Abbott issues order limiting number of places mail-in ballots can be dropped off to 1 per county

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order Thursday that limits the number of places voters can drop-off their mail-in ballots to one per county.

Abbott said mail ballots can be dropped off in-person at only one place that is designated by each county’s early-voting clerk.

The order also requires clerks to allow poll watchers to observe activity conducted at the drop-off location related to the delivery of marked mail ballots.

“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,” Abbott said in a written statement. “These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting.”

The governor’s order is effective Friday.

The Harris County Clerk’s Office has originally planned to allow voters to drop off their completed mail-in ballots at any of the Harris County Clerk Annex locations and NRG Arena.

Democrats respond

After Abbott’s order on limiting mail-in ballot drop-off locations, local Democratic leaders noted the restriction as voter suppression.

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