Texas Democrats fly out to deny House quorum to pass the voting bill
- Another Democrat walkout had killed the bill during the regular session in May
- Governor Gregg Abbott had called the bill a matter of election security, and an emergency
- The bills are aimed to limit early voting hours and mail-in voting
The Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives will not attend the special session of the Republican-controlled legislature called to pass the contentious voting bill. At least 59 Democrat members of the House are leaving the state on Monday to deny the quorum necessary to pass the legislation, US media reports said.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott had called a special session of the state legislature after another Democrat walkout had killed the bill during the regular session in May. If the walkout has to be successful, the legislators will have to remain out of state for weeks during the 30-day session. The Democrat legislators are set to go to Washington DC, Wall Street Journal reported.
Abbott had called the bill a matter of election security, and an emergency. The Republican governor went on to call a special session to urgently pass the bill. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Texas legislature traditionally meets for only five months every other year.
The state House of Representatives and the Senate both held separate public hearings on new bills on Saturday. Both the bills could be put to a floor vote by Tuesday.
The bills, contested by the federal government, are aimed to limit early voting hours and place additional restrictions on the assistance given to disabled voters. Restrictions will also be placed on voting by mail. The bill also makes small election missteps felony offenses. The Democrats have criticised the bill as an anti-minority voter one.
The bill is an offshoot of the Republican contention to the results of last year's presidential elections which Donald Trump claimed to have won, a claim that has been dismissed by many courts and officials.