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A poll worker stamps a voter's ballot before dropping it into a secure box at a ballot drop-off location in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Sergio Flores via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott can limit counties to one drop-off location each for mail-in ballots prior to Election Day, the state’s Supreme Court said on Tuesday. Voting rights activists have accused Abbott of voter suppression tactics.

Why it matters: The ruling, which overturns a temporary injunction, comes on the heels of a final push for voters by both parties in the critical battleground state.

  • With one week left until Election Day, the restriction of drop-off sites could force voters into long lines and increase the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Details: Votings rights groups argued that Abbott's October Proclamation, which limits drop-off sites, infringes on the right to vote and disproportionately burdens voters in large counties, but the court disagreed, writing that the October Proclamation is an “adjustment” to his July Proclamation.

  • Abbott’s July Proclamation allowed mail-in voters to deliver ballots to an early drop-off site due to COVID concerns.
  • “The July Proclamation’s expansion of early voting was undisputedly based on the pandemic, and the October Proclamation was merely an adjustment to what was and still is a reaction to the pandemic.”

Yes, but: Abbott cited "ballot security" as his reason for the October proclamation.

Where it stands: Early voting began on Oct. 13, but a trial court ruled in favor of plaintiffs and halted the Proclamation’s effects on Oct. 15.

  • It is unclear how the reversal of the temporary injunction will impact sought-after demographics in the Lone Star state.

What to watch: Poll: Hispanic vote key as Trump leads Biden in close Texas race

Go deeper

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

4 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.