Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claims that new voting reforms in his state would make voting easier and more secure at the same time.
Election security is just one of many subjects being discussed at a special session of the Texas legislature Abbott called that began Thursday.
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“Even Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives, they agree that as a concerns mail in ballots that is an area where improving the mail in ballot system is a way to achieve greater election integrity,” Abbott told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “So what Texas is doing is we’re making it easier to vote by adding more hours in early voting than we have in current law, but also making it harder to cheat with regard to mail in ballot.”
Texas is considering new voting laws after the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona’s election security measures – which included a prohibition against ballot harvesting – were legal. Abbott claimed that ballot harvesting, in which a third party collects others’ absentee ballots and submits them, poses a real threat to election integrity.
Abbott noted that a federal judge appointed by former President Barack Obama observed that voting fraud was a problem, and that federal prosecutors had investigated and prosecuted a case in which someone tried to use cocaine to buy absentee ballots.
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Other topics to be discussed during the special session include border security, transgender student athletes, and critical race theory. Democrats have noted that the state’s electrical grid, which broke down last winter, is not on the agenda.
Abbott said that the power grid was not on the agenda because it was sufficiently addressed by measures taken during the regular session. He said that all of the special session’s topics had been on the agenda for the regular session and were “close to the finish line” before Democrats walked out to block voting reforms.
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The governor is gearing up for a reelection campaign and one prominent name has emerged – actor Matthew McConaughey. In a recent Dallas Morning News poll, Abbott held merely a one-point lead over McConaughey. In comparison, the same poll had Abbott enjoying a 12-point lead over possible Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.
“It doesn’t matter what the name is, I take everybody very seriously,” Abbott said.