'We must have trust:' Republican lawmakers push for changes in the way Texans vote

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Republican lawmakers are rolling out dozens of bills in response to former President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud, which could change how local election officials conduct early voting. 

Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza said some of the proposed changes may limit some voting options. 

Numerous bills circulating through the Texas House and Senate are proposing limits on early voting and limits on drive-through voting tents or garages. 

"We must have trust and confidence in elections and one way to do that is to make sure that we reduce the potential for voter fraud in our elections," Garza said. "There are large counties. There are medium counties. There are small counties. Sometimes when you are running an election, you need to have some discretion."

READ ALSO: Abbott pushes election integrity legislation, Texas Democrats say bills could hurt voters

From school board to presidential races, Garza has more than a decade of experience in working elections. 

He said expanding voting hours and opening centers during the 2020 election season led to historical results. 

"This is the first year that we had done something like this," Garza said. "We were able to use really large open spaces as polling locations that were centrally located in communities and they were extremely popular."

He said those locations turned out to be some Cameron County's most active polling sites.

READ ALSO: Gov. Abbott to discusses election integrity legislation in Houston

As the vice president of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, Garza said he and other administrators are currently reviewing bills that could affect the voting process. 

"We want to make sure that the legislators understand the positive impacts that they can have," Garza said, "And the negative impacts they might have."

Garza said no criminal referrals or issues of fraud were identified during the 2020 elections in Cameron County.  


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