A protest against voter suppression took place in the steps of Austin’s capitol building last Saturday. Hundreds of Texans gathered to demand lawmakers to stop bills that aim to make voting more difficult for the state residents, especially those less privileged.
Among the protesters was Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who seized the opportunity to address a number of different issues that have taken the spotlight during this Legislature, such as voting rights and gun control.
“This is the hardest state in which to cast a ballot,” Beto said. “That is not an opinion of mine. You can read journals and scientific, peer-reviewed studies that look at all 50 states, and they find that because we don’t have online voter registration, (because of) hundreds of polling place closures, racial gerrymandering of our jurisdictions and the harshest voter ID laws, it’s harder to cast a ballot here than anywhere else. And the Texas legislature, Republicans, are about to make it even harder.”
The permitless carry bill was also on his mind, “Texas has four of the deadliest mass shootings in this country’s history,” O’Rourke said. “In my hometown of El Paso, 23 people were murdered in 2019 in Walmart by a guy who could legally purchase an AK-47 that he ordered online.”
O’Rourke was also asked whether or not he plans to run for governor in 2022, he said he would make a decision regarding his political future once when he finishes teaching his courses at the University of Texas and Texas State University.
“I’m going to think about where I can play the most positive role for Texas, whether that’s running for office or supporting those who do run for office,” he said. “I’ll think of any and all ways that I can be helpful.”