Texas Gov Order Allows Only One Mail Ballot Drop-Off Per County


Greg Abbott (R) issued a proclamation Thursday directing counties in the state to designate just one location for mail-in ballot drop-offs.

There are also ongoing court battles in multiple states - including key battleground state likes Pennsylvania - over whether to extend the mail-in ballot counting window past Election Day.

Furthermore, the suit acknowledges on Wednesday, the day before Abbott's order, Paxton submitted a brief to the Texas Supreme Court that the plaintiffs say demonstrates that the Texas Attorney General admits such a one-ballot-location-per-county rule is "incongruous" to the statutory interpretation of Texas' election code.

For voters who want to return absentee ballots in person rather than by mail, the changes mean some will have to travel greater distances to cast their votes in the November 3 election.

Larger counties in Texas made a decision to open these alternative ballot drop-off locations in an effort to address concerns from voters over potential issues with the U.S. Postal Service.

The US Postal Service (USPS) has cut mail-sorting machines across the country and changed delivery rules in reforms that trade unions and Democrats say are also created to undermine the voting process. Poll watchers may observe ballot deliveries at each location.

"This sudden change to me feels totally like voter suppression", Grace Chimene said. Harris County covers an area of more than 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers), while Travis County stretches over more than 1,000 sq. miles (2,600 square kilometers).

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"The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections", said Governor Abbott.

"These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting", Abbott said in a statement. "Make no mistake, Democracy itself is on the ballot.

This isn't security, it's suppression", stated Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. The state is one of only five that is prohibiting voters fearful of exposure to covid-19 from casting mail ballots this fall.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican and ally of US President Donald Trump, issues an executive order requiring face coverings in public spaces as the state marks record numbers of new infections.

Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of Texas's Democratic party, labeled the move a "blatant voter suppression tactic" in a press release, with voting rights organization Let America Vote releasing a statement similarly blasting the move. "Mail ballot voters shouldn't have to drive 30 miles to drop off their ballot, or rely on a mail system that's facing cutbacks". The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a day before the governor handed down his order that Texas shouldn't be required to reinstate single-party voting so soon before the election.

For now, DeBeauvoir instructed voters to exercise their right to vote.

"The impact is not only going to felt most heavily by those in large counties, voters who are elderly and disabled", she said, "but also more heavily by Black and Latino voters".