Originally Posted by Maurice Clark
This time in Texas. The governor has ordered the closure of all but one voter drop-off points in each county.
"The proclamation by Mr Abbott will cause "widespread confusion and voter suppression", said Harris County clerk Chris Hollins in a statement. Harris County, which encompasses Houston, is the most populous county in the state.
"Multiple drop-off locations have been advertised for weeks," he said. "To force hundreds of thousands of seniors and voters with disabilities to use a single drop-off location...is prejudicial and dangerous."
As you know, I'm a Texan, and I'm no fan of Abbot, but let me explain a little bit about what is going on here.
First, you have to understand that Abbot, while a Republican, is not popular in the party's far-right wing. They are eternally mad at him about something, and it almost always has to do with they think he is not right-wing enough. For example, they are mad at him about our shut-down. They are mad at him about our mask mandate, and they are mad at him for starting early voting six days early on Oct. 13th instead of Oct. 19th. In fact, they are right now in the process of suing him over this, and it's unclear if early voting in Texas will start on Oct. 13th.
Second, unless you are over age 65, it's almost impossible to get a Texas mail-in ballot. So, if this were an attempt at voter suppression, it's not suppressing the vote Republicans would want to suppress; i.e., most older voters vote Republican.
Third, you can always mail your ballot, which most voters will do anyway. Like most systems, you can track your mail ballot too. A drop-off location is not strictly speaking necessary.
Lastly, most counties have only ever had one drop off location, the county clerk's office usually. The sites were expanded due to COVID by local officials, but for example, Tarrant county where I live has only ever had one location.
What is really going on here in my humble opinion is Abbot is trying to appease the far-right wing faction of the party for his political expediency and survival. In other words, he's tossing them a bone, so they will get off his back.