Election legislation roundup: Texas State Senate

As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 106 election-related bills in the Texas State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the 106, Ballotpedia tracked 51 from March 27-April 2. Republicans sponsored 41, while Democrats sponsored 10. Five of 51 bills are below:   

  • TX SB637: Relating to the use of preferential voting in certain elections, Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill requires a special election held to fill a vacancy in an office requiring election by majority vote to use preferential voting. 
  • TX SB946: Relating to the election date for the authorization of the issuance of bonds or a tax increase, Sen. Kevin Sparks (R).
    • As introduced, this bill requires an election for the issuance of bonds or other debt or a tax increase to be held on the November general election date.
  • TX SB990: Relating to elimination of the countywide polling place program, Sen. Bob Hall (R).
    • As introduced, this bill eliminates the countywide polling place program.
  • TX SB823: Relating to the suspension of a county elections administrator, Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R).
    • As introduced, this bill permits the secretary of state to enter a written order to suspend a county elections administrator at any time if a complaint is filed and the secretary has cause to believe there is a recurring pattern of election administration problems. A vacancy created by the suspension of a county elections administrator is filled by appointment of the secretary of state until the problem is rectified.
  • TX SB477: Relating to accommodating voters with a disability, Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D).
    • As introduced, this bill:
      • Requires an election officer to accept a person with a disability before accepting others to vote at the polling place who arrived before the person and post notice of this accommodation at the entrance to each polling place and on the county clerk’s website.
      • Requires 2 parking spaces at a polling place to be reserved for persons with disabilities. The spaces must contain a sign with a number for election officials to assist.
      • Requires a county clerk and the secretary of state to post early voting and early voting by mail applications on its website to complete before printing.

During the week of March 27-April 2, Ballotpedia tracked 102 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 872 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 128, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in Louisiana and Massachusetts with zero.

As of April 2, Ballotpedia has tracked 401 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 367 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 104 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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