted disproportionately by banning 24-hour and drive-through voting and by placing unnecessary restrictions on persons who assist curbside voters.
The amendment that I co-authored with Senator Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, clarifies mail-in vote identification requirements and was adopted unanimously. The following, however, were rejected along party lines, 4-18, with all Republicans opposing them:
• Rescinding the ban on drive-through voting
• Making curbside voting easier
• Rescinding the ban on 24-hour voting
• Requiring poll watchers to be experienced election officials
• Removing ambiguous language from the voter assistant’s oath that could result in well-meaning persons being charged with a crime.
I remain committed to protecting every Texan’s sacrosanct right to vote and to supporting the practices that have enabled Texas to successfully administer fair, honest and secure elections.
Accordingly, I stayed in Texas to represent my constituents at the Capitol and to strongly support my colleagues who chose to voice their opposition to this restrictive voting bill by leaving the state.
Although the party in power has the votes to pass SB 1, I will continue to work to improve it and to oppose its final passage.”