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Valley activists say they weren't able to voice concerns over House Bill 6

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Some Valley activists are speaking out after not being able to voice their concerns in Austin over a controversial bill to change Texas voting laws.

The wording of House Bill 6 is very specific, saying its intent is to preserve the purity of the ballot box through the prevention of fraud in an election—meaning its meant to fortify election integrity.

Read House Bill 6 here

But not everyone agrees that’s the actual intent of the bill, motivating some people from the Valley to drive up to Austin to testify against the bill, but that didn't happen.

“There are 150 people that came to testify who were not able to give testimony on HB 6,” said Denisce Palacios with Texas Rising Action.

Palacios says that during the committee meeting, Nicole Collier, the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, tried to ask a question, but Rep. Briscoe Cain, the sponsor of the bill, refused to answer it.

Then he called for lunch, pausing the debate and raising more questions.

Other critics of the bill say the added voting requirements hurt minorities.

Palacios says something as simple as the way people sign their name on a ballot could disqualify them.

When Palacios and the others got back from lunch ready to testify, Rep. Cain said they couldn’t hear testimonies, because he had made a procedural mistake when declaring lunch time, ultimately causing the committee to adjourn.

“When we all came back to the room, he said procedurally, he was not allowed to bring us back and hear testimony because he did not decide a time the committee should come back,” said Rose Clouston with the Texas Democratic Party.

Rep. Cain wasn’t immediately available for comment on this story.

More testimony on the bill is scheduled for next week.

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