Congressman Condemns Vote-Suppression Efforts in Texas and Pennsylvania

October 2, 2020
Press Release
Says efforts are designed to undermine the will of the people

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties with jurisdiction over voting rights, today condemned vote-suppression efforts in Texas and Pennsylvania aimed helping President Trump just a month before the November 3 election.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed an executive order limiting Texas counties – some larger than two states – to one drop-box for mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania’s Republican-dominated legislature is considering an “election integrity” committee, with subpoena power, with authority to impound uncounted ballots in a transparent effort to weed out disfavored ballots and delay certification of the election results.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“The vote-suppression efforts under way in both Texas and Pennsylvania are an outrageous effort to obstruct the democratic process.  Every eligible American must be able to cast a meaningful ballot.  In fact, during this pandemic, it is critical that we find additional safe ways to ensure Americans can vote without exposure to COVID-19.  Efforts to suppress the vote in Harris County Texas -- which includes Houston, and is larger than the state of Rhode Island -- are a transparent attempt to limit the Black and Hispanic vote. The American people are wise to these cynical ploys and won’t tolerate tampering with the bedrock principle of democracy – the right to vote. These desperate, last-minute tactics, designed to suppress the vote, cannot be permitted to stand.”

Congressman Cohen is a champion of voting rights.  He presided at hearings reviewing the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling that struck down the Voting Rights Act’s Section 5 preclearance provision, and has strongly advocated its reinstatement. He similarly presided at a hearing on Protecting the Right to Vote During the COVID-19 Pandemic earlier this year.