Republicans are conducting a concerted and organized effort to steal the 2020 election. Part of that effort is voter suppression. Republicans know that they cannot win an election where the population is allowed to freely vote, so they are trying to make it as difficult as possible to cast a vote.
The governor or Texas has just issued a proclamation closing (as of October 2) satellite offices where people can drop off main-in ballots. He says that counties are only allowed to have one drop off point. Some counties now have as many as 12 drop off points. This move also requires early voting clerks to allow poll watchers to observe ballot delivery. The drop off points were there to help voters, especially those who have questions about the postal service.
Abbott had previously extended early voting and allowed early drop-off.
See Chuck Lindell (@chucklindell)
Texas Democratic Party Chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, issued a statement about the closings which said, courts all over the country, including the Fifth Circuit yesterday, held that it was too late to change election rules. Hinojosa said that there was a “movement that will beat them (republicans) at the ballot box.” “…there’s nothing these cheaters can do about it.”
As Alejandro Villegas (@thecorpmex) points out, there are 254 counties in Texas. Harris County has over 4.7 million residents. Harris County has a population larger than 25 states. There were over 1.2 million votes cast in 2016. In Brewster county, it’s a 90 minute drive from the far end of the county to the county seat.
You can read about the lawsuits filed in Texas by Democracy Docket to help ensure that people can vote. All of these are opposed by Republicans.
In Texas, there are lawsuits currently in the system about
- allowing people to register to vote with motor vehicle transactions (like license renewals, etc.)
- a recent change in Texas law which limits the discretion of county election administrators in providing temporary early voting locations to help people who have limited access to transportation, like students.
- the elimination of straight ticket voting. Texas will eliminate straight ticket voting for the first time in 2020. It is widely used in Texas. Two-thirds of voters cast a straight ticket ballot in 2018. This will lead to longer lines and wait times which will deter voting.
- a prohibition against accepting electronically signed voter registration applications.
- Covid Election relief. The lawsuit seeks to make Texas provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots, accepting all ballots postmarked on or before the Election Day, prohibit enforcement of signature matching, allow voters to correct a signature mismatch, and allows voters to designate any third party to collect their voted and sealed absentee ballot.