Texas has concluded its primary elections with the Republican party being in the spotlight on Tuesday. It also became the first US state to conduct elections after new restrictive voting guidelines were introduced.

In September 2021, Greg Abbott– the Governor of the lone star state and a member of the GOP– signed a legislation that added new requirements for Texans to vote. 

What has changed with the rollout of voting new rules?

-Ban on drive-through voting

Drive-through voting provisions were introduced in the United States as the country struggled to contain the spread of COVID-19. Nearly 127,000 people in Texas’ Harris County voted through this method in 2020. However, the provision has now been scrapped.

-Assisting voters became more difficult

The Greg Abbott-supported legislation added steps to the assistant voters’ verification process. Individuals were required to fill out separate forms that required them to disclose the name, address and relationship to the person they helped cast a ballot

-Ban on 24-hour voting

Harris County, which is considered to be one of the most diverse regions of Texas, did not see round-the-clock ballots on Tuesday. The 24-hour voting facility was added to aid those with irregular working hours. The polls opened at 6 AM on Tuesday and are set to close at 9 PM, according to reports from CNN.

Texas’ rapid growth — driven by more than 4 million new residents — has shifted once solidly red suburbs away from Republicans. But the GOP has countered that with redrawn maps that left fewer competitive congressional districts along with dramatic new voting restrictions, Associated Press reported.

Thousands of mail-in ballot applications — and actual ballots — were rejected under the new requirements. Most of those were due to voters not including newly mandated identification, worrying local elections officials that many won’t correct problems to have their vote count.