Karl Rove: AWOL Texas Dems, here are 7 questions about election reform you can answer from quarantine

The reason for their rash action was to keep an election reform bill – H.B. 3, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Andrew Murr – from passing. But listen to their many public utterances – from news conferences to cable news appearances to tweets and Facebook postings – and you’ll notice an utter lack of specifics. They condemn the bill as “voter suppression” and “Jim Crow 2.0” but without mentioning exactly what’s wrong with the bill. 

That’s because the bill actually expands opportunities for voting, especially during the very popular 13-day early voting period in Texas, during which most of the state’s voters cast their ballots. So maybe a reporter might ask what actual provisions of the bill they oppose? 

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To help that process along, here are a few suggestions for an enterprising reporter – or even an interested constituent – to ask the wandering Texans as they lounge in their downtown D.C. hotel rooms, awaiting their next COVID test, Zoom cable hit, fundraising pitch or release from quarantine. 

*Do the Texas House Democrats oppose the extra hours H.B. 3 requires polls be open on weekdays during early voting, when most Texans cast their ballots? 

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*Do they oppose the extra hours H.B. 3 requires polls be open on weekends – Saturday and Sundays – during early voting? 

*Do the wandering Texas Democrats oppose H.B. 3 requiring more counties to provide weekend early voting by lowering the threshold from counties with 100,000 population to counties with at least 55,000 population? 

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*Do they oppose H.B. 3 making it easier to vote by mail by replacing the cumbersome signature verification process by letting voters provide alternative identification like the number from their driver’s license or a state-provided ID or the last four digits of their Social Security number? 

*Do they oppose H.B. 3 requiring counties to notify Texans who vote by mail if they made a mistake on their ballot and allowing them to “cure” that mistake? 

*While absent Texas Dems are still collecting the $ 221 per diem they get each day for attending the special legislative session, do they oppose H.B. 3 guaranteeing the right of poll watchers to actually witness what’s going on while providing additional protections for voters to cast their ballots without interference? 

*Some of the Texas Democrats have made it known they want to do away with requiring voter ID, which has long been on the state’s statute book, withstood scrutiny of lengthy litigation, and is not altered by H.B. 3. If the AWOL representatives want to strike it from the state’s election laws, why not offer that as an amendment? 

What began with declarations of personal courage and sacrifice has deteriorated into farce, with the traveling party shunned as pandemic-carrying pariahs.

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