AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A protest of the Texas voting bill at the forefront of national attention featured hundreds of clergy members and people of faith from across Texas on Thursday.
Outside the state Capitol, the protesters thanked Democrats for leaving the state to stall the bill they call voter suppression.
“I’m thankful that they all left like they did. And we’re going to continue to fight for them,” a protester said.
The special session of the bill prohibits drive-thru voting, bans 24-hour voting, creates stiffer penalties for voter fraud, and adds ID requirements to mail-in ballots.
“We’re saying to Mr. Governor, please, whatever else you do, stop using the word integrity as an adjective for voters, because integrity and lying don’t go together,” Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III said on Thursday.
He’s referring to election integrity, which is what the governor calls the voting bill.
Republicans have pushed back, though, explaining the bill is not suppressive.
“Anybody who really wants to vote has ample opportunity to cast their ballot. They may say, ‘well, I’d love to have a drive-thru, or I’d like to be able to vote at 3 in the morning,’ but there’s no law or no rule requiring the voting authorities to allow that to happen,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said during a media call Wednesday.
Texas Democrats plan to stay in Washington, D.C. in hopes they can help support federal legislation that would override the Texas bill proposed.