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Local experts, political leaders weigh in on proposed Texas voting laws

Posted at 10:27 AM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 11:27:17-04

On Friday, the MLB announced they’re pulling the All-Star Game and Draft from Georgia, due to the state’s new controversial voting law.

It's a move that economic experts say will cost the state some major money.

“In normal years, the All-Star games brings into about $50-$75 million of economic development,” said Texas A&M Central Texas Interim Department Chair of Finance Accounting and Economics Rob Tennant.

Experts say hotels, motels and small businesses will be hit the hardest.

Texas lawmakers are in the process of considering new voter legislation, which could cut back on early voting hours, limit polling locations and prevent drive-thru and mail-in voting for some.

Which is why some believe Texas may suffer the same fate as the Peach State.

“Some people that don’t like the to accommodate people that are different and they will do everything they can to keep people from voting,” said Democratic Party of McClennan County Chair Mary Duty.

Experts say Texas lost several conferences including a healthcare conference after reopening the state, a similar controversial decision.

Local Democratic leaders say these new laws are a new form of voter suppression sparked by claims of voter fraud after the 2020 election.

“Secretary of State said our elections were clean, clear fair, we’re good to go. Now, we're saying it wasn’t,” said Duty.

Democratic leaders say these changes would silence minorities and the working-class voice in future elections.

Republican leaders say they believe last year’s election proved that there were irregularities and voter fraud.

“If we do not keep a fair and transparent voting system that puts our very constitutional republic in jeopardy. The senate and house is doing is needed and appropriate,” said State Republican Executive Committee-District 22 Representative Jon Ker.

They say these laws will ensure that Texas will protect from any voting mishaps.

“It is designing to close opportunities for fraud and for those persons that try it anyway. There’s more serious penalties to pay,” said Ker.

The new voting laws could also make it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications to vote by mail to voters, even if they qualify.