SB1 would place new restrictions on voting that many opponents say would disproportionately suppress ballots from voters of color and disabled voters. It was passed 18-11 along party lines.
“Senate Bill 1 slowly but surely chips away at our democracy. It adds rather than removes barriers for Texas seniors, persons with disabilities, African Americans, Asian and Latino voters from the political process,” Alvarado said. “Senate Bill 1 is a regressive step back in the direction of that dark ad painful history.”
Senate Bill 1 bans extended voting hours and 24-hour voting, sets a timeframe for voting, and prohibits local election officials from sending unsolicited ballot request forms — which has criminal implications under the Texas bill.
Ahead of her filibuster, Alvarado acknowledged the bill would eventually pass in the Senate but framed her effort under the same “use every tool in the toolbox” mantra House Democrats have adopted during their quorum break targeting the legislation. And she vowed to keep going “as long as I have the energy.”
“I’m using what I have at my disposal in the Senate,” Alvarado told The Texas Tribune. “The filibuster isn’t going to stop it, but a filibuster is also used to put the brakes on an issue — to call attention to what is at stake — and that is what I am doing.”
The Texas House must now vote on the legislation.
Texas House Democrats who broke quorum and fled to Washington D.C. last month in protest received an email on Wednesday from House Sergeant-At-Arms briefing them on the civil warrant for their arrest.
“As of this morning, you have not voluntarily appeared in the House chamber and the Speaker has signed a warrant for your civil arrest. As notice to you of this action, I am attaching a copy of that warrant to this email,” the email read. “I respectfully request that you appear voluntarily in the House chamber today and report to the Journal Clerk so that your presence can be recorded in the Journal and the House can proceed with its business.”