On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law placing new restrictions on voting. The signing into law of Senate Bill 1 adds new restrictions to early voting and new identification requirements, which critics say will disproportionately impact voters of color. Abbott said at an event where he signed the bill: “It does make it easier than ever before for anybody to go cast a ballot. It does also, however, make sure it is harder than ever for people to cheat at the ballot box.”
“Reforms are needed to the election laws of this state to ensure that fraud does not undermine the public confidence in the electoral process,” the text of Texas’ SB 1 states. The law also creates new rules and penalties for assisting others who fill out a registration form or ballot, which could makes it harder for people with disabilities or language barriers to vote. It also requires large Texas counties that lean Democratic to live stream video at ballot-counting sites.
Texas is one of several Republican-leaning states that have pushed for new voting restrictions after former President Donald Trump’s allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed restrictive voting bill into law in May, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp enacted sweeping changes to the state’s election rules in March. The new restrictions have prompted national attention and lawsuits in all three states.
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