Election legislation roundup: Texas House of Representatives

As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 60 election-related bills in the Texas House of Representatives since the beginning of the year. Of the 60, Ballotpedia tracked 52 from March 13-19. Republicans sponsored 37, while Democrats sponsored 15. Five of these bills are:

  • TX HB3159: Relating to the use of an accessible absentee mail system by certain voters, Rep. Jeff Leach (R).
    • As introduced, this bill allows a qualified absentee voter to cast a ballot using an accessible, electronic absentee mail system.
  • TX HB4519: Relating to unlawful altering of election procedures, Rep. Jacey Jetton (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires the secretary of state to send notice to a public official who has been accused of an improper election procedure to correct the action. If corrective action is not taken, the secretary will send notice to the attorney general to take further action and apply potential penalties.
  • TX HB4697: Relating to the audit of an election in certain counties, Rep. Mano DeAyala (R).
    • As introduced, this bill allows counties participating in the Countywide Polling Place program to conduct the manual count on one percent of the county’s polling locations for both early voting in-person and election day in-person. In precinct-based election systems, the custodian of elections must select the precincts at random and begin the count no later than 72 hours after the polls close.
  • TX HB2430: Relating to the ability of a volunteer deputy registrar to distribute and receive applications for a ballot to be voted by mail, Rep. Erin Zwiener (D).
    • As introduced, this bill requires a volunteer deputy registrar to supply vote by mail applications to county voters and accept completed application for delivery to an early voting clerk. A volunteer deputy registrar commits an offense if they do not deliver the completed applications.
  • TX HB2622: Relating to voting a limited ballot on election day following the change of the county of residence by a voter, Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D).
    • As introduced, this bill requires a statement to be submitted to an election officer at any early voting polling place where voters may submit a limited ballot if the person is voting in-person and recently changed their address on their voter registration.

During the week of March 13-19, Ballotpedia tracked 92 House election-related bills nationally. As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,059 House bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most House bills this year in the New York State Assembly with 138, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest House bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives with zero. Republicans sponsored 491 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 430. Third party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 74 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 64. 

As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 561 House bills in Democratic trifectas and 392 House bills in Republican trifectas. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Ballotpedia has tracked 106 House bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.

The Texas House is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 10 to May 29 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked zero House bills related to election administration. Texas is a Republican trifecta.

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