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

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 9 days until election

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Americans have cast more than 58.6 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 9 days left until Election Day, according to an AP tally.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Harvard Youth Poll: 2020 young voter turnout could approach 2008 totals

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Why it matters: With just over a week until Election Day, 63% of the poll's respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” which is the highest proportion of respondents in the twenty years the poll has been conducted. These young voters are motivated by a number of social issues.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

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The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.