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Election workers accept mail in ballot from voters in Houston on Oct. 7. Photo: Go Nakamura/Getty Images

A federal judge blocked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) Oct. 1 proclamation restricting voters to one location per county to drop off absentee ballots in the general election, NPR reports.

Why it matters: Abbott said he was attempting to protect election security by reducing the number of places where Texans could drop off mail ballots during early voting. State Democrats accused the governor of trying to suppress the vote by forcing voters to travel further and to more-crowded locations to drop their ballots.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman said in a 46-page opinion: “the public interest is not served by Texas’ continued enforcement of a proclamation plaintiffs have shown likely violates their fundamental right to vote.”

The big picture: The proclamation, which would have most heavily impacted the state’s biggest cities, also called on poll watchers "to observe any activity conducted at the early voting clerk’s office location related to the in-person delivery of a marked mail ballot.”

  • The state may appeal the ruling, according to NPR.

Go deeper

Georgia election official counters Trump's fraud claims: "Do not self-suppress your own vote"

Gabriel Sterling speaks to the media on Nov. 5 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting implementation manager, urged voters on Monday to participate in the state's high-stakes Senate runoff elections as President Trump continues to push unsubstantiated voter fraud claims that some Republicans fear will suppress turnout in the state.

Driving the news: Trump pressed Georgia's Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, this weekend to "find 11,780 votes" — enough to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win in the state. Trump argued that "a lot of people aren't going out to vote" in the runoffs, and "a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative, because they hate what you did to the president."

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters gathered outside fortified statehouses across the U.S. over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

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