By ACACIA CORONADO and NICHOLAS RICCARDI
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The sweeping changes to Texas’ election code that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law make it harder to cast a ballot in the state, and sometimes even legally riskier. Some of the most significant changes in the law concern expanded liberties for partisan poll watchers, the volunteers deployed by both major parties to observe voting and counting. Republicans also wrote the law to explicitly roll back ways Democratic counties made voting more accessible during the pandemic, including drive-thru options and 24-hour polling places. The Texas bill also adds more steps and paperwork for voters who mail their ballots.