Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed the Election Integrity Bill into law Tuesday, attempting to prevent voter fraud and secure elections in the state.
“Election Integrity is now law in the state of Texas,” Abbott said after signing the law.
The changes to the Texas election process includes banning drive-thru voting, 24-hour early voting, soliciting or distributing mail-in ballots or applications to those who didn’t request them.
The law now requires that mail-in voters show a form of identification, enhances poll-watcher protections, and creates new rules for voter assistance to prevent fraud or manipulation.
Abbott argued this bill provides ample opportunity for Texans to safely and effectively vote, reported The Hill:
“Texas provides 12 days of early voting and this law even adds more hours during those early voting days. By comparison, the president’s home state of Delaware provides zero days and zero hours of early voting. It ensures that Texas provides even more opportunities for people to engage in the voting process than the president’s home state of Delaware as well as many other states across the entire country.”
Before the bill was even signed, two federal lawsuits--in Austin and San Antonio--were filed against the Election Integrity law, according to The Texas Tribune.
The plaintiffs in both lawsuits assert the law “takes particular aim at voters with disabilities, voters with limited English proficiency — who, in Texas, are also overwhelmingly voters of color — and the organizations that represent, assist, and support these voters,” according to the complaint of the Austin lawsuit.
These suits follow the same argument Texas Democrats made when they staged two separate walkouts this past summer during the regular session, in hopes of stopping the bill from passing through the state’s legislature.
After the first walkout in May, Abbott called a special session to bring lawmakers back to Austin, wrote CBS News.
However, several days into the session, 50 Texas House members left the state for the second time, and went to Washington, D.C. in attempts to “kill the bill,” reported CBS news.
Thirty-eight days later, four senators returned to the Texas House, allowing the vote to finally proceed. The bill passed 80-41 in the House, and 18-13 in the Senate, giving Abbott the opportunity to sign it into law.