After a months-long battle with Democrats, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is set to sign the state’s contentious election integrity bill (Senate Bill 1) on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Abbott will travel to Tyler, Texas, to sign Senate Bill 1 (SB1), an election security bill that will establish new rules for mail-in voting, increase the number of partisan poll watchers, and give the state more control over local voting operations.
Abbott’s signature will come after a protracted battle with Democrats who opposed the bill, which included some lawmakers fleeing the state in a last-ditch effort to prevent it from becoming law.
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed the bill 80-41, and the Texas Senate voted 19-13 in favor of the new law. Both votes were almost entirely partisan in nature.
Shortly after the bill passed the legislature, the governor indicated that he would sign it.
“Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.
Republicans have argued the bill is a necessary step to put a stop to voter fraud in the state and boost voter confidence in the integrity of elections.
“How much fraud is okay? None. How much suppression is okay? None,” said GOP State Sen. Bryan Hughes of the legislation. “That’s why Senate Bill 1 makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
But Democrats claim that there is no evidence to support the notion that widespread voter fraud is a problem in the state.
“I worry that this bill is going to take our state down a very dangerous slippery slope. And I think that this narrative is dangerous, this narrative that there’s widespread fraud with no evidence. I think it’s damaging to our democracy,” Democratic State Sen. Cesar Blanco argued.
What is Texas’s Senate Bill 1?
Changes to the Texas election process in SB 1 include:
- A ban on drive-thru voting
- New regulations for early voting hours, including a ban on 24-hour voting
- A ban on the distribution of mail-in ballot applications
- New ID requirements for voting by mail
- A correction process for mail-in voting
- Enhancing poll watcher protections
- Establishing monthly citizenship checks
- Creating new rules for voter assistance
More detail about Senate Bill 1 is here.