AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The election integrity bills are generating a lot of attention at the start of the Texas Legislature’s Special Session.
It’s one of about a dozen agenda items Gov. Greg Abbott has called lawmakers back to Austin to pass.
Republicans who spoke with CBS 11 said they’re happy Governor Abbott has brought back elections integrity for the special session.
While Democrats continue to bash the bills.
Black Voters Matter and other organizations rallied against the newest version of the elections integrity bills.
Democratic lawmakers vowed to fight them during the rally and during a news conference.
“All across the country, you see Republicans clamoring at these anti-voter bills so they can curry favor with Donald Trump and his supporters,” said Rep. Chris Turner, House Democratic Caucus Chair.
“I fundamentally reject this is all about the 2020 election, regardless of the outcome of that. I think what we’re trying to do is look at best practices from around the country,” said Rep. Matt Krause/R-Fort Worth.
Democrats sharply criticized the previous version of the bills, that called for early voting to start at 1 p.m. on Sundays.
Under the House version, early voting on most days can take place between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Under the Senate version, early voting on everyday could take place between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
What’s not allowed was drive through voting, and 24 hour voting that took place in the Houston area last year.
“We saw some things out of Harris County that were problematic and those are some of the things that SB 1 and House Bill 3 are trying to address, and so I think those are good things,” said Rep. Krause.
Still, Democrats say they want to see voting made even easier.
“We ought to have online voter registration like so many other states,” said Rep. Turner. “We ought to make it easier to vote by mail just like states like Utah, last time I checked, a pretty Republican state.”
Both the Senate and House will hold hearings on their election integrity bills on Saturday, July 10.