Governor Greg Abbott signing a bill surrounded by other representatives.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs SB1 alongside Sen. Brian Hughes (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (right). “Texas Voting Law” goes into effect Dec. 3, 2021. By Jared Jones

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Senate Bill 1 “Texas Voting Law” on Sept. 7 in downtown Tyler, which proposes a new reform that will handle how votes are cast for future elections. Back in the 2020 election 101.4 million of absentee ballots were cast. Republicans 14 out of 15 were absent during election day while 14 out of 15 Democrats were absent in early voting.

Now that the bill has been sign voters will need to adjust to the new guideline in order to vote. The bill goes into effect Dec. 3. Authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes of East Texas and sponsored by Rep. Andrew Murr, the bill was introduced on Aug. 6. This bill changes the early voting infrastructure for Texas.

 “We must have trust and confidence in our elections. The bill that I’m about to sign helps achieve that goal, “Abbott said at the press conference held at Plaza Tower in downtown Tyler. “The bottom line of what the law does is what the members around me have said all along the Texas law it does make it easier than ever before for anybody to cast a ballot. That does also, however, make sure that it is harder for people to cheat at the ballot box.”

 As Abbott signed the document, he spoke about its effects on early voting, preventing fraud including ballot harvesting, and protecting the integrity and security of the voter.

“It does make it easier for people to be able to go vote, no one who is eligible to vote will be denied the opportunity.” Abbott said, “It does, however, make it harder for cheaters to cast an illegal ballot.”

Voting procedures have changed throughout the years. COVID-19 has impacted the ways to vote especially in 2020. Some counties allow voters to cast their vote through drive through and do overnight voting during early castings.

With new law taking effect, voters will not be able to vote through drive-throughs and overnight voting. Also, when assisting someone with their ballots one must put down their personal information such as: address, Social Security number, or driver license number and sign and swear an oath.

Members of the State Democratic Executive Committee were among the 40 – 50 protestors demonstrating outside of Plaza Tower as the bill was being signed. “Abbott is signing that bill into law as if pointing the finger directly at Smith County voters like we’re rigging statewide and national elections. What an insult. It’s disgusting. Abbott is here because he thinks East Texans are so stupid that we blindly believe what is being puked out from his office.” Dr. Nancy Nichols, Senate District 1 Committeewoman, wrote in a press release from the SDEC.

President Dr. Juan E. Mejia from Tyler Junior College also attended the press conference and had a few things to say in regards to Abbott’s presence in Tyler and the importance of the signing taking place there.

“It’s always important. We have good legislators, and it’s tough being in the legislative arm,” Mejia said. “You make decisions, the best, you know with data and scientific information. And then at the end, you know that there’ll be some people to support and some that will not.”

Multiple media sources political representatives, such as Matt Schaefer and Cole Hefner and members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women like Kristi Antonick and Corrine Miklosh attended the signing.