Election legislation roundup: Texas State Senate

As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 27 election-related bills in the Texas State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the 27, Ballotpedia tracked 24 from March 13-19. Republicans sponsored 19, while Democrats sponsored five. Five of the 24 bills are:

  • TX SB1056: Relating to the directors and administration of the Hidalgo County Water Improvement District No. 3; creating a criminal offense, Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D).
  • TX SB2258: Relating to authorizing certain cities to change the date on which their general election for officers is held, Sen. Cesar Blanco (D).
    • As introduced, this bill authorizes a city of certain size, a city-manager form of government, and that holds its general election for officers on a date other than the November uniform election date may change the date for its general election for officers to the November uniform election date.
  • TX SB545: Relating to death records maintained and provided by the vital statistics unit of the Department of State Health Services, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires the department of state health services to implement a method to provide death information to the secretary of state to assist in maintaining the statewide voter registration list.
  • TX SB747: Relating to the withdrawal of a candidate in a runoff primary election, Sen. Bryan Hughes (R).
    • As introduced, the bill mandates a candidate may not withdraw from a runoff primary election after 5 p.m. of the 21st day after the state canvass. If a runoff candidate withdraws from the election before the deadline, the candidate with the third highest number of votes in the primary will be on the runoff ballot. If a runoff candidate withdraws after the deadline, the remaining candidate is the nominee and the runoff election for that office is not held.
  • TX SB825: Relating to the deadline for submitting certain recount petitions, Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R).
    • As introduced, this bill changes the deadlines for submission of recount petitions.

During the week of March 13-19, Ballotpedia tracked 61 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 720 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 124, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in Louisiana and Massachusetts with zero. Republicans sponsored 331 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 302. Third party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 63 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 24. 

As of March 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 376 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 265 Senate 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 79 Senate bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.

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

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