A measure in the controversial Texas voting restrictions bill that would limit Sunday voting was the result of a typo, a GOP lawmaker told NPR.
Texas Democrats walked out of the House chamber to block a bill that would restrict ballot access and make it easier to overturn elections. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will call a special session of the legislature to pass the bill but it will need revisions first.
One measure in the bill would limit voting hours on Sundays, when Black churches traditionally hold their “Souls to the Polls” events to bring Black parishioners to vote.
A similar measure was included in Georgia’s controversial legislation before it was ultimately stripped amid concerns that it would disproportionately impact Black voters.
State Rep. Travis Clardy, a Republican who serves on the House Elections Committee, said the measure was included by “mistake” and would be revised when the special session kicks off.
The bill would have limited Sunday voting to between 1 pm and 9 pm.
“That's one of the things I look forward to with fixing the most,” he said. “Call it a scrivener's error, whatever you want to. I talked to our team yesterday, kind of regrouping of what happened. That was not intended to be reduced. I think there was a - you know, call it a mistake if you want to. What should have been 11 was actually printed up as one.”
GOP previously defended provision:
It’s unclear if Clardy speaks for the entire party. Republicans defended the restriction when the bill was being debated.
"Those election workers want to go to church, too," bill author Sen. Bryan Hughes said. "And so that's why it says 1 p.m. [and] no later than 9 p.m. You can make Sunday service and go after that."
But after Clardy’s comment, Hughes insisted that the "intent was to extend the Sunday voting hours" and that lawmakers would "make this clear in the special session."