Recent elections have had a major effect on politics in Houston, Texas. In particular, the new bills passed by the Texas Legislature have been aimed at changing the way elections are held in Harris County, where Houston is located. Andrew Schneider, senior policy and government reporter at Houston Public Media, has been closely following the changes that have been made to election laws in the state. According to Schneider, Governor Greg Abbott has signed several bills into law that could drastically interfere with election administration in the state. One of the most contentious bills is Senate Bill 7, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in May 2021. This bill makes it illegal for local election officials to send out mail-in ballots without prior approval from the state.
It also requires that all voting machines be equipped with a paper trail and that poll watchers be allowed to observe voting activities from up to 10 feet away. The bill also prohibits local election officials from providing any type of assistance to voters who are having difficulty understanding how to cast their ballots. This includes providing language assistance or helping voters fill out their ballots. Additionally, it requires that all polling locations be open for at least 12 hours on Election Day. The passage of this bill has been met with criticism from many civil rights groups who argue that it will make it more difficult for people to vote. They argue that these restrictions will disproportionately affect minority communities who are already underrepresented in the political process. In addition to Senate Bill 7, Governor Abbott has also signed into law House Bill 6, which requires that all voters present a valid form of identification when voting.
This bill has also been met with criticism from civil rights groups who argue that it will make it more difficult for people who do not have access to a valid form of identification to vote. The enactment of these bills has had a significant impact on politics in Houston, Texas. It has made it more difficult for people to vote and has raised concerns about voter suppression. It has also raised questions about whether or not these laws will be enforced fairly and equally across all counties in the state. Overall, recent elections have had a profound effect on politics in Houston, Texas. The passage of new bills by the Texas Legislature has made it more difficult for people to vote and has raised worries about voter suppression.
It remains to be seen how these laws will be implemented and what effect they will have on future elections.