Texas’s House of Representatives has advanced sweeping voter suppression legislation, with the Republican majority poised to approve the measure today. The legislation would put strict limits on early voting hours, ban drive-thru voting and empower partisan poll watchers inside polling places — something critics say would open the door to racist voter intimidation. Texas Democrats said during Thursday’s debate the measures are designed to raise new barriers for voters of color, who tend to vote Democratic.
Rep. Rafael Anchía: “'Intentional discrimination against people of color.' These are not my words; these are three federal courts across this country making 10 findings of that intentional discrimination.”
Rep. Gina Hinojosa: “Intentional discrimination against people of a certain race, is that racism?”
Rep. Rafael Anchía: “That is” —
Speaker Dade Phelan: “Ms. Hinojosa.”
Rep. Rafael Anchía: “Those words, 'intentional discrimination,' I think, can be fairly characterized in that manner.”
Speaker Dade Phelan: “We can talk about racial impacts of this legislation without accusing members of this body of being racist.”