Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced voting megasites, mail ballot drop-off locations and extended hours at an Oct. 1 press conference at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land just before Gov. Greg Abbott announced mail ballots will have to be turned in at one central location in each county.

"The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections," Abbott said in a statement. "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 proclamation also requires early-voting clerks to observe mail-in ballot delivery. This proclamation goes into effect Oct. 2.

County officials are expecting the number of registered voters to reach nearly 400,000, but with concerns over crowds in the midst of the pandemic, George previously announced the Smart Financial Centre would be used as a mega-voting site to allow thousands of voters to cast their ballots in addition to allowing residents to vote at any voting location within the county.

Community Impact Newspaper has reached out for more information on where the official voting site will be located and how Abbott’s announcement will affect Fort Bend County residents.

Apparent attempts to suppress the vote like this one prove that American democracy is on the ballot this November,” George said in a Facebook post. “I encourage everyone to make a plan to vote in the upcoming election. Our nation’s future depends on it. ... Fort Bend County will do everything possible to make voting safe, secure and accessible for all registered voters."