Texas Democrats staged a walkout on Sunday (May 30) evening to block a controversial voting bill that was set to pass. After hours of contentious debate and delay tactics, the Democrats started leaving the chamber ahead of the vote, leaving Republicans without the quorum needed to approve the bill. At least 100 members must be present for lawmakers to vote on a bill.
"We used all the tools in our toolbox to fight this bill, and tonight we pulled out that last one," said Rep. Nicole Collier. "We are no longer going to stand and let them continue to push measures that disenfranchise our voters."
Republicans were forced to adjourn the session for the night but have not given up on passing the Election Integrity Protection Act. The bill would ban drive-thru voting, make it harder to vote by mail, limit voting hours, and give more power to poll watchers.
"The Texas House Republican Caucus condemns the actions of their colleagues in the Texas House who chose to vacate their Constitutional responsibility and leave millions of Texans without resolution on key issues in the final hours of the legislative session," the Texas House Republican Caucus said in a statement. "These individuals quit on their constituents, and they quit on Texas. The Caucus is fully committed to taking all necessary steps to deliver on election integrity and bail reform, two issues flagged by our governor as emergency items."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would order lawmakers back to Austin for a special session to pass the voting bill.
"Legislators will be expected to have worked out the details when they arrive at the Capitol for the special session," Abbott wrote on Twitter.
He did not say when he would call the session or detail how he would force Democratic lawmakers to attend.
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