Inside the 'egregious' Texas GOP 'power grab' Republicans nationwide are copying to usurp elections

Inside the 'egregious' Texas GOP 'power grab' Republicans nationwide are copying to usurp elections
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 15: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference on March 15, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Gov. Abbott and state officials attended a news conference where they discussed the proposed Texas Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act legislation. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images).

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is likely to sign two pieces of legislation into law that will reshape how elections are conducted in heavily Democratic Harris County.

"One of the bills the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature approved would eliminate the job of county election administrator, who is appointed by a five-member commission that includes the county judge, the tax assessor, the county clerk and the chairs of the Harris County Republican and Democratic parties. Election administration duties would revert to two elected officials, the county clerk and the tax assessor-collector, who performed them before 2020," Stateline reported on Thursday. "The second bill would allow the secretary of state to take over election administration if there are persistent voting irregularities."

Democrats have understandably decried what Republicans are trying to do. State Representative Jarvis Johnson of Harris County — the Lone Star State's largest — called the proposals "an egregious, disgusting, despicable act" and "a power grab on behalf of Republicans to try to take over elections and certainly steer elections their way."

READ MORE: Texas GOP passes bills allowing Abbott appointee to take over Democratic county’s elections

According to Stateline, the effort undertaken by the Texas GOP to potentially render democracy inert in blue districts is metastasizing in other states where Republicans have statehouse control.

"During this year's legislative session, Republican lawmakers in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Florida, Georgia and Montana have approved measures that restrict election administration, including prohibiting nonprofits from donating to local election offices, tightening the time local election officials get to count votes and limiting local governments' ability to create new voting ordinances," Stateline explained.

Stateline noted that Arizona's Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs recently vetoed proposals that mirrored those in Texas,

"Republican-backed bills in Arizona would have given political parties more powers to observe the signature-verification process when counting ballots, along with setting up livestreaming of that process," Stateline wrote. "The Republican-controlled legislature there also passed measures that would have made more voter information and ballot images public."

READ MORE: Former Texas mayor hails Ken Paxton’s impeachment as a 'substantial bipartisan act of government'

Stateline's report continues here.

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