Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1 into law on Tuesday in Tyler supposedly meant to reclaim election integrity in the state that was mired with controversy following the allegations on voter fraud last November.
Abbott, who was accompanied by the bill's authors Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Andrew Murr and by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick during the signing ceremonies, took to social media to announce the bill's enactment. Abbott highlighted the law's four key points related to voter eligibility and election fraud punishment while including a short video clip of the signing ceremonies.
"Election integrity is now LAW in Texas. This law: (1) Ensures every eligible voter gets to vote, (2) Adds more hours to vote, (3) Makes it harder for fraudulent votes to be cast, (4) Makes ballot harvesting a 3rd degree felony. Bottom line: it's easier to vote & harder to cheat," Abbott remarked in Twitter.
Election integrity is now LAW in Texas.
▪️ Ensures every eligible voter gets to vote
▪️ Adds more hours to vote
▪️ Makes it harder for fraudulent votes to be cast
▪️ Makes ballot harvesting a 3rd degree felony
Bottom line: it's easier to vote & harder to cheat. pic.twitter.com/p9IDQg95IK
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 7, 2021
"Proud to sign Senate Bill 1 into law, which will uphold the integrity of our elections in Texas. Thanks to Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Andrew Murr for your leadership on this issue," he said in Facebook.
According to the statement released by Abbott's office, the law is aligned with the agenda the governor placed as an "emergency item" in the first and second special sessions of the 87th Legislative Session of the Texas Senate. The focal point of enacting the law, Abbott said, is to regain "safe and secure elections" in the state.
"Senate Bill 1 ensures trust and confidence in our elections system--and most importantly, it makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Safe and secure elections are critical to the foundation of our state, and I thank Senator Hughes and Representative Murr for their leadership on this important issue. I am proud to sign Senate Bill 1 into law to uphold the integrity of our elections in Texas," Abbott disclosed in the statement.
As per SB1's 52-page text, the law prevents election fraud in Texas by "increasing criminal penalties, creating criminal offenses," and "providing civil penalties." SB1 also prohibits the "distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect."
SB1 makes voting hours uniform in the state while ensuring voter access is maintained and even expands it for registered voters in need of assistance. The law also bans drive-through voting while enhancing the transparency of elections "by authorizing poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process."
The law delves into the intricacies of the elections from voter registration to the voting conduct and to the "Security of Voted Ballots," among others.
Last week, former President Donald Trump hailed Abbott and the state of Texas for their efforts in creating reforms with the elections. Trump praised Texas' passing of a new bill to address the issues encountered during the last presidential elections. He called Texas' election reform bill as "strong" and compared it to Georgia's, which he regarded as "weak."
"Georgia's new law is not strong. Texas's new law is strong. Georgia's new law is not strong because the governor of Georgia didn't want it to be strong. It's better than it was, but it's not strong," Trump said.
Trump cited the Texas election reform law in line with the solutions he gave for America's future elections during an interview with Breitbart News in his golf club. Trump urged the use of paper ballots as the primary solution he recommends considering the qualms and evidence his campaign were able to gather in line with "vote switching" allegedly caused by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic.
The Blaze said Abbott's signing of SB1 into law "ends months of political drama in Texas" due to state Democrats creating a "publicity stunt" by fleeing to Washington DC to lobby "federal lawmakers legislation that would override any reforms enacted by the Republicans" out of claims that the latter is out to "suppress minority vote" through it.