Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will sign an election integrity bill Tuesday after battling with Democrats over the controversial legislation.
Abbott will travel to Tyler, Texas, to sign S.B. 1, according to Fox News. The bill, which rolls back some of the relaxed voter accommodations put in place for the pandemic ahead of the 2020 election, will establish new rules for mail-in voting and will also tighten voting procedures and increase the number of partisan poll watchers.
The bill will also prohibit election officials from sending voters unsolicited applications for a mail-in ballot. Any official who does so would face possible jail time.
Supporters of the bill say the new restrictions are needed to ensure election integrity, while critics argue that the legislation is meant to suppress Democratic votes in upcoming races as Texas continues to become a battleground state. Just last week voting rights advocates sued to block the legislation, arguing that its rules will make it disproportionately harder for people of color to vote.
The election bill passed through the state legislature last week after months of delay during which state House Democrats left Texas to block Republican lawmakers’ efforts to get the bill passed.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) launched a new voter registration tool last week that would allow eligible Texans to vote from home to combat the voting stipulations in S.B. 1.