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Austin, TX 78701

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Date: 9/1/2021
Subject: SB 1 Passes - Next Steps!
From: Grace Chimene

September 1, 2021

SB 1 Passes - Your Actions Made it Better!

Next Steps: Provide Information on the New Laws and

Empower All Texans to Vote Regardless of Changes

Dear ~~first_name~~,

Governor Abbott demanded a major omnibus bill to restrict access to voting and elections before the regular session began January 12, 2021. It took the entire regular session (140 days), and almost two whole special sessions for it to arrive on his desk August 31.

Celebrate Your Advocacy!

Throughout those nearly nine months, League members and supporters valiantly contacted Legislators 240,000 times. Thank you! Your legislative contact contributed to some significant positive actions and mitigated some of the worst provisions considered. You can take pride in positive legislation approved:

  • Mail ballot tracking - a secure online system allowing voters to track status of the request for a ballot and the mail ballot’s return

  • Mail ballot cure - a procedure election officials can use to notify voters of errors on mail ballots and an opportunity to cure the problem using the electronic ballot tracking system

  • Protection for disability voting accommodations -  protecting procedures already entitled to under state and federal law

  • Poll Watcher training - requiring watchers to complete a Secretary of State online training course and present proof of course completion to polling place officials

  • Increased ballot access for pregnant voters - expanding mail ballot eligibility for pregnant voters if delivery is forecast 3 weeks before or after election day

  • Increased interpretation access for voters - expanding the type of assistance allowed and expanding eligibility for providing assistance

  • Auditable paper trails for election equipment - phasing out equipment by August 2026 that does not provide voters with verifiable records of their vote 

 Click here for more details on SB 1. Stay tuned for the Voting Rights & Election Law wrap-up blog coming soon!

Thank you for your persistence and commitment to empowering voters and defending democracy! Let's set aside the exhaustion, frustrations, and disappointments and rise to meet the needs to inform and assist voters maneuver the new requirements. When our founders won the right for women to vote, LWV quickly organized to get out the word and thousands throughout Texas turned out. When Voter ID passed, we explained it. LWVTX and local Leagues, working with our ever-growing number of collaborators, will see voters through these new requirements too.

In League,
Grace Chimene

The League of Women Voters of Texas 
1212 Guadalupe Street #107
Austin, Texas 78701