Texas governor Greg Abbott signed the S.B. 1 voting law on Tuesday, after state Democrats blocked previous attempts to approve the legislation.
“One thing that all Texans can agree [on] and that is that we must have trust and confidence in our elections. The bill that I’m about to sign helps to achieve that goal,” Abbott said before the signing. “The law does however make it harder for fraudulent votes to be cast.”
State House Democrats walked out of a session in May to deny a quorum of lawmakers and prevent the bill’s passage. State Democrats then fled Texas in July to block a quorum during Republicans’ second attempt to pass the bill.
Enough Democratic state representatives returned to Texas to provide a quorum by August 19, after Texas House speaker Dade Phelan signed civil arrest warrants for representatives still outside the state. The legislation was finally approved by the state legislature last week.
Among other measures, the bill prohibits state officials from sending mail-in ballots to voters unsolicited, requires voters to provide ID for mail-in voting applications, and bans drive-thru voting. The bill also requires live-stream video at voting places in large Texas counties as outlined by the legislation.
Republicans have supported the law as a means to limit voter fraud, while Democrats have maintained that the law unfairly targets minority voters.