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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.83 minutes to read.

“Praise the Lord and the Texas Legislature.

Finally, after all-night debates, emergency legislative sessions, walkouts, marches and desperate escapes to Washington D.C., lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk that will restore the integrity we never knew we lost in our elections here in the Great State of Texas.

When Senate Bill 1 becomes law, we will breathe a sigh of relief that Texas elections — where voter fraud makes up a menacing .000185 percent of votes cast — will finally be deemed safe for the purposes of Republican campaign speeches, TV spots and glossy mailers.

Join us, Texans, in rejoicing. Watch the pendulum, feel your eyes growing heavy and repeat after us:

Our elections are safe…

They couldn’t be up to old tricks in a state that federal courts have caught repeatedly violating the constitutional rights of minority voters, including in 1927.

And in 1944.

And in 1971.

And in 2014.

And in 2017.

And in every single redistricting cycle since 1970.

Our elections are safe, and they’ll stay that way — at least until next session when Republican lawmakers will find another very good, if unsubstantiated, reason to put us through this process of restricting voter access. All. Over. Again.”

–Houston Chronicle Editorial Board Editorial: It’s easier to buy a gun in Texas than to vote. Time to celebrate.

“After much controversy, Texas is poised to pass laws making it harder for citizens to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Instead of encouraging voters to engage in the democratic process, these laws create obstacles – making it a crime to send vote by mail applications to people who didn’t request them, restricting early voting, and limiting access to voting by mail.

These developments are part of a disturbing pattern of voter suppression sweeping the country. A recent study found that in 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 new laws limiting voting access. These laws, driven by unfounded claims of fraud, endanger our nation in ways that should concern all of us.

President Biden and Texas lawmakers who opposed adoption of these provisions have argued persuasively that these laws undermine the most fundamental aspect of our democracy.

Civil rights advocates have shown that voting restrictions resemble a dark period of American history, when law enforcement in the Jim Crow era blocked Black citizens from accessing the polls. Today’s laws disproportionately target communities of color – voters who should be welcomed into the election process, not excluded from it…

Finally, nonpartisan researchers have rebutted the false rationale for these laws, demonstrating that there was no fraud during the 2020 election and that voter fraud is an extraordinarily rare event that has not affected the outcome of elections in this country.”

–José Garza is the district attorney in Travis County. Miriam Aroni Krinsky is a former federal prosecutor and executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, a national organization that works with elected prosecutors. Opinion: Texas’ voting restrictions are a threat to public safety

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.81 minutes to read.

“The Democrats who fled Texas in July to block their Legislature’s voting bill eventually had to go home. On Tuesday the bill passed, and Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign it. Cue the shouts of “voter suppression,” as Democrats push H.R.4, Congress’s latest plan to federalize U.S. elections.

The Texas bill isn’t a blockade of the ballot box. The two most-cited provisions will ban 24-hour voting and drive-through voting, practices that weren’t even used until last year, when one county tried them in a pandemic. It isn’t crazy to think polling sites are likelier to attract trouble, or at least suspicion, at 3 a.m…

Texans using mail ballots will ID themselves by writing a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number. That’s far less subjective than asking election workers to eyeball signatures. If the ID number is correct, the signature will be “presumed” valid. If the ID is wrong or there’s another problem, the bill provides a process to fix it. Goofs will be correctable until “the sixth day after election day”…

The debate over these voting bills, unfortunately, is taking place between two false narratives. President Trump says fraud is rampant, which isn’t true, but some Republicans believe him. Yet some Democrats think the tiniest voting burden counts as “suppression.”

–WSJ Editorial Board What’s Really in the Texas Voting Law

“The Democratic opposition to legislative minorities using whatever leverage they have to block legislation is highly situational.

In Washington, D.C., where Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress, the Senate filibuster is portrayed as a Jim Crow relic that is profoundly undemocratic.

In Austin, Texas, where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature, House Democrats’ walking out to prevent the passage of a bill with majority support is portrayed as a heroic act preserving our democracy…

The only recourse, they say, is at the federal level. The Senate filibuster should be eliminated — so much for the rights of legislative minorities — and then the narrowest-possible Democratic Senate majority should pass H.R.1, overriding long-standing, duly-passed election laws all around the country and essentially federalizing our elections.

Democracy, they tell us, demands nothing less.

To the contrary, this would be a power grab carried out under blatantly false pretenses.

The Texas bill is no more a voter-suppression measure than the Georgia election law that passed a few months ago, which occasioned outraged accusations of the arrival of Jim Crow 2.0 that ultimately fell flat…

The Democrats, just like the Republicans, tend to be hypocritical on legislative-process questions, depending on what advances their interests. But on one thing they are admirably consistent, whether at the state or federal level, whether in the minority or majority — stirring up self-serving hysteria over GOP election laws.”

RICH LOWRY is the editor of National Review Texas Voting Bill: Democrats & Media Misrepresent Provisions