Texas Gov. restricts absentee ballot drop-off locations to only one per county

Some Texas counties include millions of people stretched over hundreds of square miles and will require lengthy drives to deliver ballots.

10/2/2020 1:40:00 AM

BREAKING: Texas Gov. Abbott restricts absentee ballot drop-off locations to 1 per county, including Harris County, which includes Houston, with a population of more than 4.7M people, and Brewster County, which covers 6,193 square miles.

Some Texas counties include millions of people stretched over hundreds of square miles and will require lengthy drives to deliver ballots.

The proclamation, which goes into effect Friday, modifies part of Abbott’sorder that added six days of early absentee voting in the state in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fellow Republicans in Texas are challenging the additional early voting days in court.

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After concerns were raised about the reliability of the postal service, voters haveincreasingly indicateda desire to use drop-off sites to ensure votes are counted while avoiding the possible crowds on Election Day.Abbott explained his newest order was done to ensure the security of the ballots, a complaint that President Donald Trump has made as Americans have embraced early and absentee voting in response to the ongoing pandemic. Trump has sought to sow distrust about the outcome of the election by casting doubt, without evidence, on the integrity of the system.

Sept. 30, 202002:28Texas has 254 counties, the largest of which is rural Brewster, which covers 6,193 square miles, larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.Harris County, which includes much of the sprawling city of Houston, has a population of more than 4.7 million people, according to the

. The county is home to 25 percent of the state's Black residents and 18 percent of the state's Hispanic population.Prior to Abbott’s proclamation, the county had created 11 ballot drop-off locations."The state of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections," Abbott

saidin 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."

Abbott said poll watchers must be on hand to observe any location where early ballots are being accepted.Trump called for his supporters to act as unofficial poll watchers during the first presidential debate on Tuesday. He wants his supporters to go and “watch very carefully because that's what has to happen.”

Democrats quickly criticized the move by Abbott.“Governor Abbott and Texas Republicans are scared. We are creating a movement that will beat them at the ballot box on November 3, and there’s nothing these cheaters can do about it,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, also a Democrat, criticized the decision in a statement."Growing up, I was bused over 20 miles as a student in the first integrated class at Klein High School," he said."Because of the Governor's decision today, I would now have to go even farther to drop off an absentee ballot and make sure my vote is counted."

He added,"We should be focused on making voting more accessible and stop trying to create obstacles and distractions with unsubstantiated claims of voters fraud."Sarah Labowitz, policy and advocacy director for the ACLU of Texas, urged the governor to find a way to continue to let people return ballots.

“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.Houston isn't the only city that could see voters forced to drive over an hour to deliver a ballot.

Dallas County, which initially opened five drop-off locations, is in a similar situation. Dallas County is the the state's second-largest by population county, with over 2.5 million people.Both Harris and Dallas counties are Latino-majority counties, and both span over 2,500 square miles.

“While the governor asserts that he is attempting to ‘strengthen ballot security,’ we see this as yet another thinly disguised attempt to stymie the vote. As is well documented, Texas has a voter suppression problem, not a ballot security problem,” Labowitz said.

Read more: NBC News »

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Another Republican undermining the GOP. The people of Texas will remember his suppression of their voting rights. Texans may want to consider voting for a recall provision. When any Governor, regardless of party, undermines their citizens right to vote, they should be recalled! Special place in hell for this guy

Please make noise about this. This can’t be legal How come this moron is still talking in front of us. This animal should be in the cage like Trump. What a pity these are the top of the nation and Texas. MelissaJPeltier How the f^ck can that be legal!!!!? Republicans working hard to suppress the vote anyway they can

They are afraid of the vote. WhenWeAllVote Gov Abbott is a disgrace to America. Lotus suppression. Old Texans should vote so that we can get rid of these bastards Sounds like SOMEONE is trying to impede the vote.... CHEAT, CHEAT, CHEAT, CHEAT, CHEAT He’s doin everything he can to suppress voting. I live in Dallas, and he putting one box per city. For over 2 million people. Fuck this looser and his boss. We will vote and Biden will win! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸💙💙🌊🌊🌊

I used to like Texas How is this legal?! And he gets away with it What a Jerk, Republicans also vote in those locations. The conservative Texas courts will undoubtedly uphold Abbott's 'proclamation' because Trump's orders always trump the Constitution. Shouldn’t be allowed to do Voter suppression! This is voter suppression and it is absolutely not serving his constituents in any way. It only serves his own agenda which seems to be the GOP MO lately. Time for change. Voting is a right and we should all be able to do it safely and conveniently.

Take him out back to the woodshed...his behavior is disgusting People! Get up and out and vote. Get in line. Take a chair and a cooler with you if you need to. As long as you are in line, they have to let you vote. If I am in line all day, I will vote no matter what. No one is keeping me from having a vote or a voice.

