Houston, July 28 (IANS) Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation to extend the early voting period for the November presidential election by a week due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to the proclamation issued on Monday, the early voting period will begin on October 13, instead of October 19, and continue through October 30, reports Xinhua news agency.
The proclamation also expanded the period in which marked mail-in ballots may be delivered in person to the early voting clerk’s office, allowing such delivery prior to as well as on Election Day.
“As we respond to COVID-19, the state of Texas is focused on strategies that preserve Texans’ ability to vote in a way that also mitigates the spread of the virus,” said Abbott.
“By extending the early voting period and expanding the period in which mail-in ballots can be hand-delivered, Texans will have greater flexibility to cast their ballots, while at the same time protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.”
Abbott’s proclamation comes as the state remains one of the hardest hit in the country, with 5,810 new coronavirus cases and 153 new deaths Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 381,656 cases and 5,038 deaths, according to a report by The Hill news website.
Texas has witnessed a slight decline recently in both its daily totals and its seven-day average.
Earlier this month Abbott issued a statewide mask order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The US currently accounts for the world’s highest number of coronavirus cases and fatalities at 4,287,974 and 148,009, respectively.