Gov. Abbott limits drop-off locations for mail-in ballots

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shown here in March, issued a proclamation on mail-in ballots on Oct. 1. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shown here in March, issued a proclamation on mail-in ballots on Oct. 1. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shown here in March, issued a proclamation on mail-in ballots on Oct. 1. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated 4:13 p.m.

Sarah Labowitz, policy & advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, a civil rights nonprofit, said Texas has a "
voter suppression problem, not a ballot security problem."

"
The governor should work with counties to ensure that all timely mailed ballots are received and counted, and that all voters appearing at polling places to submit ballots or vote are free from harassment," Labowitz said.

Victoria Hinojosa, executive assistant to the Travis County Clerk, said the county is "exploring every option to determine how we can best serve the voters."

Originally posted 2:29 p.m.



Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Oct. 1 limiting drop-off locations for mail-in ballots to one voting clerk office location "as publicly designated by a county’s early voting clerk" instead of several satellite locations, according to an Oct. 1 press release.

"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."


The proclamation also requires early voting clerks to observe mail-in ballot delivery. This proclamation goes into effect Oct. 2.

Texas Democrats criticized the proclamation as “blatant voter suppression” in a responding press release.

“Republicans are on the verge of losing, so Governor Abbott is trying to adjust the rules last minute,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in the press release.

By Andy Li