This is gross. Needs to have an emergency injunction immediately Immoral and should be illegal Why 🤬 Most Texans don’t give a shit about this. If we can open schools, go to the store, we can go vote. It’s not that big of a deal. Especially when everyone had their own mailbox which also carries a mail in ballot just fine.

THIS SHOULD BE A BIGGER STORY. Voter suppression not thinking and not caring about his people Why doesn't Harris Cnty. tell him to go fuck himself and put put as many boxes as they want? More of Trump’s America. And then trump gets COVID! What a prick these Republicans are! Abbott should be next! This is just another republican trying to suppress the vote.

More Republican election shenanigans. They are basically criminals. You have done a disservice to the people of your state. This is definitely voter suppression and we have the audacity to go to other countries to teach them how to hold a Democratic election. No longer. How do you people sleep at night.

Why?Evil On the bright side GovAbbott is admitting Donald Trump can't win Texas without voter suppression I would say not voter suppression knowing it would impossible to drive three hours for some and one box for one county in Texas nearly close to five million Americans I would call this voter intimidation cause it is purposely done matter in fact it absolutely insane

So stop him. Don’t just sit back and let these idiots take this election. This is outrageous. Republicans don’t want people to vote. There is absolutely no other explanation to this. Do they have mail boxes in Texas Are we still democracy? In other words sick it up and get to the polls to cast your vote. I will.

Republicans really hate to lose don't they? What a sucker... Can't they just mail them in? Fightkidscancer Sue him. bessy_c3 I'm voting in person. But this is just disgusting. GovAbbott should be ashamed of himself. Seniors are afraid to vote by mail so they opt to drop if off in person. Now you make them wait for hours in line in their cars?!? TexasVoterSuppression

VoterSuppression is one of the oldest political traditions America has. That 6193 sq mi sounds big...but if it were a circle it’s diameter would be less than 90 miles. Now I know it ISN’T a circle and the drop off point isn’t in the exact center...but this seems like a way to make people think it’s a ridiculous trip instead of about an hour‘s drive

Do you people have any idea how big Harris county is? The size of Rhode Island. This is criminal in every sense of the word. Voter suppression by a Red State Governor! Florida’s Governor is up to something too! 120 mail sorting machines disappear and he doesn’t blink. DeSantis promised Florida to Trump and will do anything to please his leader! Help each other folks! Texas - CARPOOL! VOTE VOTE VOTE

VoterSuppression FuckThisGuy uber help these people out. DennisKoch10 Voter suppression... Needs to b FIRED Ridiculous and criminal Cheating for you master Donald! Sad little men burden the process & place barriers rather than relieving burdens and removing barriers There are more places to drop off my FOOD SCRAPS in the CityofFortWorth than places to drop off my ballot in all of TarrantCountyTX. GregAbbott_TX VoterSuppression

Smart. Wonder if anyone has challenged him to explain & justify? Voter suppression. Period. Because nothing says you're bobbing on Trumps knob like voter suppression. The laws are fucked if we let a single elected leader hold this power. This country is so full of shit Maybe he’ll get COVID as punishment.

They're not event trying anymore GregAbbott_TX is a coward. Pass it on. This guy has a small penis jeffwardshow, at what point is this blatant election tampering? If you can’t win cheat & suppress What a clown! JoeBiden Yet another way to mess with the election.. Sad . DIDN'T THIS GOV TAKE A OATH? It’s called voter suppression. This is a complete lack of safety for the voters and the staffs of these polling places.

Let's add Abbott to list of most hated politicians in the country. What an evil thing to do. Will someone go to his home and talk to him about straighten doing the right thing? Absolute horse shit. It's called vote suppression. It's the GOPs last hope. Native_Embassy Cheating like the POTUS ... Wake up Texans, Abbott & the Gop are trying to keep poc from voting. Vote your asses off to get rid of these racist mf'ers.

Morning_Joe How about hiring shuttle buses that can drive people from the canceled drop off places to the one that’s left?! That would screw their plan up big time. Bloomberg money maybe? This is just awful! What can be done? Morning_Joe What ever happened to going to the polls? Drive there, walk there, cab there!

Republicans are scared sh...... to let voters vote. Looks like a televangelist. Another corrupt politician I can only conclude this is a gop death wish. They want to so enrage the D and Independent voters of Texas that they vote en masse any way they can to make what is now an increasingly marginal state blue. KamikazeGOP

That ain’t right Is not right Morning_Joe msnbc maddow This is communism at its best. This should galvanize the people of Texas to ensure they vote no matter what. Hopefully employers allow their employees the opportunity to go vote w/o penalty. This is insane. Wow. If you ain't cheating you ain't Republican.

