Democrats in the Texas state legislature are planning to leave the state to deny Republicans the quorum needed in a special session to push through a GOP overhaul of election laws, a dramatic move that could spark weeks of political brinkmanship.
At least 58 Democrats in the state House of Representatives were expected to leave from Austin Monday in an effort to block the measure, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News
By leaving just days after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special legislative session, Democrats would again deny the GOP majority a quorum to pass bills, barely a month after their walkout in the state House of Representatives thwarted the first push for sweeping new voting restrictions in Texas — including outlawing 24-hour polling places, banning ballot drop boxes and empowering partisan poll watchers.
It would mark the first time since 2003 that Texas Democrats, shut out of power in the state Capitol for decades, have crossed state lines to break quorum.
The drastic move lays bare how Democrats are making America's biggest red state their last stand against the GOP's rush to enact new voting protections in response to former President Donald Trump’s assertions that the 2020 election was stolen from him. More than a dozen states this year have already passed tougher election laws — but only in Texas have Democrats put up this kind of fight.
Over the weekend, Texas Republicans began advancing new election bills in the Legislature that also bring back provisions to ban drive-thru voting, add new voter ID requirements to absentee ballots, and prohibit local elections officials from proactively sending mail-in ballot applications to voters.
This report contains material from Newsmax wire services.
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