Texas Republicans are targeting measures that make it easier to vote in urban areas, and only in urban areas, with surgical precision, and not even a remotely plausible anti-fraud rationale:
Twenty-four-hour voting was one of a host of options Harris County introduced to help residents cast ballots, along with drive-through voting and proactively mailing out ballot applications. The new alternatives, tailored to a diverse work force struggling amid a pandemic in Texas’ largest county, helped increase turnout by nearly 10 percent compared with 2016; nearly 70 percent of registered voters cast ballots, and a task force found that there was no evidence of any fraud.
Yet Republicans are pushing measures through the State Legislature that would take aim at the very process that produced such a large turnout. Two omnibus bills, including one that the House is likely to take up in the coming week, are seeking to roll back virtually every expansion the county put in place for 2020.
The bills would make Texas one of the hardest states in the country to cast a ballot in. And they are a prime example of a Republican-led effort to roll back voting access in Democrat-rich cities and populous regions like Atlanta and Arizona’s Maricopa County, while having far less of an impact on voting in rural areas that tend to lean Republican.
Bills in several states are, in effect, creating a two-pronged approach to urban and rural areas that raises questions about the disparate treatment of cities and the large number of voters of color who live in them. That divide is helping to fuel opposition from corporations that are based in or have work forces in those places.
In Texas, Republicans have taken the rare tack of outlining restrictions that would apply only to counties with population of more than one million, targeting the booming and increasingly diverse metropolitan areas of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas.
Needless to say, none of this would be possible had hack Republican judges not rendered the Voting Rights Act a dead letter. Anyway, looking forward to Glenn’s next appearance on Tucker in which he observes that stopping people of color in cities from voting is what God and the Founders intended.
For further rain on your wedding day, note that one of the cases the Burger Court used to effectively overrule Brown v. Board involved Texas asserting that it had to allow predominately white school districts to have much more funding because of the importance of LOCAL CONTROL.