(The Center Square) – Nearly all Texas state senators, including all Democrats except for one, voted for a joint resolution that would add a constitutional amendment to the ballot clarifying that voters must be U.S. citizens.
Senate Joint Resolution 35, filed by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 29-1 this week with one senator absent. It is now in the Texas House. If the House passes the resolution, the proposed constitutional amendment would be added to the Nov. 7, 2023, ballot for voters to approve or reject.
At a hearing on the resolution, Birdwell said the amendment was necessary to ensure election integrity.
The only senator to vote against it was Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, D-Austin, a former Travis County judge who was investigated by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and made headlines after joking about Gov. Greg Abbott being paralyzed, for which she publicly apologized, the Dallas Morning News reported .
According to the Texas Tribune , Eckhardt is the most politically liberal Democratic state senator.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives, including 42 Democrats, passed HJR 24 rejecting the District of Columbia City Council’s decision to approve the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022 allowing non-citizens to vote in elections.
Three Democratic U.S. representatives from Texas voted with the majority of Republicans disapproving of the D.C. law: Colin Allred of Dallas and two border congressmen, Henry Cuellar and Vincente Gonzalez, who maintain only U.S. citizens should vote in elections.
Texas U.S. Democratic representatives expressing support for noncitizens voting in elections are Greg Casar and Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Jasmine Crockett of Dallas, Marc Veasey of Fort Worth, Veronica Escobar of El Paso, and Lizzie Fletcher, Sylvia Garcia, Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston.