Move To Restrict Mail-In Ballot Drop-Off Locations Seen As Voter Suppression

Voting rights groups want to overturn Gov. Abbott’s move to limit mail-in ballot drop-off locations to one per county.

By Jill Ament and Terri LangfordOctober 2, 2020 12:20 pm, ,

A move by Gov. Greg Abbott on restricting counties to a single drop-off location for mail-in ballots is voter suppression, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir told the Standard. 

Like other large counties, Travis County had several drop-off locations for those turning in mail-in ballots. But Abbott issued an executive order on Thursday that limited drop-off locations to one per county. 

“It’s disruptive and it looks like it’s deliberately disruptive,” DeBeauvoir said. 

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo had called Abbott’s action voter suppression

When pressed as to whether the disruption rose to the level of active voter suppression, DeBeauvoir, the clerk who will be supervising elections in Texas’ capital said: 

“I think so, too. I absolutely do.” 

She explained that the new drop-off locations were for those voters eligible to vote absentee but worried about delays with the United States Postal Service. 

“These hand delivery [locations] are for people who are concerned about the problems with the post office and yet do not want to go inside because they’re also concerned about COVID,” DeBeauvoir said. “So the governor puts them in, you know, between a rock and a hard place in terms of trying to find a place that’s safe for them to vote. What we say to voters is you’ve got one location. Please come see us if you want to vote by mail.”

On Thursday, a federal lawsuit was filed by voting rights groups, asking a judge to overturn Abbott’s latest order. 

For now, DeBeauvoir instructed voters to exercise their right to vote. 

“We’re going to do everything we can to support the voters,” she said. 

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