Anti-Voter bill SB 9 turns the clock back on Democracy

Courtesy of Move Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project

What is SB 9?

SB 9 seeks to make voting much more difficult, confusing, and scary for voters, all while creating more red-tape and bureaucracy for county election administrators. In 2018, a record number of Texans showed up to the polls to participate in our midterm elections. Instead of encouraging more democratic participation, SB 9 seeks to keep more and more Texans from voting in the future.

What does SB 9 do?

  • Threatens voters with jail time and enormous fines:​ Voters could be punished for innocent mistakes, such as filling out their voter registration form wrong.
  • Scares voters by weakening their right to a provisional ballot: ​Voters have a right to a provisional ballot when they sincerely believe they are eligible to vote, but this bill exposes them to possible jail time for doing so.
  • Creates new red tape for those who need assistance while voting, in particular elderly voters, voters with disabilities, and non-English speaking voters: ​Those who drive voters to the polls and assist them while voting will have to fill out burdensome new forms just to help people vote.
  • Injects partisanship into our elections: ​It allows partisan poll watchers to follow voters who need assistance into the privacy of the voting booth and watch them have their ballots marked.
  • Expands dangerous new powers to law enforcement: ​It gives law enforcement complete legal immunity from prosecution for committing election-related crimes, allowing law enforcement to conduct undercover sting operations against community-based organizations.
  • Exposes innocent people to arrest for vaguely defined conduct:​ Individuals who are assisting voters or exercising their right to free speech face new, confusing penalties for “impeding a walkway, sidewalk, parking lot, or roadway” up to 500 feet from a polling place, an area larger than a football field.
  • Gives state officials more access to voters’ private information:​ AttorneyGeneralKenPaxton would be given direct access to the electronic voter registration database, which includes Social Security Numbers, Driver License Numbers, and other personal information.

    What can I do to stop SB 9?

    SB 9 would make voting harder and scarier for thousands of our fellow Texans who just want to have a voice in their democracy. We must reject SB 9, and focus instead on holding our leaders accountable in making it easier for more communities to participate in our democracy.

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