San Antonio State Rep. Diego Bernal, 2 other Dems will testify in D.C. on voter-restriction bill

click to enlarge State Rep. Diego Bernal is a Democrat representing San Antonio. - Jade Esteban Estrada
Jade Esteban Estrada
State Rep. Diego Bernal is a Democrat representing San Antonio.
State Rep. Diego Bernal of San Antonio is one of three Democratic members of the Texas Legislature scheduled to appear during a U.S. House hearing on a controversial GOP-backed rewrite of state elections rules.

State Reps. Senfronia Thompson of Houston and Nicole Collier of Fort Worth will also testify Thursday before the civil rights subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, according to a Texas Tribune report.

The three Texas Democrats are among those who broke quorum July 12 by flying to Washington D.C. to stop Republicans from moving forward with a bill that would impose new voting restrictions. They argue the measure, which mirrors others backed by Republicans in statehouses across the country, are intended to keep people of color and other likely Democratic voters away from the polls.

Backers of the Texas bill have claimed it's necessary to protect "election integrity." However, they have repeatedly failed to show evidence of significant voting fraud in the state.

“America is facing the most sweeping assault on the voting rights of the people since passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965,” U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who chairs the subcommittee, said in a statement supplied to the Texas Tribune. “Texas is now Ground Zero in this battle, and we are honored to have these Texas lawmakers come to testify before our subcommittee about the struggle to defend basic democracy in their state.”

In that statement, Raskin said he hoped the Texans' testimony would highlight the need for federal legislation to protect voting rights.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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