US suffrage: Democratic MPs leave Texas

President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia on Tuesday
Image: AFP

Dozens of Democratic MPs have left Texas to prevent further curtailment of the voting rights. They are now threatened with arrest at home. In Washington they are hoping for help from President Biden. But his hands are tied.

JNow the police are supposed to bring them back to the Capitol in Austin: 58 Democratic politicians from Texas who left the state to protest against tightening of the electoral law. Without them, the regional parliament cannot pass a law because a minimum number of MPs must be present to do so. And while several Democrats traveled to Washington to raise awareness, Republicans voted to send the police after them. However, their authority ends at the border of the state of Texas. Governor Greg Abbott reacted aggressively. At Fox News, he threatened the renegade politicians with arrests: “As soon as they set foot in the state, they will be arrested and taken back to the Capitol, where we will do our work.” According to lawyers, such arrests would be possible.

The Republicans in Texas want to tighten the rules for postal voting, as Georgia has done. In addition, rules that make voting easier are to be abolished. Election days are working days – tens of thousands therefore took advantage of the opportunity in 2020 to cast early votes around the clock. This 24-hour period should be abolished as well as drive-through polling stations or mobile polling stations in tents, for example – the Republicans want to stipulate that one can only vote in a permanent building. The protesting Democrats stressed that the tightening particularly hurt workers in precarious jobs who cannot take time off on election day. Your trip to Washington and the blockade of the voting quorum is only an emergency solution. “We can’t stop the wave forever, we’re buying some time,” said Chris Turner, Democratic leader in the Texan parliament. He appealed to Congress to enforce the right to vote for all Americans through federal law. The goal is to block the Texan legislative proposals long enough until then. In May, the Democrats had already left the House of Representatives and prevented the vote.


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