Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued new drop-off ballot regulations that may decrease voter turnout in key portions of the state. Under Abbott's new measures, regions are limited to one drop-off ballot location per county. Abbott sets the new regulations in place with the hope of increasing election security.
"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."
Large counties like Dallas, Tarrant and El Paso will remain intact as they only had one drop-off location per county prior to Abbott's order. However, Democratic strongholds like Harris County and Travis County will be greatly impacted by the Republican governor's actions. Harris County must condense their 12 locations to one locations. Travis County must also merge its four locations to one place.
"It is a shameful, blatant act of voter suppression that will disproportionately impact the large number of Black and Latinx voters in Texas' biggest counties," Texas State Democratic Party Chair Gilbert Hinojosa said.
"If these leaders truly are doing right by you, why are they so afraid of you voting?" Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County asked
In spite of these new regulations, Hidalgo is encouraging voters to find one way or another to get the polls by November 3.
"That this is a time to participate, and, yes, it's going to be harder and, yes, they're trying to confuse and they're trying to suppress the vote, but for that very reason, we need to show everyone who's watching that we're going to participate because it's about democracy."
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