The Texas House of Representatives approved the bill after several attempts to block Democrats.

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House Speaker Dad Filan, R-Orange, in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, August 26, 2021, casts his ballot as the House votes to amend SB1. Eric Gay / AP Photo

  • Texas House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would make voting in the state more difficult.
  • It was voted 79-37 on party lines in the Republican-led House, and will now move to the Senate, where it is likely to be passed.
  • Democrats have tried to block the bill by walking out and fleeing the state.
  • See more stories on the Insider Business page.

On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make voting in the state more difficult. Extensive SB1 legislation was voted 79-37 in the Republican-led House on a party basis and will now be moved to the Senate, where it is likely to pass.

SB1 will restrict drive and 24-hour voting options, and will require additional identification requirements for absentee voters.

Democrats have been trying for months to break the quorum and prevent the bill from moving forward, where two-thirds of lawmakers are needed to move business forward.

In late May, House Democrats staged a massive walkout before the midnight deadline to block a vote on the bill. And in July, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session, Democrats left the state, and the governor threatened to arrest Democratic lawmakers.

After two months of political stalemate, many Democrats returned to Austin last week to fill the quorum.

In a 12-hour debate, Democrats said the law would disproportionately affect people of color, while Republicans said the changes were safe for the election process.

Officials in Harris County, Texas’ most populous county, say people of color are more likely to use the 24-hour voting option, according to an NPR report.

Other GOP states, such as Arizona, Florida and Georgia, have been involved in enforcing voting ban laws since the 2020 election, where Trump supporters have unfoundedly accused widespread voter fraud.

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