The limited move, ordered by a federal judge, marks the first time Texans have been able to register to vote online.
“Some of the biggest private-sector companies in Texas adapted quickly to customer service during the pandemic. Unfortunately, they’re not in charge of voting.”
Your questions answered about who qualifies, when to expect your ballot and how to make sure your vote counts
The nonbinding opinion comes as housing experts and advocates fear that the COVID-19 recession will prompt a surge in evictions across the state.
Experts say the improvement in Texas’ unemployment rate may be short-lived with recent surges in coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths.
Abbott previously resisted calls for such an order and at one point banned local governments from requiring masks. First-time violators will be issued a warning, though repeat offenders could be fined up to $250.
Texans will be voting in the middle of a pandemic on congressional, legislative and state board seats.
The moves, announced Friday morning, represent Abbott’s most dramatic action yet in response a surge in cases after he allowed businesses to reopen in the state.
Thousands more Texans tested positive for the new coronavirus over the weekend, and the state has reported 10 consecutive days of record-high hospitalizations.
The runoff election for the Democratic and Republican primaries is July 14. The runoffs were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.