Texas Senate Passes Election Integrity Bill After Dem’s 15-Hour Filibuster Ends

Texas Senate Passes Election Integrity Bill After Dem’s
15-Hour Filibuster Ends 1

(Headline USA) A Texas state senator ended a 15-hour filibuster Thursday in the Democrats’ latest defiance over new election integrity measures, but it only delayed Republicans who went on to approve the elections bill just minutes after she wearily left the floor.

Democrats, however, are still refusing to show up in the state House of Representatives in a standoff that has now dragged on for 32 days, preventing the Senate bill from going any farther.

Democrat Carol Alvarado began speaking shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday even though she acknowledged that the filibuster would not block the legislation in the Senate.

She was required to remain standing and speaking, was prohibited from taking bathroom breaks and wore running shoes on the Senate floor, just as former Texas legislator Wendy Davis did in 2013 when she filibustered a sweeping anti-abortion bill.

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“What’s wrong with drive-thru voting during a pandemic? What’s wrong with 24-hour voting? Why can’t we have expanded voting hours for the people who have to work late? Where is all the so-called fraud?” Alvarado said in the closing moments of her filibuster. “Where does it end?

She hugged her Democratic colleagues after finally putting down the microphone. Minutes later, the bill passed 18-11 in the Senate, but it is once again stalled since Democrats continue to their holdout at the other end of the Texas Capitol.

Alvarado’s filibuster began hours after officers of the Texas House of Representatives delivered civil arrest warrants for more than 50 absent Democrats on Wednesday. Frustrated Republicans have ratcheted up efforts to end the standoff over the elections bill.

But after sergeants-at-arms finished making the rounds inside the Texas Capitol — dropping off copies of the warrants at Democrats’ offices, and politely asking staff to tell their bosses to please return — there were few signs the stalemate that began when Democrats fled to Washington, D.C., in July in order to grind the statehouse to a halt was any closer to a resolution.

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The latest escalation threw the Texas Legislature into uncommon territory with neither side showing any certainty over what comes next, or how far Republicans could take their determination to secure a quorum of 100 present lawmakers — a threshold they were just four members shy of reaching.

“I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” said state Rep. Erin Zwiener, one of the Democrats who was served with a warrant and has refused to return to the Capitol. “Nothing about these warrants are a surprise, and they don’t necessarily affect my plans.”

Democrats, who acknowledge they cannot permanently stop the GOP voting bill from passing because of Republicans’ dominance in both chambers of the Texas Legislature, responded to the warrants with new shows of defiance.

One turned up in a Houston courtroom and secured a court order aimed at preventing him from being forced to return to the Capitol.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

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