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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Security efforts deter voter participation

Photos+by+Azul+Sordo%2FThe+Collegian%0ACitizens+use+ballot+drop+off+locations+to+cast+thier+votes+for+the+upcoming+2020+election+in+November.+Voter+fraud+and+surpression+have+been+hot+topic+issues+the+election+year.
Photos by Azul Sordo/The Collegian Citizens use ballot drop off locations to cast thier votes for the upcoming 2020 election in November. Voter fraud and surpression have been hot topic issues the election year.

Gov. Greg Abbott is blocked by District Judge Robert Pittman limiting ballot drop-off locations

Azul sordo
photo editor

Photos by Azul Sordo/The Collegian
Citizens use ballot drop off locations to cast thier votes for the upcoming 2020 election in November. Voter fraud and surpression have been hot topic issues the election year.

As Election Day draws nearer, the line between voter security and voter suppression takes center stage in Texas. 

District Judge Robert Pittman blocked Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting the number of ballot drop-off locations to only one per county Oct. 9. 

Abbott said these measures were intended to enhance voter security and ensure greater transparency. Three federal lawsuits were filed within a week of the proclamation, alleging it undermines the public’s trust in the election process, according to The Dallas Morning News. 

Pittman argued Abbott’s order would force voters to decide between risking their health to vote in person or traveling potentially great distances to hand-deliver their ballot, citing concerns that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots in time. 

“These burdens fall disproportionately on voters who are elderly, disabled, or live in larger counties,” Pittman wrote in his order. 

NE government instructor Jennifer Green says this order, coupled with Texas’s already restrictive mail-in voting criteria, speaks poorly of the U.S. as a democratic society. 

“While security is something that we should think about, we should make sure nothing we do in the name of security compromises somebody’s ability to vote and have their vote counted,” Green said. 

The order would also permit poll watchers to observe activity at every ballot drop-off location. 

NW student government association president Stephen Brown said this measure poses the greatest threat to voter security, citing its history as a voter intimidation tactic. 

In 1981, the Republic National Committee organized over 200 armed “Ballot Security Task Force” members to patrol polling sites in majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in New Jersey, according to The New York Times. 

Following the incident, the RNC consented to a decree that would limit its ballot security operations. 

That decree expired in 2018. 

Drop off boxes are guarded while voters submit their ballots for the 2020 election.

“They

have no elected power, and I find that very concerning,” Brown said. “ I think it panders to what’s going on in our nation— this idea that white supremacy is re-emerging in its final push.” 

Green said the  voter-fraud narrative is largely “fantastical,” laying the foundation for more pointed accusations against the election process should the odds not be in President Donald Trump’s favor. 

“It would just be interesting to see if with all the claims of voter fraud rampant in the system, what the narrative would be should Donald Trump win the election,” Green said. 

Brown compares Abbott’s concerns over voter fraud to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” 

“If we question the validity of our elections every single year, then obviously the process isn’t working and there needs to be reform,” Brown said.

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