Governor's decision to restrict where mail-in ballots may be dropped off sparks criticism, lawsuit

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Saturday, October 03 2020 Oct 3, 2020 October 03, 2020 11:03 AM October 03, 2020 in News - Local

Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to limit where Texas voters may drop off mail-in ballots sparked a firestorm of controversy — and a federal lawsuit — during the past few days.

Under a proclamation announced on Thursday, every county in Texas must designate a single location for voters who want to hand-deliver their mail-in ballots.

"Under this proclamation, beginning on October 2, 2020, mail ballots that are delivered in person by voters who are eligible to vote by mail must be delivered to a single early voting clerk’s office location as publicly designated by a county’s early voting clerk," according to a news release from the Governor's Office. "The proclamation also requires early voting clerks to allow poll watchers to observe any activity conducted at the early voting clerk’s office location related to the in-person delivery of a marked mail ballot."

The Governor's Office described the proclamation as "enhancing ballot security." Critics of the proclamation, including the League of United Latin American Citizens, the League of Women Voters of Texas and the AARP, are concerned the change will make it harder for Texans to vote.

In the Rio Grande Valley, though, the proclamation will not change where voters may drop off their mail-in ballots.

Each county already had just one location where voters could hand-deliver their mail-in ballots.

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