The Texas House of Representatives backed a bill Friday that would prohibit election officials from sending unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters.
During the November 2020 general election, mail-in voting was very popular because of COVID-19. However, following the election, many states have considered imposing or have passed stricter restrictions, including Florida, Georgia and Iowa. On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that limits access to mail-in ballots and drop boxes, as well as tightens identification requirements for voting by mail.
Texas already has voter ID laws requiring photo identification or another document to verify the voter’s identity. Voters also are not able to register online. However, Texas Republicans introduced the “Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021,” a bill which is allegedly aimed at preventing voter fraud and increasing voting security. The bill will prohibit election officials from sending unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to voters. It would also give party-affiliated poll watchers greater access to voting sites.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 81-64 at 3 AM on Friday morning. A similar bill also passed the Texas Senate earlier this month. However, the Senate will need to reconsider this bill before it could potentially be signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, who has previously expressed support for voting restrictions.