WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill 1 into law. Republicans in the state Legislature passed the omnibus voter suppression bill last week during a special session. Texas Republicans finally achieved their goal of enacting a law that limits almost every method of voting in the state. S.B. 1 adds documentation requirements in order to vote by mail, limits polling hours, bans drive-thru and overnight early voting, empowers partisan poll watchers and more.
Gov. Abbott publicly endorsed an earlier iteration of the legislation that made its way through the Legislature in May. When Democratic lawmakers stymied efforts to pass the bill in the regular session, Gov. Abbott called two special sessions during the summer. Tuesday’s signing ceremony took place in Tyler, a city in the district of Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), the original author of S.B. 1. “We must have trust and confidence in our elections. The bill that I am about to sign achieves that goal,” Gov. Abbott said during the press conference. “The law does, however, make it harder for fraudulent votes to be cast.”
Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R) praised the Legislature’s work during the special sessions, calling S.B. 1 one of the “four cornerstones of conservative policies” passed in recent weeks. Gov. Abbott and the bill sponsors reiterated claims that new provisions are needed to prevent fraud, despite the lack of evidence of widespread fraud in Texas in last year’s election.