Bad Bills Up in House Elections, Busy Day in Senate State Affairs
Today in the Texas House Elections Committee will be entertaining some truly awful legislation while the Senate State Affairs Committee hears meaningful measures aimed at shoring up Texas elections and increasing transparency.
HB 2898 authored by Art Fierro (D-El Paso) would include parents and legal guardians as eligible for curbside voting. This service is currently reserved for handicapped individuals unable to enter a polling place, a manageable task given the size of the group
Additionally, in some Texas counties, handicap waivers have been extended to able bodied Texans, increasing the chances for ballot harvesting. Where we see allowances for the handicapped being extended to nearly all voters, opportunities for fraud and election rigging are not far behind.
HB 2902, another measure by Fierro, would allow ballot applications to be amended via email. While this is going to be lauded as
For starters, in Texas during every election we have evidence of application and ballot harvesting. There is nothing stopping a ballot harvester from setting up and monitoring email addresses for all collected ballots. In this scenario, the bill may as well be entitled the “Streamlining Vote Harvesting Act.”
Finally, Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) will be laying out a House Resolution calling for an Article V Convention to mandate fair elections with a specific focus on money in politics.
Vilification by the media, harassment by political operatives and even the use of government agencies to suppress political expression are in play and why anonymous free speech via political contributions must be protected.
Aside from a bill by Representative Briscoe Cain to mandate the disclosure of early voting rosters by 11 a.m. daily, there are no positive measures of note being heard in the Texas House Election Committee.
The Senate is another story.
SB 205 by Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) removes restrictions and penalties currently in place on cross-checking lists of non-citizens, excused or disqualified from jury service, with voter registration list, mandating the Attorney General (OAG) to compare such lists quarterly.
Currently, Texans working to secure the vote for Texas
SB 901 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) allows any signature on file for a voter to be used in determining the veracity of a signature. This will aid in the detection and prosecution of fraud. Recently, Direct Action Texas has filed multiple vote harvesting complaints that involve the alleged use of forged signatures.
SB 902 also by Hughes makes public access to election records affordable. Currently there is little predictability in the cost for voter and election related materials needed for independent review of election administration. These external reviews are vital to ensuring trust in our elections. Exorbitant fees being charged for election related materials and material production thwart transparency and undermine the credibility of the officials administering elections.
Hughes is back at it again, rocking the election integrity bills with SB 903, a measure that seeks to ensure that voter rolls are accurately maintained by among other things “allowing and/or requiring the secretary of state, local officials, and select other agencies to share information and take list maintenance actions” that those officials are not currently executing.
Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) has five bills being heard in committee this morning related to election administration. One of the bills, SB 1190 clarifies what constitutes a residential address for the purpose of voter registration.
Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) has two bills being heard, one of the bills SB 2353, setting up a fund to aid in the purchase of new voting equipment, has a companion bill in the House that has already been heard in the House Elections Committee.