Earlier this week, many Democratic lawmakers from Texas fled the state on board a charter flight going to Washington, D.C. to lobby to the Congress lawmakers to pass a comprehensive legislation regarding federal voting rights. They did such a move to stop the passage of a law that would change most of the election procedures in Texas.
Now, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, made a firm statement warning the Democratic lawmakers. He said that they will be arrested upon their return to Texas. Abbott said that the arrested lawmakers will be held inside the state Capitol until they do their job.
Abbott estimates that these Democratic lawmakers could evade going back to Texas for over a year, but the moment they step into the state, they will be detained. Aside from waiting for the fleeing lawmakers to come back, Abbott also noted that the Speaker of the State House has the power to “issue a call to have these members arrested.”
The governor also said that even if the Democratic lawmakers buy some time or employ delaying tactics regarding this election law revamp, he will continue “to call a special session after special session after special session” even if it means he would do so until the elections next year.
This bill that the Democratic lawmakers are trying to block will impose new limits on voting. This includes limitation on early voting, curbside voting, and the use of drop boxes, banning of round-the-clock voting centers or voting facilities in outdoors structures, elimination of straight-ticket voting, tightening the rules regarding voting by mail, strengthen the access of partisan poll watchers during the election, and banning local election officials from actively sending out applications regarding mail-in ballots.
This is not the first time that the Democratic lawmakers staged their unison. In May, they walked out again from the state House floor to block the passage of the elections-related bill.