TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Greg Abbott will join Sen. Bryan Hughes in Tyler to sign a controversial bill into law at 11 a.m.
Abbott will provide the final signature on SB1, a bill that alters election laws. Rep. Andrew Murr, another sponsor of the bill, will also be present at the signing. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will also be present.
SB1 has caused a stir in political circles since it was introduced. Republicans say the bill is needed for election integrity while Democrats say it could lead to voter suppression.
The bill regulates early voting hours, bans drive-thru voting and allows poll watchers to record voters who receive help filling out ballots. It will also become a crime for local election officials to reject an appointed poll watcher or send out unsolicited applications/ballots for voting by mail.
“If folks will look at what’s in the bill, they will find simple, common sense reforms that the people of Texas are calling for,” Hughes told KETK in July.
The bill also expands measures previously only afforded on Election Day. Now, even in early voting, poll workers have to let people vote if they were in line before the polls closed. In addition to that, employers must let their employees go vote even during early voting if their work hours conflict. The bill would also give voters the chance to correct their mail-in ballots if it was received with an error.
Hughes originally authored an election bill during the regular Legislative session, but it died when House Democrats staged a walkout. This bill was introduced again during the second special legislative session where it passed through both the Senate and the House once a quorum was restored.