By Sabirah Rayford

HOUSTON (KPRC) — "What kind of power are we giving the Secretary of State?" asked Texas state Sen. Boris Miles (D-District 13).

It's a question state Democratic leaders are asking about Senate Bill 1993.

"It says nothing about far more serious acts of disenfranchisement," said Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D-District 14).

Authored by Republican state Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-District 11), SB 1993 would let the Secretary of State call for a "do-over" election in Harris County or any county with a population of 2.7 million or more if more than two percent of polling locations run out of ballot paper for more than one hour.

Only Harris County, home to Houston, currently falls within the parameters of the proposed law. It's a county that has favored Democratic candidates in recent elections.

"It's addressing a very specific problem," Middleton said. "You know, we had 253 counties that had no issues really with ballot paper, and we had one that did, so we just want to make sure that that doesn't happen again."

Democratic leaders say the bill gives too much power to the Secretary of State, who is appointed by the Republican governor. 

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday and is now headed to the House, where Republicans also have the majority.

"Our voters' rights are at stake," Miles said. "The county having to spend an additional $30 million and having a re-election; suppression of our voters/ where does it end?"

"This is about the remedy right here, and the speed at which the voters can have a remedy because we have problems," Middleton countered. "They didn't have ballot paper. They didn't get to vote."