Texas Senate advances bill with new voter restrictions #Breaking112
The vote on Senate Bill 7 was 18-13 after more than seven hours of debate and several amendments to the legislation. The final language of those changes is not yet available online for CNN to review.
The amendments introduced on the floor by Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes during the debate referenced making changes to controversial measures included in the initial bill language on poll watchers, voting hours, disability verification and the number of county polling locations.
The bill would ban drive-through voting and limit extended early voting hours.
Democrats and voting rights activists have sounded alarms over the legislation, calling it suppressive and noting that it appears to directly target voting methods used by Harris County, which includes the heavily Democratic city of Houston.
Republicans have said the bill is about election security and integrity, even though Texas already has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the nation and there is no evidence of any widespread fraud.
The legislation now heads to the Texas House of Representatives for committee consideration.