Countywide voting not in need of fixing, says Beaumont Democrat.

The potential elimination of countywide voting on Election Day in Texas has prompted concern from State Rep. Christian Manuel. The Democratic representative from Beaumont questions the need for such a drastic measure, which he believes could cause chaos and confusion among voters who may not know where to cast their ballots.

“If people are used to going to one specific voting location and are suddenly told they can’t vote there, it would be devastating,” Manuel said during an interview on Inside Texas Politics. “They might say, ‘I’ve been voting here for over 10 years!’”

The move to eliminate countywide polling places on Election Day was passed in the Texas Senate by a party line vote through Senate Bill 990. However, no evidence was presented to suggest that widespread voter fraud exists, or that people are voting at multiple locations. As a result, its future is now uncertain in the Texas House, where an identical bill has sat in the House Elections committee without movement since March.

Manuel is a member of the Elections Committee, and he believes that the proposed move to eliminate countywide voting on Election Day is a “solution in search of a problem”. He further highlights his concern that the law would cause voter suppression, stating that it is creating unnecessary barriers for voters without any evidence of wrongdoing.

“This is unfortunately a case for voter suppression,” Manuel argues, “we are just creating what I call hearsay laws that are not even admissible in a courtroom. But somehow, we’re making these the law that you have to live under when you couldn’t prosecute someone for the type of evidence people are seeing that they currently have.”

Without any evidence of fraud or wrongdoing, Manuel believes that the proposed law is unjustified and could create additional barriers for voters at a time when access to the ballot box is already under scrutiny. As the proposed legislation now waits for action in the Texas House, the debate around whether eliminating countywide polling on Election Day is necessary or warranted is unlikely to die down anytime soon.

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