Rep. Dominguez joins Texas Dem walkout

Texas Rep. Alex Dominguez, seen here in this October 2019 photo at the base of the Port Isabel Lighthouse, joined 50 other Democrat members of the House to leave the state to break quorum during special session. Photo by Gaige Davila.

By Gaige Davila 

Texas House of Representatives member Alex Dominguez (D-37) is joining other state house democrats in a walkout, preventing quorum against a Republican-backed bill that restricts voting rights across the state. 

Dominguez, whose district includes the Laguna Madre area, told the PRESS in a statement that he joined 50 other Democrats–the required number of representatives needed to make quorum during session–to stop “voter suppression efforts in Texas” in Washington, D.C. the members left to Washington on July 12. 

“This is not a decision I have come to lightly or in haste,” Dominguez’s statement read. “We are seeing efforts from Republican led legislatures across the country to stifle voting rights of minorities primarily. These efforts are based on the Big Lie, which has no basis in fact.”

The “Big Lie” Dominguez is referring to is a false narrative purported by former U.S. President Donald Trump that he won the 2020 presidential election. Trump called the election “rigged” in favor of current President Joe Biden, without evidence. 

“We have seen the blatant attack on our democracy based on lies, fear mongering, and a thirst for power over all other things,” Dominguez said. “I am taking a stance with my colleagues for Texans and future generations of Americans.”

Dominguez said he will not be using state funds while he is in Washington.  

The bills in question, Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3, called to a special session by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, would outlaw drive-through voting, ban 24-hour voting centers, banning mail-in ballot applications and monthly citizenship checks via Texas Department of Public Safety records and information provided on ballots, along with several other provisions. 

On July 13, the House, with only 80 of 150 representatives present, voted for a “call of the House,” instructing the chambers’ sergeant at arms to track down and arrest Democratic members if they do not return to Austin by Wednesday. 

“If that happens, it will not be the first time in American history that patriots were arrested for fighting for voting rights,” Dominguez told the PRESS. “I’m not hiding. If they want me, come and get me.”

The special session lasts over 20 days, meaning House Democrats must be out of state for the entirety of the special session for the bills to die. 

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