BEAUMONT, Texas — State Rep. Christian Manuel (D-Beaumont) openly wonders why it would be necessary to even consider eliminating countywide voting on election day.
Supporters of the move have provided no evidence of widespread fraud, or even of people voting at more than one location.
“This would be devastating. You would have people who are used to going to one specific voting location. And then all of a sudden, they would be told you can’t vote here. And they would say 'I’ve been voting here for over 10 years,'” Manuel told us on Inside Texas Politics.
Senate Bill 990 passed the Texas Senate on a party line vote.
It would eliminate countywide polling places on election day and force voters back to their assigned precincts.
But its future is murky at best in the Texas House.
It is currently in the House Elections committee, where there’s been no movement on an identical bill that’s been sitting in the same committee since March.
Manuel is a member of the Elections Committee, and he says since there’s no evidence of fraud, it is a solution in search of a problem.
“I think this is, unfortunately, a case for voter suppression. Without any evidence, we are just creating what I call hearsay laws that are not even admissible in a courtroom. But somehow we’re making these the law that you have to live under when you couldn’t prosecute someone for the type of evidence people are seeing that they currently have,” said the Democrat.