Agreement reached on election bill, Democrats claim they were left out of process

Christian Flores

CBS Auston

May 29, 2021

A final agreement on the election bill has been reached, sparking charges from critics that this is voter suppression. (Picture from: CBS Austin)

AUSTIN, Texas — After a process in which Democrats on the conference committee claimed they were essentially locked out from providing input, lawmakers have reached and filed a final agreement on major election bill Senate Bill 7, which has been no stranger to controversy and criticisms since it was first filed.

Because of all of the changes made in the Texas House of Representatives, the bill had to go to a conference committee, where members from both chambers hashed out differences out of public view.

The committee report, which includes a side-by-side analysis and the final text of the bill, was not online until later in the day. Before being posted, CBS Austin obtained both documents from a source.

Many provisions in one or both versions of the bill remained, including banning drive-thru voting, cutting early voting hours in counties with at least 30,000 residents by limiting them from 6 A.M. to 9 P.M., prohibiting 24-hour voting, and restricting public officials from sending mail-in voting applications through the mail to voters who didn't request them. That last measure is a response to Harris County mailing out these applications as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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