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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a proclamation Thursday requiring all mail ballots delivered in person to be dropped off at the one voting clerk's office designated per county for "enhanced ballot security protocol."

Why it matters: The order, effective Friday, closes any satellite offices, where voters would have been able to drop mail-in ballots.

  • Harris County, which has a population of 4.7 million people, has 12 drop-off sites. Travis County, which has 1.2 million people, has four offices.
  • The proclamation also allows 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.”

What he's saying:

  • “The State of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections. As we work to preserve Texans’ ability to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state," Abbott said in the proclamation.
  • "These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting.”

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.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/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. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.