US President Joe Biden attacked a Texas election bill Saturday as an attack on democracy, while the southern state was preparing to join other Republican states in restricting the exercise of the right of people of color to vote.
Biden said Texas is now joining Georgia and Florida in seeking to curb “the sacred right to vote.”
“This is part of an attack on democracy that we have seen a lot this year (…) and it often targets Americans, blacks and Americans of color disproportionately,” the US President added in a statement after the final draft of the bill began to circulate in the Texas legislature.
Texas law bans car and mail voting, and cuts voting hours on Election Day, in addition to other restrictive clauses.
Supporters say the law is designed to make voting safer, but critics say it aims to make it more complicated for blacks, Latins and other non-whites who tend to vote for the Democrats.
Republicans say their move is to prevent election fraud, consistent with claims by former President Donald Trump in his repeated assertion that he defeated Biden last November and that the elections were stolen from him.
Since the election ended, many Republican-led states have adopted bills that make voting more difficult.
Georgia, which usually votes for Republicans but sided with Biden in recent elections, was the first to adopt such a law in March, which met with condemnation from prominent figures in business and art.
On Saturday, President Biden called on Congress to pass two bills designed to protect the right of Americans to vote without restrictions, after the small majority of Democrats failed to pass them earlier.