Election legislation roundup: Texas House of Representatives

As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 177 election-related bills in the Texas House of Representatives since the beginning of the year. Of the 177, Ballotpedia tracked 83 from March 27-April 2. Republicans sponsored 52, while Democrats sponsored 31. Five of 83 bills are below:   

  • TX HB1269: Relating to the deadline for an early voting ballot board to determine whether to accept voters’ ballots, Rep. Sheryl Cole (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill:
      • Requires an early voting ballot board to verify and count provisional ballots no later than the 10th day after an election.
      • Requires an early voting ballot board to determine whether to accept mail ballots no later than the 10th day after an election.
      • Requires the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board shall deliver written notice of the reason for the rejection of a ballot to the voter no later than the 10th day after the canvass.
  • TX HB1271: Relating to the method of returning a ballot to be voted by mail, Rep. Sheryl Cole (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill requires a county to post notice on its website of the location of each polling place open on election day, the location of each polling place for early voting, and the location for ballots to be dropped. The county clerk may designate certain locations for delivering mail-in ballots in person during election day or the early voting period. 
  • TX HB1243: Relating to the penalty for the offense of illegal voting; increasing a criminal penalty, Rep. Cole Hefner (R).
    • As introduced, this bill increases the criminal penalty for the offense of illegal voting to a felony of the second degree unless the person is convicted of an attempt, which is a state jail felony.
  • TX HB1448: Relating to procedures for verification of a ballot voted by mail, Reps. Terri Leo-Wilson (R) and Tom Oliverson (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires verification of a vote by mail ballot using a card with the voter’s thumbprint and signature.
  • TX HB1850: Relating to the signature required on an application for voter registration, Rep. Mano DeAyala (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires a voter registration application to be signed by the applicant using ink on paper. An electronic signature or photocopied signature is not permitted.

During the week of March 27-April 2, Ballotpedia tracked 179 House election-related bills nationally. As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,289 House bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most House bills this year in the Texas House of Representatives with 177, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest House bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives with zero.

As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 594 House bills in Democratic trifectas and 558 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 137 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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About the author

Mercedes Yanora

Mercedes Yanora is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.