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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.

Japan to release Fukushima water into sea

People near storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2020. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's government on Tuesday announced plans to release more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean following a treatment process.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has said Japan appears to have met globally accepted nuclear safety standards, officials in South Korea, China and Taiwan, local residents, those in the fishing industry and green groups oppose the plans, due to begin in about two years, per the Guardian.

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators shout "Don't shoot" at the police after curfew on April 12 as they protest the death of Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a day earlier. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

There were tense scenes in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center Monday night, after demonstrators defied a 7 p.m. curfew to protest for a second night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: The curfew was announced following a night of protests and unrest over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop Sunday. Following peaceful protests and a daytime vigil, police again deployed tear gas during clashes with protesters Monday night, according to reporters on the scene.