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Sen. Carol Alvarado discusses her 15-hour filibuster against the GOP voting restrictions bill

Senator Carol Alvarado spoke with KVUE's Ashley Goudeau on Thursday.

AUSTIN, Texas — "Sleepy!"

That was Texas Sen. Carol Alvarado's first word to describe how she felt after her 15-hour filibuster to fight against the GOP-backed voting suppression bill.

"We hope that through these efforts, people will take a second look at this bill and be able to realize the impacts that it will have," said Alvarado.

Despite her efforts, Senate Bill 1 passed right before 9 a.m. Thursday by an 18-11 vote along party lines.

But Alvarado told KVUE's Ashley Goudeau that with 25 days left in the Texas Legislature's second special session of the year, her biggest concern was sending a message. 

"Filibusters are also used to put the brakes on an issue and shine a light on the bill," Alvarado said. "And that's what we wanted to do, was to shine a very big light, a nationwide spotlight on the bill and point out some of the things that we feel are harmful to the people that are disabled, to our senior citizens, and to our Latinos, African Americans and Asian communities."

Filibuster rules prevent senators from sitting, leaning, eating, drinking or using the restroom.

Alvarado did none of the above. Equipped with a catheter, a back brace, reading glasses, tennis shoes, and a picture of her father, Sen. Alvarado surpassed the 11-hour record set by female senator Wendy Davis. 

She said she didn't think about stopping once. 

"We asked people to look at the bill and send us their stories about how the bill would impact them and their families," Alvarado said. "And the stories were inspiring, heartfelt, and gave me a lot of momentum and energy."

The Houston senator said along with the direct impact on people of color and the disabled, SB1 would also allow poll watchers to roam during the voting process. 

"Some of the testimonies that we were seeing while we were deliberating the bill during the filibuster, people said, 'I don't want some stranger being able to look over my shoulder,'" Alvarado said. "Voting is a private matter."

The battle of SB1 has been ongoing throughout the summer, with political chess moves from both sides. From Gov. Greg Abbott's special session calls to the Texas Democrats fleeing state grounds.  

To Alvarado, the battle is bigger than Texas. 

"We also want to send a message to other states, other legislative bodies that are facing the same challenges that you don't just have to roll over and take it," Alvarado said. "You can use every resource you have to fight it."

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