Texas GOP amendment would stop Democrats winning any state election

The Republican Party of Texas has voted on a policy proposal that would require any candidate for statewide office to win in a majority of the state’s 254 counties to secure election, effectively preventing Democrats from winning statewide positions based on the current distribution of their support.

Democratic voters in Texas are heavily disproportionately concentrated in a handful of major cities which only constitute a small number of counties, while Republicans dominate most of the more sparsely populated rural counties.

On Saturday, Texas Republicans voted on a range of policy proposals at the party’s biannual conference which took place from May 23-25 in San Antonio. Once these votes have been counted, the official Texas state Republican policy platform is expected to be revealed later this week.

Proposal 21, under the state sovereignty section, called for a “concurrent majority” to be required in order to hold statewide office.

It says: “The State Legislature shall cause to be enacted a State Constitutional Amendment to add the additional criteria for election to a statewide office to include the majority vote of the counties with each individual county being assigned one vote allocated to the popular majority vote winner of each individual county.”

In November 2022, Texas’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott secured re-election with 54.8 percent of the vote against 43.9 percent for Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. However, due to the concentration of O’Rourke’s support in cities such as Dallas, Houston and Austin he only secured a majority in 19 of the state’s 254 counties.

Republicans already dominate statewide politics in Texas with the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller of public accounts all belonging to their party, as do all nine justices on the state Supreme Court.

Newsweek contacted the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas Democratic Party, by online press inquiry form and email respectively, outside of usual office hours on May 27. This article will be amended if either wishes to comment.

According to The Texas Tribune it is unclear whether requiring support from a majority of counties to achieve statewide office “would be constitutional and conform with the Voting Rights Act” as racial minorities are disproportionately concentrated in a small number of counties.

Stock photo showing the Texas flag at TDECU Stadium on October 21, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Texas Republicans have voted on a proposal which would require state wide office holders to have the support of…

Tim Warner/GETTY

On Saturday the Texas GOP also voted on whether to back a referendum on the state leaving the United States and becoming a fully independent country, a proposition it approved during the previous party convention in 2022.

The motion stated: “Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto.”

Other motions proposed included a call to “abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children from the moment of fertilization.”

There was also a call to reverse the renaming of military bases named after Confederate leaders to “publicly honor the southern heroes,” and a proposal that Confederate “monuments that have been removed should be restored to their historic locations.”

On Thursday supporters of the Texas Nationalist Movement, which wants the Lone Star State to become an independent country, were photographed holding signs which read “TEXIT NOW!” inside the convention center.