Election legislation roundup: Texas House of Representatives

As of March 26, Ballotpedia has tracked 94 election-related bills in the Texas House of Representatives since the beginning of the year. Of the 94, Ballotpedia tracked 36 from March 20-26. Democrats sponsored eight, while Republicans sponsored 28. Five of 36 bills are highlighted below:   

  • TX HB3190: Relating to the use of a public school as a polling place, Rep. Frederick Frazier (R). 
    • As introduced, this bill prohibits a polling place from being located on a public primary or secondary school campus. 
  • TX HB3174: Relating to requirements for counties posting election information on an Internet website, Rep. John Bucy (D).
    • As introduced, this bill requires a county to use the domain “.gov” or “.texas.gov” for a website used to post election information.
  • TX HB5180: Relating to the disclosure of anonymous voted ballots under the public information law, Rep. Terry Wilson (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires the general custodian of election record to provide public access to anonymous voted ballots, cast vote records, ballot images, authentication files, ballot reports, and related records on the 61st day after an election. 
  • TX HB3510: Relating to penalties for the intimidation and harassment of election officials; creating criminal offenses, Rep. Jessica Gonzalez (D).
    • As introduced, this bill creates an offense for a person who intimidates or harasses an election worker on more than one occasion.
  • TX HB1631: Relating to hours of service by an election watcher, Rep. Dennis Paul (R).
    • As introduced, this bill removes the time commitments necessary for poll watchers to choose their own hours and a provision related to using cell phones while on duty.

During the week of March 20-26, Ballotpedia tracked 56 House election-related bills nationally. As of March 26, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,113 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 MassachusettsHouse of Representatives with zero. Republicans sponsored 526 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 446. Minor party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 77 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 64. 

As of March 26, Ballotpedia has tracked 568 House bills in Democratic trifectas and 432 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 113 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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