The transfer considerably impacts the Democratic stronghold of Harris County, which is the state’s largest county by inhabitants — one of essentially the most populous in the nation — and covers an enormous space. It should now scale back its 11 drop-off areas down to one beginning on Friday. Travis County, which incorporates the reliably Democratic metropolis of Austin, should restrict its 4 drop-off areas to one.

Other giant counties — like Tarrant, Dallas and El Paso County — solely had one drop-off location already in place.

The Republican governor stated in a press release the order was made to improve poll safety. It additionally permits ballot watchers to observe the in-person supply of mail-in ballots by voters, however critics say it might severely restrict entry for a lot of voters.

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

The choice has already drawn fireplace from Texas Democrats. The state’s Democratic social gathering chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, labeled it a “blatant voter suppression tactic” in a press launch. The group Let America Vote additionally blasted the transfer.

“The governor is making it harder for people to vote in the middle of a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 16,000 Texans,” the group stated in a press release. “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.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Texas native Julian Castro equally solid Abbott’s proclamation as an effort to make voting “harder for fellow Texans.”
The Republican governor, he tweeted, “knows how angry Texans are with Trump’s failure, (Republican Sen. John) Cornyn’s failure and his own to keep Texans safe and our people working.”

In July, Abbott issued an order increasing the period of time for early voting by six days and for hand-delivering mail-in ballots out of security issues due to the pandemic.

But a pair of latest courtroom rulings — one in favor of age limits for no-excuse mail voting and one in opposition to the sending of mail-in ballot applications to residents in Harris County — have enraged Texas Democrats and voting rights activists.

Texas has been historically Republican during the last a number of a long time, however Democrats assume it’s in play in the November election. Multiple polls have discovered a good race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in the Lone Star State, with a number of indicating the candidates had been separated by only one level in July.

Abbott’s acknowledged issues about “attempts at illegal voting” in Texas come because the President continues to lean into a conspiratorial message across the US voting course of and significantly mail-in voting.

While uncommon cases of voter fraud from mail-in ballots do happen, it’s nowhere close to a widespread downside in the US election system.

In reality, mail poll fraud is exceedingly uncommon in half as a result of states have methods and processes in place to stop forgery, theft and voter fraud. These methods would apply to each absentee ballots and mail-in ballots for in-state voters.

This story has been up to date with extra data Thursday.

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