AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 1, the election integrity bill, by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola:
“I am very proud that the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1 today. SB 1 is about ensuring that every Texan trusts the outcome of every election in Texas. It increases transparency and ensures the voting rules are the same in every county across the state. It will require that signatures on mail-in ballots are verified so we know that ballots cast by mail belong to the people they say they belong to.
“Texas has more early voting hours than many states and SB 1 expands early voting hours. SB 1 also prohibits any election machine or counting machine from being connected to the internet, making hacking impossible and it will allow Texans to watch votes being counted on election night as larger counties will be required to livestream the voting tabulation process.
“Both public and private polling indicates that the majority of Texans support the provisions included in SB 1, and yet, House Democrats were so intent on using this bill for political gain that they left the state to avoid voting on it. They are in Washington, D.C. repeating misinformation and lies about SB 1. Instead of doing their jobs, they are pushing Congress to pass a federal election bill Texans don’t want. According to a Texas Association of Business poll conducted in April, 65% of Texans ‘do not believe election law should be federalized and do not want U.S. Congress to dictate Texas election law.’
“The opposing party made the same false argument of voter suppression against legislation requiring a photo voter ID to vote, but turnout increased substantially after that legislation passed. Voter turnout in Texas skyrocketed from 7,993,851 in 2012 to 11,144,040 in 2020 – a 40% increase. Gubernatorial election turnout in Texas increased by 76%. In 2012, about 58.6% of registered Texans voted and in 2020, 66.7% voted. Importantly, 85% of all Texans, including Democrats and Independents, support photo voter ID.
“I am proud that the Texas Senate passed SB 1 today — just as we passed Senate Bill 7 in the regular session. Final passage of this bill into law will require the House Democrats who have fled the state to avoid voting on this bill to return to the Texas House for a quorum. If they do not, this bill will die, but the Senate will continue to pass SB 1 over and over again until the House finally has a quorum. I congratulate Sen. Hughes for his leadership and hard work on SB 1.”