By Michael Lee
September 7, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state’s controversial election integrity bill Tuesday after a months-long battle with Democrats opposed to the legislation.
Abbott traveled to Tyler, Texas on Tuesday to sign SB 1, an election security bill that will set new rules for mail-in voting while increasing the number of partisan poll watchers and giving the state more control of local voting operations.
Abbott’s signature comes after a long battle with Democrats who opposed the legislation, which included some lawmakers fleeing the state in a desperate attempt to block the law from being passed.
Those efforts came to an end last week after the Texas House passed the bill 80-41, with the Texas Senate voting 19-13 in favor of the new law. Both votes were almost completely along party lines.
The governor signaled his intention to sign the legislation shortly after it passed in the legislature.
“Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.
Republicans have argued the bill is a necessary step to put a stop to voter fraud in the state and boost voter confidence in the integrity of elections.
“How much fraud is OK? None. How much suppression is okay? None,” said GOP state Sen. Bryan Hughes of the legislation. “That’s why Senate Bill 1 makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
But Democrats claim that there is no evidence to support the notion that widespread voter fraud is a problem in the state.
“I worry that this bill is going to take our state down a very dangerous slippery slope. And I think that this narrative is dangerous, this narrative that there’s widespread fraud with no evidence. I think it’s damaging to our democracy,” Democratic state Sen. Cesar Blanco argued.