His proclamation states that, beginning Friday, mail ballots delivered in person by eligible vote-by-mail voters must be dropped off to “a single early voting clerk’s office location as publicly designated by the county’s early voting clerk.”
That means people can only drop off ballots at one location in the county they live in. All other drop-off or satellite locations will be closed.
It also requires early voting clerks to allow poll watchers to keep an eye on the location and “observe any activity conducted at the early voting clerk’s office location related to the in-person delivery of a marked mail ballot.”
“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,” Gov. Abbott said. “These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting.”
A statement released Thursday by the Texas Democratic Party called the governor’s proclamation a “blatant voter suppression tactic,” which echoed much of the reaction from other liberal groups and their supporters in the state.
“Republicans are on the verge of losing, so Governor Abbott is trying to adjust the rules last minute,” party chair Gilberto Hinojosa said. “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!”
In order to vote in the Nov. 3 election, Texans should register to vote by Oct. 5.