ANALYSIS: Texas Democrats Make Big Publicity Stunts Out Of Objectively Uncontroversial Voting Integrity Laws

Screenshot/Twitter @Richard_Harambe

Greg Price Contributor
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The Biden administration and other Democrats have recently been claiming that several Republican-led election security laws at the state level are even worse than the time period of Jim Crow.

Suggestions that requiring a social security number to vote absentee is worse than the era of poll taxes and literacy tests that kept African-Americans from the polls have become common talking points out of the White House.

“The worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the proposed laws on Monday, a claim which was then echoed by President Joe Biden during a Tuesday speech in Philadelphia.

“We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole, since the Civil War,” Biden said during his remarks.

For Democrats, proposals to strengthen the integrity of the vote are being treated as an attack on the right to vote itself.

Over 50 Texas House Democrats decided to make an even bigger splash by taking the drastic step on Monday of leaving their state on a chartered flight to Washington, D.C. in order to deny Republicans a quorum on two such voting security proposals, H.B. 3 and S.B. 1.

The Democrats had previously walked out of the last legislative session to prevent a vote on the bills, leading Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session that began on July 8.

Not only did they abandon their state, but many have been widely mocked for the way they have portrayed their actions on social media.

It began when Texas State Rep. Julie Johnson tweeted and later deleted a selfie on a bus with her colleagues as they left for the airport, saying that “when it comes to protecting our right to vote, all cards are on the table.” (RELATED: Instead Of Showing Up To Work, Texas Democrats Grab Some Miller Lites And Go On Maskless Flight To Save Democracy From Big Bad Republicans)

The image was criticized because even though Johnson was putting it out there as a serious endeavor, many noticed the case of Miller Lite that was sitting on one of the seats.

Many users on Twitter also commented on the fact that the Democrats were all not wearing masks on their flight. Federal regulations still require masks to be worn on chartered flights.

Democratic Texas Rep. James Talarico found himself getting “ratioed” on Twitter for using language to describe the political Fallujah.

“We left behind our families, our livelihoods, & our beloved Texas,” Talarico said.

Talarico’s tweet preceded the Democrats landing at Dulles Airport at which they reportedly proceeded to record selfies of themselves in a stunning act of defiance against the Texas GOP’s election law.

After Gov. Greg Abbott threatened to have the Democrats arrested, Rep. Gene Wu was then ridiculed after he tweeted a picture of himself eating a caesar salad in the Senate Longworth Building Cafeteria along with the caption “My ‘fist’ meal as a fugitive… Delicious.”

The Texas House members who actually showed up to work would later vote 76-4 to send law enforcement to find and return absent Democrats “under warrant of arrest, if necessary.”

During their press conference in front of the state’s capitol building the next day, the entire caucus erupted in song. They sang, “We Shall Overcome,” a gospel song that became synonymous with the civil rights movement.

All of the hyperbole of their publicity stunt, however, begs the question: what do the proposed laws actually do? (RELATED: ‘Stand Up, For God’s Sake!’: Biden Slams Republicans In Fiery Speech On Voting Laws)

For one thing, they require at least nine hours per day during the early voting period and 12 hours per day during the last week of early voting in large counties.

The proposals also would mandate voters include the number on their driver’s license, other state ID, or the last four digits of their Social Security number on the outer envelope when requesting an absentee ballot.

They also prevent election officials from sending mail-in ballot applications to voters who didn’t ask for one, ban drive-through voting, expand protections for partisan poll watchers, and institute new criminal penalties for people who improperly assist others with mail-in or in-person voting.

Several items in bills were also supported by Democrats before they left the state, such as options for voters to “cure” or fix issues with their absentee ballots and protections from being convicted of a crime for casting a provisional ballot while unknowingly ineligible. The latter provision came in response to the prosecution of Crystal Mason, who was sentenced to five years in prison for voting on supervised release.

The Biden administration, however, would have you believe that this is comparable to Jim Crow and Texas Democrats will go as far as claiming they’re so dangerous that they warrant fleeing the state to prevent them from being passed. (RELATED: Biden Administration Suing Georgia Over New Election Law)