AUSTIN, Texas — Two Republican-backed bills to make sweeping elections changes could cost Texas billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, according to local economists.
Central Texas Economist Ray Perryman, Ph.D., analyzed data, studies and research of state economies correlation to voting access. His team found when voter access is restricted, business and the economy suffer due to the loss of business, jobs and major events and deals.
Among other things, Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6 ban drive-thru voting, limit voting hours and stop elections clerks from proactively sending out mail-in ballot applications to registered voters. Republicans say the bills will enhance voter integrity, but democrats and critics say the bills aim to suppress voters, particularly minority voters.
"As of 2025, if a bill like this would come into effect and be in effect for about five years, we've found Texas could lose about $14.7 billion in GDP and roughly around 73,000 jobs," Dr. Perryman said.
Dr. Perryman also estimates Texas' tourism and economic development would take a $16.7 billion hit in the first five years if one of the bills becomes law. And those figures only increase the longer the laws are in effect.
But to put the figures into perspective, Dr. Perryman said the losses are just one-tenth of the growth he predicts Texas will see in the same time period.
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