Texas Gov. Greg Abbott set to sign election bill Tuesday

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott set to sign election bill Tuesday

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will be signing the Lone Star state’s election integrity bill on Tuesday after facing opposition from Democrats over a bill he said will solidify voter “trust and confidence.”

The governor will sign the election security bill, known as SB 1, at 11 a.m. local time, after traveling to Tyler, Texas, according to Fox News and Abbott’s office.

Last week, the Texas Senate voted 18-13 along party lines to pass the measure after the House voted 80-41 to approve it. Democrats were able to stall the measure in May after staging a mass walk-out to prevent its passage. 

The bill will increase the number of poll watchers, set additional rules for mail-in voting, outlaw 24-hour polling places and remove drive-thru voting. 

Abbott signaled his intent to sign the bill shortly after its approval by the legislature. 

“Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas,” he said in a statement. 

Demonstrators protest against the voting bills on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin.
Demonstrators protest against the voting bills on the steps of the Texas Capitol, in Austin.
AP/Eric Gay

Supporters have pointed out that the bill will require counties to have polls open for at least an extra hour during the early voting period and requires counties with populations of at least 55,000 people to have polls open for at least 12 hours during a second week of early voting.

Democrats opposing the bill claim it was designed to make it more difficult for their party’s traditional voters, many of them minorities, to cast ballots. 

Following their walkout in May, Abbott called a special session starting July 8 in an attempt to pass the bill. Four days later, more than 50 Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives flew to Washington, DC, in a stunt intended to draw attention to the bill and advocate for the passage of federal voting laws.

Voters deliver their ballots to a polling station on Nov. 3, 2020
Democrats against the measure say it was designed to make it more difficult for their traditional voters to cast ballots — many of them minorities.
AP/Matt York

Abbott threatened to arrest some of the lawmakers who left, and as a result deprived the House of the required quorum to vote on the legislation.

The governor continued to call special sessions while the Democrats slowly traveled back to the state. The necessary 100-member quorum was reached on Aug. 19. 

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