Lifelong Texas Republican predicts voter suppression bills will blow up in her party's face
Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State speech outside Lockhart, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2021. - Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News/The Dallas Morning News/TNS

On Thursday, writing for The Daily News of Galveston County, Texas, Judy Bou Kheir, a self-described lifelong Republican voter, slammed GOP officials in the legislature for trying to ram through a series of controversial new voting restrictions — and issued a dire warning that these laws would only end up backfiring on her party.

"These new laws create election-related crimes for poll workers, empower partisan poll watchers and open the door for voter intimidation," wrote Kheir. "Still, what worries me most about Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3 are the changes to the vote-by-mail process that older Texans like my husband have access to. In 2020, my husband and I were among many Texas Republicans who voted early. My husband filled out an application, received his ballot and had the ability to cast his vote from the comfort of our home. Still, mail-in voting was a wonderful option for older Texans — especially during a pandemic."

The proposed voting restrictions have led to Democrats in the legislature fleeing the state to deny a quorum to pass the legislation, paralyzing the Republican majority, who have now issued civil arrest warrants to try to force them back to the chamber. Gov. Greg Abbott has called another special session after Democrats successfully ran out the clock on the first one.

"Texas Republican officials should follow the lead of Lyle Larson, the only Republican to vote against Senate Bill 7, the original version of SB 1," wrote Kheir. "Larson has spoken out against the two bills, advocating a bipartisan solution that balances the need for both voting rights and election integrity. Most recently, Larson tweeted a Ronald Reagan quote to remind the Republican Party where we used to stand on these issues: 'We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.'"

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