U.S. Senate’s New Voting Rights Bill Is Key Step Forward, Testament To Texas Democrats’ Leadership

AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday, Texas Democrats celebrated the announcement of U.S. Senate Democrats’ new voting rights bill, the Freedom to Vote Act. The new legislation is a key step forward to breaking an impasse on voting rights legislation desperately needed to protect the cornerstone of our democracy and millions of Americans’ right to be heard at the ballot box.

After earlier voting rights legislation stalled in Congress, Texas Democrats have played a key role to move the needle on this critical national issue. During their time in D.C. this summer, Texas Democratic state legislators met with many of the Senators sponsoring this legislation — including Sen. Joe Manchin, whose support as a co-sponsor is crucial to moving the Freedom to Vote Act forward. Texas Democrats thank the Freedom to Vote Act’s many co-sponsors, including Sen. Manchin as well as Senators Klobuchar, Kaine, King, Merkley, Padilla, Tester and Warnock.

Texas Democratic state legislators met with Sen. Joe Manchin in Washington, D.C. in July.

The Freedom to Vote Act seeks to address key barriers to voting for working Americans, including by codifying an early voting window and making it easier to register to vote. The legislation also targets gerrymandering — just as the Texas legislature is set to start a Republican-led, discriminatory redistricting process.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“With today’s announcement of the Freedom to Vote Act, Texas Democrats are once again moving the needle on protecting voting rights for millions of Americans. This new legislation is an important step towards creating national protections to ensure that every American voter can make their voice heard at the ballot box. I am grateful to the Democratic Senators who are bringing this legislation forward, and to all our state lawmakers who have fought tirelessly to keep the struggle for voting rights in the national spotlight.

“Texas Democrats have spoken with one voice from the start: we will do whatever it takes to protect the freedom to vote. Today, our federal lawmakers are stepping up and responding with the urgency we need. Republicans in Texas and beyond have been laser-focused on slashing voting rights all year — but in the face of those attacks, we are not backing down. Texas Democrats will continue to rally our coalition in support of federal voting rights legislation, and continue fighting for the right of every American voter to make their voice heard.”