Gov. Abbott limits mail-in ballot drop-off locations to 1 per county

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Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, wears a state-emblazoned face mask after delivering remarks at a press conference on Sept. 17, 2020, during which he announced expanded reopenings for most businesses across Texas. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Thursday afternoon that limits each county to just have one drop-off location for mail-in ballots.

The proclamation will take effect on Friday and Abbott said the measure was done to “mantain the integrity of our elections.”

“The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections. 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.”

Gov. Abbott

The order will close satellite offices where voters would be able to drop their completed ballots. This will have a significant effect on larger counties throughout the state. Harris County, which houses Houston, has 12 of these offices.

But now due to the order, counties can only have one drop-off point.

The proclamation also allows for poll watchers the “opportunity to observe any activity conducted at the early voting clerk’s office location related to the in-person delivery of a marked mail ballot.”

Texas Democrats released a statement saying that Abbott and Republicans “are scared” and that he is “trying to adjust the rules at the last minute.”

“Republicans are on the verge of losing, so Governor Abbott is trying to adjust the rules last minute. Courts all over the country, including the Fifth Circuit yesterday, have held that it is too late to change election rules, but our failed Republican leadership will try anyway. Make no mistake, Democracy itself is on the ballot. Every Texan must get out and vote these cowards out!
Governor Abbott and Texas Republicans are scared. We are creating a movement that will beat them at the ballot box on November 3, and there’s nothing these cheaters can do about it.”

Julie Gobble, who is running against Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer, tweeted that the move amounted to “voter suppression.”

To view the proclamation in full, click here.

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