Every State, Every Vote: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Attempts to Suppress Vote By Limiting Ballot Drop-Off Boxes

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott just made it more difficult for Texans to vote during the pandemic. Yesterday, he ordered localities to only accept ballots at one ballot-drop box per county.

In sizable counties such as Brewster, which is larger than the entire states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined, some voters could be forced to drive for more than an hour to return their absentee ballot.

Abbott’s order will likely have a greater impact on Black and Hispanic voters than white voters. One of Texas’ most sprawling and populated counties, Harris County, “is home to 25 percent of the state’s Black residents and 18 percent of its Hispanic populations.” Harris originally had 12 drop-off locations, and now it’s down to one. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins says the change will “result in widespread confusion and voter suppression.”

Voters in the state have already filed suit against Abbott hoping to block the order.

Every State, Every Vote Co-Chair Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released the following statement:

“While Gov. Abbott claims this order is for security reasons, the truth could not be more obvious – this is yet another partisan scheme to silence Black and Hispanic voters in the upcoming election. First, Republicans attack the Postal Service, and now they’re going after other methods of returning ballots. It’s despicable, and it’s a clear violation of voters’ rights.

“As the first state to conduct elections entirely by mail, Oregon is proof that absentee ballots are safe and bipartisan, whether you return your ballot through the mail or at a secure drop box. Gov. Abbott’s order isn’t ‘strengthening’ anything – it will only weaken our democracy and create more chaos and confusion during the election.

“As governors, we should be protecting voting rights and voting access, especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. You shouldn’t have to drive for hours to drop off your ballot, and you shouldn’t have to choose between your health and your right to vote.”

Learn how Democratic governors are fighting for free and fair elections at EveryStateEveryVote.com.