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Gov. Abbott signs elections bill into law in Tyler

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 4:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 2:43 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Gov. Greg Abbott was in Tyler Tuesday and signed Senate Bill 1 into law.

Abbott was at the Plaza Tower atrium for the event. He was joined by Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola, Representative Andrew Murr, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

According to the Governor’s statement to the press, Senate Bill 1 creates uniform statewide voting hours, maintains and expands voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibits drive-through voting, and enhances transparency by authorizing poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process. The bill also bans the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect.

Detractors of the bill say it makes voting unnecessarily difficult for older voters, non-English speakers, and minorities.

“This is about real people who are trying to vote. This is about people who are trying to cast their ballots, but cheaters, ballot harvesters, bad actors, paid political criminals are trying to get in between the voter and their ballot,” said Sen. Hughes using sworn testimony from a trial in Hidalgo County as an example for why the law is necessary.

Governor Abbott said he expects this law will be challenged in court, saying he would be “astonished” if it wasn’t.

Sen. Bryan Hughes displays a copy of the signed SB 1.
Sen. Bryan Hughes displays a copy of the signed SB 1.(KLTV)

“I feel extremely confident that when this law makes it through the litigation phase, it will be upheld in a court of law,” the Governor said.

The Texas House passed the bill on Aug. 31 by 80-41. It then passed the Texas Senate 18-13 along party lines. This is the piece of legislation that compelled House Democrats to head to Washington, D.C., to break quorum.

You can read the full bill at this link.

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