"Election monitors in polling place? I want an absentee ballot" by: Mike Reddell

   Here’s a new twist in the election integrity suppression laws the Texas Legislature is en route to passing.
   Remember, all of these election laws that Republicans in Texas and several other states are ostensibly aimed at protecting Texans from the almost-nonexistent specter of voter fraud.
   I object to all of these because they’re unnecessary and they’re predicated on the big lie that the 2020 presidential election outcome was stolen from the former guy.
   More than 60 lawsuits found no traction pushing that nonsense in the courts, including the conservative-heavy Supreme Court.
   But that hasn’t stopped the Texas Legislature from pushing a law where volunteers will be allowed in the polling places to monitor and photograph voters and vote counters.
   The press I might add isn’t allowed inside the polling places or really anywhere near the entrance during an election.
   Corporations nationwide have taken notice what Texas and other Trump-guided legislatures are doing to hurt elections.   
   No matter, the lawmakers shrug off the criticism and more or less parrot what Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell says about corporations butting out of politics, except for donations.
   Nice, while the state electrical grid operator ERCOT already is warning about outages in mild spring weather, our legislators are cranking out ways to discourage voters.
   Oh, wait, the Republican lawmakers are trying to place the financial burden of backing up the grid during times of stress on renewables – wind and solar – and not the powerful oil and gas sector.
   What good friends lawmakers are to oil and gas.
   The gun lobby has prevailed in Texas with a House bill that would allow people to carry a gun without a license – or background checks - if they’re not forbidden by state or federal from possessing a weapon.
   I find it ironic that in the rollout of this bill, which still has to be approved by the Texas Senate (tough row to how, per the Lt. Gov.), the number of mass killings accelerated across the country, including the mass shooting in Austin that left three dead.
   Of course the shooters in many of these killings have used guns that were legally obtained.
   More guns, more killings.

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