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A sweeping Texas bill that would toughen penalties for election-related crimes advanced Monday over protests from civil rights groups who say it punishes voters with jail time for making potentially honest mistakes.
The GOP-backed measure, which has now tentatively cleared the Texas Senate, has intensified voting rights battles in the Capitol at a time when state elections officials are under scrutiny over a bungled search in January for illegal voters. The bill has also drawn national attention from Democrats, including Stacy Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate who narrowly lost in November.
The article goes on to state the following:
The measure known as Senate Bill 9 would make it a felony to put false information on a voter registration form, which Democrats say could dissuade people from trying to cast a ballot. The bill would also make it a new crime — a misdemeanor — to impede access to a polling location.
Republicans say the measure is a needed election safeguard in Texas, where in recent years some illegal voting cases have resulted in tough prison sentences.
Senate gives initial approval to SB 9 with a 19-12 vote after multiple failed amendments by Democrats, which wouldn’t have addressed all the issues advocates have with the bill. #txlege
— Alexa Ura (@alexazura) April 15, 2019
Texas Senate Passes Bill That Could Send Texans To Jail For Voting Crimes https://t.co/Om7UL7BFjL
— Ashley Lopez (@AshLopezRadio) April 15, 2019
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