United States

Texas Governor Abbott signs voting restriction bill

17:56, 08 September 2021
Texas Governor Abbott signs voting restriction bill Photo: Dan Tian/XinHua

Senate Bill 1, also known as the election integrity bill, imposes further limits on the voting process.

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed on Tuesday a bill that forbids 24-hour and drive-thru voting, imposes new hurdles on mail-in ballots, and enhances powers of partisan poll watchers. The latter are now entitled to more movement, while election judges who hinder them can also face criminal penalties.

Thus Texas joined Florida, Georgia, and other states which had adopted restriction projects. Overall 18 American states have enacted new voting limits. The Republican-led states make voting access stricter after former US President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 elections were rigged.

The Governor signed the document in Tyler, a town in the eastern part of Texas, during a ceremony.

The election integrity bill adoption comes days after approving a law banning abortions from as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The US government has already promised to protect the right on the federal level.

Democrats of the state have protested in vain against the bill. In July they even fled Texas to delay voting on the bill and draw attention to the issue, including that of US President Joe Biden.

Tuesday signing comes exactly 100 days after the Democrats left the state in summer.

Last week minority rights groups filed separate suits against the GOP members accusing them of violating the federal Voting Rights Act and fueling discrimination targeting minorities.

“Black votes were suppressed today. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has intentionally signed away democracy for so many."

Democrats in Congress seek to defend voting access on the federal level, but they face strong opposition from the Republicans.