WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Walking the streets, discussing voting rights and signing up people to vote.
That’s what brought Beto O’Rourke to Wichita Falls.
“Voting rights are under attack in Texas. They’re trying to make it even harder to vote in a state that was already the toughest in which to cast your ballot. So it’s gonna take all of us, Republicans, democrats, independents alike stepping up and speaking out in order to save it while we still can,” O’Rourke said.
Senate Bill 7 would restrict 24-hour voting, drive-thru voting and voting on Sunday along with other tightened voting rules.
As Texas House Democrats fight to dead the bill, the former state representative is touring the state encouraging communities to fight for their right to vote.
And he says the federal government can help that by passing the For the People Act.
“That would stop voter suppression in Texas and Georgia and Florida but it would also expand the right to vote and the ease with which we vote while still making sure that our elections are secure.”
While the federal government votes on that, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says the reason SB 7and other bills were not passed was because of poor time management by the House.
Democrats walked out of the House floor on the final day of the legislative session. But he is confident that they will come back for special session this summer.
“You need to come back and work in a special session, you’re gonna vote on these bills, if you lose you lose. You don’t get to go home and cry about it and act like you’re a spoiled legislator. Just come and do the job,” Patrick said.
As legislators do what they think is best, O’Rourke says voters can battle suppression by starting at home and registering people to vote.
“Your family, your friends, your neighbors,” O’Rourke said.
“It gets more voters on the rolls and it gets more people participating in our politics, it gets more voices in the mix. And that’s always a good thing.”
Pushing to make voting easier to access as getting people to the polls is pushed now more than ever before.
O’Rourke will be touring the state throughout the month.