WACO, TX — On Tuesday Gov. Abbott signed the Elections Integrity Bill into law. The republican-backed senate bill creates more restrictions in the state when it comes to casting ballots.
Senate bill one, now signed into law, has republicans overjoyed. Senate bill sponsor, Bryan Hughes, said this bill will make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, securing Texas elections.
"Anybody who tells you that there is no voter fraud in Texas -- is saying a very big lie," Hughes said.
There are several major changes in the bill:
- Bans drive-thru voting
- Adds new regulations for early voting and ID requirements
- Creates new rules for voter assistance
- Bans mail-in ballot applications
Texas Democrats are speaking out, calling this law discriminatory and racist. Some said it's disenfranchising voters and intimidating people from the polls.
"The whole scope of the republican party is to limit freedoms instead of expanding freedoms and it's obvious in several ways," Mary Man, with Central Texas Democrats, said.
Gov. Abbott said while it's adding some restrictions, it will still make voting more creditable and accessible for every legal Texan.
The bill also expands hours at the polls and allows anyone in line to cast a ballot even if they are not inside the voting center yet.