Texas governor signs new GOP voting restrictions into law

Greg Abbott
Posted at 11:44 AM, Sep 07, 2021

TYLER, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law an overhaul of the state’s election rules following months of protests by Democrats.

The sweeping bill signed Tuesday by the two-term Republican governor further tightens Texas’ strict voting laws.

Under the new law, Texas counties will be prohibited from offering 24-hour voting. Instead, voters can cast their ballot from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The law also bans drive-thru voting.

Additionally, new ID mandates will be put in place for those voting by mail in the state. They will now need to provide either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of the Social Security number twice, once on their absentee ballot application forms and again on the envelope in which they return their ballots, CNN reports.

The law also makes it a felony for a public official to send someone a mail-in ballot application that the person did not request, or to pre-fill any portion of an absentee ballot application.

CNN reports that the law also empowers partisan poll watchers because they cannot be denied “free movement” at polling places, though they can’t watch a voter cast their ballot.

Texas joins more than a dozen states that have passed Republican-backed voting changes since the 2020 election.

The new laws have been driven in part by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Opponents of the changes in Texas have already begun filing lawsuits in federal court.