Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will use a speech Thursday in Houston to call for expanded early voting across the country and criticize states like Texas for tightening election laws, according to her presidential campaign.
Speaking at historically black Texas Southern University, the Democratic front-runner will propose a national requirement of at least 20 days of in-person early voting in every state, an aide said Wednesday. Clinton also is expected to advocate for early voting on weekends and evenings across the country, all part of an effort to cut down on long lines and generally make it easier to cast a ballot.
In Texas, the proposal would potentially double the in-person early voting period in some elections. Currently, state law says in-person early voting for most contests should last from the 17th day before an election through the fourth, or 14 days. Weekend voting is not always guaranteed, depending on the size of the county and other factors.
In her remarks, Clinton also will go after Republicans who have backed efforts to make it harder to vote, according to the aide. The critique likely will include Texas, whose voter ID law is considered the toughest in the nation. The measure was signed into law by former Gov. Rick Perry, who is set to launch his second bid for the White House outside Dallas a few hours before Clinton takes the stage in Houston.
Clinton is currently in the Lone Star State for a two-day swing. She appeared at fundraisers Wednesday in San Antonio and Dallas, and has another two on her schedule Thursday in Austin and Houston. The Houston speech is likely the only public event of her trip.