Aug 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas Gov. Abbott announces special legislative session to push voting restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced a special legislative session for this weekend after Texas Democrats fled the state to prevent Republicans from passing new voting restrictions.

Why it matters: Democrats who fled the state last month will have to decide whether to stay out of the state for another month or return and risk arrest when they return.

  • Texas has been pushing for stricter voting laws after baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election.
  • The House needs a minimum number of members present to pass bills.

The big picture: The 17-item agenda includes the election bill that caused House Democrats to flee the state and also has six additions, including the spending of federal COVID-19 relief funds and potentially changing the legislative rules regarding quorums.

  • None of the proposals can reach Abbott's desk unless the Democrats return from D.C. and none have made plans to do so.
  • Senate Bill 7, the bill Democrats fled the state for, was expected to pass along party lines and would have placed limits on whether people can vote early, vote by mail, or vote from their cars.

Go deeper: Texas Dems flee state in effort to block GOP voting restrictions

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