Texas voting-related legislation

More than 200 Companies and Business Leaders Have Voiced Opposition to Anti-Voter Bills as Republicans Threaten to Tank Economy with Voter Suppression Efforts

Republicans Threaten to Make Texas A Pariah State, as No One Wants To Do Business with Rights-trampling, Racist Leadership

AUSTIN, Texas –Thursday evening, Texas Republicans’ anti-voter House Bill 6 (HB 6) is up for debate and a floor vote in the Texas House. The bill is set to be combined with anti-voter Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) behind closed doors through the reliably shady dealings of Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park). HB 6 is part of a racist, coordinated Republican attack on voting rights and aims to resurrect the voter intimidation of the Jim Crow era.

Republicans are pushing HB 6/SB 7 forward despite condemnation from every corner, including Texas communities, voting rights leaders, civil rights advocates, and Democrats—as well as an impressive coalition of corporations and businesses. These companies include heavy-hitters with considerable leverage to affect the Texas economy, including major tech companies and the United States’ largest airline, American Airlines. As such, Republicans have managed to not only attack our right to vote and encourage flagrant civil rights offenses, but also to threaten our economy in the process. This week’s Throwback Thursday is a brief retrospective on the businesses that have come out on the side of voting rights and democracy over the last few months:

From the Houston Chronicle:

“A group of 175 business leaders sent a letter to House Speaker Dade Phelan May 4 opposing several key provisions of the voting bills being debated in the Texas Legislature, which they said would add unacceptable barriers for Houston-area residents to cast a ballot.... “These provisions, among others, will inevitably damage our competitiveness in attracting businesses and workers to Houston,” the letter states. “Especially as we aim to attract major conferences and sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup, voter suppression is a stain on our reputation that could cost our region millions of dollars.”

From Forbes:

“American [Airlines]’s opposition to the passage of Senate Bill 7 is unequivocal. ‘Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it,’ said the airline in a short statement.… American Airlines is not the only Texas-based carrier weighing in. In an email to Forbes, a spokesperson for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines wrote, ‘The right to vote is foundational to our democracy and a right coveted by all. We believe every voter should have a fair opportunity to let their voice be heard. This right is essential to our nation’s success.’ Southwest is the nation’s third-largest carrier by passengers carried and the world’s largest low-cost carrier."

From the Texas Tribune:

“With less than a month left in the legislative session—and Texas Republicans split on which package of proposals might cross the finish line—HP, Microsoft, Unilever, Patagonia and two dozen other companies are urging state lawmakers not to pass new restrictions on voting.… ‘We urge business and civic leaders to join us as we call upon lawmakers to uphold our ever elusive core democratic principle: equality. By supporting a stronger trustworthy democracy, we will elevate our economy.’”

From NPR:

“Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell announced his company’s opposition to House Bill 6, which legislators are still in the process of approving. The bill aims to prohibit local election officials from sending out mail-in ballot applications, among other provisions. In a tweet Thursday [April 1], Dell said, ‘Free, fair, equitable access to voting is the foundation of American democracy. Those rights—especially for women, communities of color—have been hard-earned.’”


Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Republicans’ anti-voter bills are so outlandishly harmful that they’ve managed to rally a massive coalition in opposition to them. I am grateful to advocates and our Democratic legislators for their tireless work to defend voting rights against these attacks, and I commend the business leaders and companies that have spoken out on the side of democracy.

“If the Texas House passes HB 6/SB 7 today, every Republican who votes ‘yes’ will wear the stain of this infamous decision. Republicans are so desperate to cling on to power that they are willing to resurrect Jim Crow to do so. If Republican politicians can only hold onto power by destroying our democracy, then it’s abundantly clear that their time at the helm is up. Democrats have fought these racist bills from the moment they were filed. We’re fighting them at the Capitol today, and we’re prepared to fight them in court.”:

Report on HB 1026

Benjamin Howard wrote this summary of HB 1026.

HB 1026 would move control of the voter registration process from county voter registrars to the Texas Secretary of State. It transfers the county registrar's responsibility to register and maintain voting rolls to the Texas Secretary of State. Eligibility rules remain the same. If this bill is passed, when it is enacted, the Texas SoS will have almost total control over the voter registration process with potentially limited oversight.

Read Benjamin's thoughtful analysis in its entirety.

Compilation of bills referred to the Elections Committee of the Texas House

See a compilation of bills that if passed, would affect voting procedures in Texas.

Many thanks to Benjamin Howard for compiling this list.

Included in this list are bills—

  • HB6 would restrict who can be a poll watcher and increasing the punishment for voter fraud.

  • HB 120 reinstating straight-party voting

  • HB 123 repealing county-wide vote centers that allow voters to vote at any vote center in the county, rather than in their own precinct.

  • HB160 adds college ID to the list of acceptable forms of identification.

Ways to read and track bills in the Texas Legislature

To read and track bills introduced in the Texas Legislature, go to Texas Legislature Online where you can read summaries, track actions, find companions, and view a bill's history.

Go to My TLO to create customized lists of bills you wish to track and to set alerts of committee and calendar postings.

Tracking Texas bills: a primer on tracking bills from a UTEP graduate course.

How to track a bill in the Texas Legislature

BillTrack50 has a free citizen-level tier for tracking bills