Other Voices

Texas Republicans’ voter fraud solutions are not to be trusted

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces that there will be a special session of the Texas Legislature, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Austin, Texas. With the special session, beginning July 18, Gov. Abbott is reviving a so-called "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people after the last try ended with Republican lawmakers angry and deadlocked.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces that there will be a special session of the Texas Legislature, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Austin, Texas. With the special session, beginning July 18, Gov. Abbott is reviving a so-called "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people after the last try ended with Republican lawmakers angry and deadlocked. AP

Recent cases of voter fraud in West Dallas in which senior citizens have been defrauded out of their votes have gained statewide attention, especially from Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott.

The actions that have been taken by individuals to steal the votes of our seniors amounts to elder abuse and should be prosecuted as such.

Abbott has named mail-in ballot voter fraud as one of the twenty items on the call for the special session that will convene July 18.

While it is great to see key individuals in this state paying attention to such a serious matter, even when our own Dallas County Democratic Party waited many weeks before admitting there was a problem, it is important to have a certain amount of skepticism toward Republican attempts to address voter fraud.

Minorities in Texas have faced numerous attacks on their voting rights by Republican leaders over the last several years.

In the past, Republicans have passed laws like the infamous voter ID measure, which they claimed was an attempt to address in-person voter impersonation, something Republicans deemed a “real problem” in the state.

The Brennan Center easily debunked this myth.

They found that over the course of 12 years, there was only one conviction of in-person voter impersonation in Texas out of more than 20 million votes cast. This is the only type of fraud a voter ID law would be able to prevent.

A federal court struck down the law, saying it was passed with the intent to discriminate against minority voters.

The 2011 voter ID law is only one example of the many cases in which Republican leaders have disenfranchised minority voters.

Since 2011, six federal rulings have found that the Legislature has intentionally discriminated against minority voters.

It is clear the Legislature cannot be trusted when it comes to protecting, not violating, voting rights.

Republican leaders are going to try to act in the eleventh hour during a special session to address mail-in ballot fraud.

While this type of fraud is a real and deplorable practice that needs to be stopped, we must ensure that any changes made to the law do not result in the disenfranchisement of our senior voters.

Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, is a member of the Texas House.

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