Texas governor revives GOP’s thwarted new voting laws

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday revived the GOP’s thwarted efforts to pass new voting laws in America’s biggest red state after Democrats temporarily derailed a restrictive bill with a late-night walkout in the state Capitol in May.

As expected, Abbott made new election laws one of nearly a dozen items — including border security and other GOP lightning rod issues — that he is instructing lawmakers to revisit over the next 30 days in a special session that begins Thursday.

The two-term governor, who is up for reelection next year and has not ruled out a presidential run in 2024, offered no immediate guidance about what changes he wants in Texas’ elections laws. But already, Republicans are backing away from the two most contentious issues that fueled Democrats’ dramatic quorum break just before a midnight deadline over the Memorial Day weekend.

He also ordered lawmakers to restore funding for Texas’ legislative branch after vetoing paychecks for roughly 2,000 Capitol employees following the walkout.

“These Special Session priority items put the people of Texas first and will keep the Lone Star State on a path to prosperity,” Abbott said.

The GOP’s overwhelming majority in the Texas Capitol means it is likely an elections bill will pass, although Democrats have vowed to continue fighting and have not ruled out breaking quorum again.