A top negotiator behind a Texas voting law backed by Republicans claimed that the text of the bill limited voting hours on Sundays because of a “scrivener’s error,” in an interview with NPR on Tuesday.
Among other provisions, the bill, known as S.B. 7, would have limited voting on the final Sunday before an election from 1 to 9 p.m. Texas Democrats claimed the provision was aimed at limiting Souls to the Polls, initiatives among black churches to encourage voting, and blocked the attempted passage of the bill on Sunday by walking out of the State House and denying a quorum of lawmakers.
However, Republican State Representative Travis Clardy said that the limit on voting was based on an error.
“Call it a scrivener’s error, whatever you want to,” Clardy told NPR’s Steve Inskeep on Tuesday. “I think there was a—you know, call it a mistake if you want to. What should have been 11 was actually printed up as one….So it’s actually providing for extended hours in most locations.”
The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Briscoe Cain, backed Clardy’s remarks. No Republican raised the issue over the weekend before the attempt to pass the bill, the Texas Tribune reported.
S.B. 7 would also place limits on absentee voting, including additional identification requirements for voting by mail, and prohibit state officials from sending mail-in ballot applications to voters who did not request them.
Following the walkout of Democratic state lawmakers, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, threatened to veto funding for the entire state legislature on Monday.
“I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities,” Abbott wrote on Twitter on Monday.