Texas Governor Restricts Number of Ballot Drop-Off Locations

It’s never a good sign when your state makes it into the international news.  From the BBC, “Texas governor cuts back on voting locations weeks before election“:

Texas’ governor has ordered that voters can drop off their mail-in ballots at only one location per county in the lead-up to the presidential election.

On social media, there’s a push to get mail-in ballot voters to drop off their ballots rather than mail them in to prevent overloading the already burdened USPS.  That Gov. Abbott is putting up this obstacle is disturbing to say the least.  (I do wonder whether this is the result of the push-back he received from his own Republican party regarding his extension of early voting dates.)

Just for a little context, here are a few county numbers (links are to US Census Bureau website; registered voter count is from the Texas Secretary of State January 2020 Voter Registration Figures website):

  • Harris (including Houston, the 4th most populous city in the US), population: 4,713,325 with 2,370,968 registered voters
  • Dallas (including Dallas, the 9th most populous city in the US): 2,635,516 with 1,335,478 registered voters
  • Tarrant (including Fort Worth, the 13th most populous city in the US): 2,102,515 with 1,151,733 registered voters
  • Bexar (including San Antonio, the 7th most populous city in the US): 2,003,554 with 1,125,759 registered voters
  • Travis (including Austin, the 11th most populous city in the US): 1,273,954 with 813,626 registered voters
  • El Paso (including El Paso, the 22nd most populous city in the US): 839,238 with 469,342 registered voters.

The population of Texas is 29 million, 16,106,984 of which are registered voters.  I don’t have figures for how many voters have requested mail-in ballots.

That said, in a state comprising only 254 counties, we’re looking at a serious attempt at keeping voters from having their voices heard.  Which, sadly, is nothing new.

This article from KPRC in Houston provides more population-related info: “New census data: Harris County is the third largest county in the US, but how does its growth compare to other large Texas counties?