Austin, TX — Wednesday, February 27, 2019 — This week State Senator José Menéndez, D-26, filed numerous senate bills expanding, modernizing, and deepening voting rights. Senate Bill 1053 is an item to automatically register eligible individuals to vote upon turning 18. Senate Bill 1194 universalizes the registration powers of deputy voter registrars across Texas counties and standardizes voter registration materials across the State. Senate Bill 1195 will make college campus polling locations mandatory for all campuses with student populations of 5,000 or more. Senate Bill 101 introduces countywide polling locations to vote at any poll site on election day. Senate Bill 276 is same day voter registration. Senate Bill 103 automates registration to vote when renewing/applying driver’s license or state ID. Senate Bill 104 repeals a modern day poll tax on the photo ID requirement. Senate Bill 231 adds multiple documents to meet the “proof of identification” requirement. Senate Bill 277 required voting machines print two paper receipts, one for the voter’s records and one at the polling place in case of recount.

MOVE Texas Action Fund is proud to partner with Senator Menéndez in his efforts to expand voters’ access to polls and views the Senator’s legislation as a critical steps forward toward meaningfully supporting voting rights, making both voter participation easier and more accessible while making deputy registrars more flexible and mobile in their registration efforts. Through these bills, Senator Menéndez is showing Texas he is champion of voting rights, expanding the electorate, increasing turnout and signaling to young people that their participation in civic life is innovatively supported.

“At MOVE Texas, we register new voters everyday who are eager to become civically engaged, but we regularly hear students feel discouraged to participate because of unnecessary difficulty in the process, from registration to the ballot box,” said Alex Birnel, MOVE Texas Action Fund Advocacy Manager. “The political impact of this de facto exclusion is a skewed expression of the electorate, where young voices, often times the wellspring of new policy ideas, are ultimately missing from the conversation. Senator Menéndez’s legislative efforts to expand voting rights in our system represent bold solutions to structural problems.”

“It is imperative to the success of our democracy that the voices of the people of Texas are heard. Our voting rights are protected under the constitution and as such, it is our duty as lawmakers to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to engage in the electoral process,” said Senator Menéndez. “Instead of suppressing the voting power of our Texas citizens, both young and older, we must address new methods of voting through developing technology and better access to the polls. We accomplish this by continuously examining and implementing new and improved methods, which ultimately allows everyone full and equal participation in our society.”