Morning_Joe I hope the people of Texas see exactly who their governor is! I guess when you know you can’t win an election fair and square, YOU CHEAT! and get the RepubliCon blessing. Subversives and traitors!!! Are you going to tell us about HunterBiden, his family and JoeBiden. It's in all the media around the world. Humantrafficking, prostitution, fraud, money received from Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese, scheming, corruption, etc, etc.

Treasonist danmicovic Smart because drop boxes are unsecured. They can mail or drop at their polling place. An election judge with enough help is allowed to even go out to a car. Evangelical Christians like TX Governor Abbott, can't see the judgment upon America with the severe damage from climatic disasters, plagues, etc.; her sins have reached heaven.

I thought the US was a democracy that wanted to encourage people to vote? GovAbbott is an ass 🤡 What’s. As shi!e! Morning_Joe What an asshole! Seriously. That’s anti-democratic and un-American. Why is any elected official okay with this? We seriously need to screen candidates for government offices better. And get dark money and special interest money out of it.

Of course it’s Texas, does this surprise anyone? Slime. Sleezy. Deplorable. Disgusting. Must I go on...my thumb is tired Good. I’m a Texan. He’s right. Sinus realDonaldTrump going to complain about this voter surpression and potential fraud ? I think not Republicans=crooks VoterSuppression Well that’s not voter suppression.

Morning_Joe Jack A$$ Can we wheel him to the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert and leave him there? What r u afraid of The truth And hopefully there will be police and election monitors there who will be id'ing the people who drop off the ballots to make sure no one is sending multiples. Democrats are corrupt, debaucherous, lying, voter fraud intolerant plumpjacks!

Did Trumpy tell you to do that? 👎 All these tactics do is to motivate more people that were resigned to stay home to get off their ass and vote the Republicans out of office. Don't wake the sleeping lion. Thanks Gov. wannabe for motivating more to vote that may not have. This is crazy voter suppression and I’m pretty sure the courts will knock it down.

Governor Abbott needs to remember this when it’s time to vote for him! Just another one of the orange idiots add kisser! VoterSuppression as it’s finest! VoteBlue Morning_Joe voter suppression Those Texans can sure pick em. Is voter suppression legal in Texas? voter suppression Voter suppression by Republicans. The radical conservatives will do anything to protect Trump’s idiocy. Every Republican politician should give an oath that they do not condone White Supremacy, or throw them out of office

Another GOP POS. VoterSuppression Morning_Joe Wow. Deliberate and overt He must be absolutely scared shitless that Trump is going to lose Texas. What a small man. What a coward. Dictatorship style voter suppression. Typical page out of the GOP playbook for 70 years. GoVote VoterSuppression At least keep shit shut down and to pretend this is covid related! What scum.

Authoritarian That has to be illegal. Great call, during a pandemic, what will they think of next It is not suppression, there are so many places to go early vote in person, even some places staying open 24 hours during early voting. Why do the dems scream voter suppression for him trying to maintain the integrity of the election!!

For me at least that sounds like a similar tactic to REDLINING aka changing VOTER populations to get more CONGRESSIONAL seats to this party or that. GovAbbott is going to have problems getting reelected. he has really hurt texas. This is so outrageous . Making legally voting tougher than carrying a gun. ~ Texas GOP

Morning_Joe I can’t believe this crap. I hope that all 4.7 million people show up to that one location on Harris County. That will teach that moron GovAbbott to cheat for trump. Dick move. Morning_Joe Better mail them or vote in person Now that is Cheating to be able to win .. Abbott needs to be called out on this. Blatant voter suppression!

Morning_Joe Can you spell voter suppression? Morning_Joe It’s almost as if they need to cheat in order to win…..ohhh wait.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Just Made It A Lot Harder For People To Vote By MailAbbott is closing all but one ballot drop-off location in each of Texas's 254 counties, severely limiting voting access. Shameful!!!!!! vote VoteHimOut VoteBlue2020 VoterSuppression BidenHarris2020 CountryOverParty AmericaFirst Hey GOP instead of suppressing the vote, how about you stand for something that people want to vote for? GOP GOPCorruptionOverCountry

Texas Dems Declare ‘Big War’ on Gov Over Mail-In Vote RestrictionHOUSTON - Texas Democrats are planning to take Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) to federal court over his controversial move on Thursday to shutter locations across the state where voters can drop off their mail-in ballots to be counted for the general election.“We’re in a big war right now with the state of Drop your ballots at any polling station beginning on October 13. Early voting from October 13 too! Bless their hearts You will vote for Trump even if it kills you Trump supporters. Fuck COVID-19. There ain’t no such thing.

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