Open Letter To Texas House: Reject SB 9

Dear members of the Texas House of Representatives,

We stand united in our opposition to SB 9, a piece of legislation that has serious impact for Texas voters and that the Texas Senate just voted to send your way.

We believe that bills like SB 9 rip away at the very spirit of civic engagement we wish to be a part of in the state of Texas.

Most notably:

  • This bill takes a punitive approach to what, in many cases, are honest mistakes in the registration process, such as filling out one’s registration form wrong.

  • It creates unnecessary burden on those assisting elderly voters to the polls by requiring that paperwork be completed. This includes anyone who drives voters to the polls or assists an elderly or non-English speaking voter.

  • The bill targets community-based organizations by giving law enforcement complete legal immunity from prosecution for committing election-related crimes to conduct undercover sting operations against them.

  • It gives officials, like the Texas Attorney General, direct access to the electronic voter registration database, including Social Security Numbers, driver license numbers, and other important information.

This legislation does this and much more that in the end only hurts people. People who have the right (and are just trying to exercise that right) to vote.

Legislation like SB 9 is always intended to have us believe, as voters, that only by restrictive laws born out of such bills can we preserve the sanctity of our votes. But this simply isn’t true.

These laws hurt Texas voters and make it harder on some of our most vulnerable to cast our ballots. That our lawmakers would ever seek to make the path to the franchise harder and less likely a road for us to travel as rightful voters, is an act that we can’t afford to look the other way on.

We urge you to fight to protect voters and stop bills like SB 9 from ever becoming law.

Every time Texans rise up to be heard at the polls, we cannot have a legislature that swats us down.

Let’s work together to make voting better for all eligible Texans.

Texas Progressive Action Network