Governor Abbott Abruptly Restricts Drop Off Voting In Texas
Governor Abbott issued a proclamation that limits the amount of drop off locations for mail in ballots to just one per county. The move requires counties to close multiple locations where voters can drop off completed mail-in ballots. Texas has some of the largest counties in the country and the decision has drawn fire from Texas Democrats. The state's Democratic Party chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, labeled it a "blatant voter suppression tactic" in a press release. The group Let America Vote also blasted the move.
"The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections," Abbott said. "As we work to preserve Texans' ability to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state. These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting."
As an election security measure, counties will be limited to one drop-off site where poll watchers designated by political parties and candidates must be allowed to observe ballot deliveries by voters, Abbott said.
The new order takes effect Friday and changed Abbott’s July 27 order that acknowledged the pandemic’s danger by adding six days of early voting and waiving a state law that limits mail-in ballot drop-off to Election Day only
“As we work to preserve Texans’ ability to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state. These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting,” Abbott said in a statement announcing the change.
Democratic Party spokesman Abhi Rahman said. “Texas Democrats will crawl through broken glass to vote these cheaters out of office.”
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, also predicted that the move will backfire. “This sabotage is not about election security, it is about Republican political insecurity,” he said.