Hall’s bill regulating countywide polling places passes final Senate vote

SB 990 passed 17 for 12 against
SB 990 passed 17 for 12 against
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas senator’s bill to eliminate countywide on Election Day polling places passed the final vote in the senate.

Sen. Bob Hall’s (R-Rockwall) bill eliminating countywide polling places passed the final vote in the senate with 17 ayes and 12 nays.

Hall argued that this bill would increase the security of Texas elections, something he said he valued over convenience for voters.

Two senators spoke against the bill before the final vote. Referencing the difficulties some voters will have if restricted to their residential precinct as well as speaking against how the bill seems to be an unnecessarily partisan issue.

“I think it’s going to be very unpopular,” said Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) “I’m afraid this has turned into a partisan issue which it shouldn’t be. I hate to be a political consultant for the Republicans or the Democrats here on the Senate floor.”

Whitmire went on to say “I think we’re creating an impossibility that will not suppress votes as much as perhaps interfere with votes.”

Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D-Austin) was the other senator who spoke against the bill saying “Precinct-based voting would require the number of election day site to nearly double in some counties, at a significant cost. It would create significant challenges for disabled folk.”

“A countywide polling location gives our voters an alternative if for any reason their local polling location is inconvenient or is no longer available to them.” continued Eckhardt.

While SB 990 has passed through the Senate, the bill will have to go through the Texas House before it makes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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