Harris County, Texas Republicans Preparing Voter Suppression “Army”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a leaked video obtained by voting rights group Common Cause, Harris County Republicans spell out their plan to build a 10,000-member “Election Integrity Brigade.” The recruitment video says the quiet part out loud: Republicans are asking their supporters from white, suburban parts of Texas to flood the Black and brown precincts of Harris County, enlisting those with “confidence and courage” as poll watchers who would surveil voters and record and report any instances they think indicate fraudulent behavior. 

The video comes as the Texas Legislature considers new legislation, Senate Bill 7, that would significantly empower partisan poll watchers, including allowing them to film voters and send these recordings to the Texas secretary of state in the name of identifying voter fraud. Texas ACLU attorney Thomas Buser-Clancy said of the legislation, “if you wanted to establish a mechanism to allow watchers to intimidate and harass voters, this would be it.” The bill has passed the Texas state Senate and now moves to the state House — and if it passes, Republicans are clearly prepared to exploit its new provisions to intimidate and harass voters of color. 

Watch the leaked video here.

Read S.B. 7 here.