TYLER, Texas (KTRK) -- Today, after months of controversy, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed Senate Bill 1 into law, which changes voting laws in the state of Texas.
SB1 got national attention when state Democrats left Austin for Washington, D.C., trying to prevent the bill from moving forward by breaking quorum.
Ultimately, Abbott had to call two special sessions to get enough Democrats to reach a quorum so Republicans could pass the bill.
Despite Democrats' efforts, SB1 became law in the state, but the fight is far from over.
Abbott was joined by Sen. Bryan Hughes, who is the bill's author, and Rep. Andrew Murr.
ABC13 will stream the signing in the video player above. Come back to this post for updates.
Democrats say the law makes it more difficult to vote in the state and unfairly targets minority voters.
Republicans pushed for SB1 citing their desire to further safeguard elections from fraud - for which there is no evidence of a widespread problem - and to standardize election procedures. The legislation establishes new ID requirements for voting by mail, enhances protections for partisan poll watchers and sets new rules, and possible criminal penalties, for those who assist voters.
Additionally, the law will:
- Create uniform voting hours across the state
- Prohibit drive-thru voting, which was used in Harris County during the 2020 election
- Prohibit unsolicited mail in ballots, which were also used in Harris County in 2020
There are already two lawsuits filed against the new law, and a move in Congress to pass voter protections on a national level, which would supersede the Texas law.
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