HEARING IS THURSDAY, APRIL 29

ISSUE

Among the bills that will be heard before the House Elections Committee on April 29, 2021, we like the following pro-voter bills and think they deserve our support. (It’s a House hearing where several Senate bills will also be included.)

  • HB 32 would allow a parent or legal guardian accompanied by their child to participate in curbside voting. Would also maintain curbside voting eligibility for voters physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or with the likelihood of endangering their health.
  • HB 160 would add a student ID to the list of acceptable identification to vote in-person at an early voting or election day polling place. Student ID would have to be issued by a college or university in Texas that contains the student’s photo, full legal name, and an expiration date no earlier than four years before the date of an election.
  • HB 2594 amends election code so “Political advertising” is defined as a communication supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination or election to a public office or office of a political party, a political party, a public officer, or a measure that in return for consideration is published, broadcast, or sent via e-mail or text.
  • HB 2860 would require each county conducting an election to post the dates of each election and the location of all polling locations on its website not later than 21 days before election day. Would also require the county to post the results of each election.
  • HB 3200 would require notification of a rejected ballot to the voter within 24 hours of the rejection, and that the voter be told they may request new ballot materials if time permits or may vote in person. Would require space on the ballot application for a voter to provide an email address for contact if there is an issue with their ballot. Would prohibit a signature verification committee or early voting ballot board from correcting an issue with a ballot or returning the ballot to the voter.
  • HB 4530 would require that the amount of political contributions from each person with a principal address outside Texas be reported, including the full name and address of the contributor and the contribution dates.
  • SB 331 allows a person assisting a voter with interpretation to assist the voter in both reading and marking the ballot. (Existing law limits the interpreter to reading the ballot to the voter.) The interpreter would take the same oath required of other individuals providing assistance. Allows an election officer to appoint an interpreter for a voter. (Existing law requires the voter to select the interpreter.) The election officer may appoint an interpreter who is a registered voter in the county or an adjacent county. Allows a voter to appoint any person they want to serve as an interpreter except for their employer, an agent of their employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs. (Existing law requires the voter to appoint a registered voter from the voter’s county of residence and does not contain prohibitions related to employers or labor unions.)
  • SB 1018 provides options for voter to supply missing information or vote in person in instances of missing or mismatched voter signature, missing statement of residence, or missing witness information.
  • SB 1572 would require “deputy early voting clerks” to sign ballots for each in-person voter, which would improve ballot chain of custody. Additionally, it would set provisions for a county that seeks to use the alternative option provided by the secretary of state, and require disclosure of this to voters on election websites.

CONTACT THE HOUSE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

Call or send email to the House Elections Committee before the hearing on April 29 adjourns and tell them you support these bills.

You can say…

Hi. My name is ________. I live in ________and my zip code is _______. I’m asking today that Representative ___________ ensure that the following bills pass out of the Elections Committee: House Bills 32, 160, 2594, 2860, 3200, 4530, and Senate Bills 331, 1018 and 1572.


House Elections Committee

  • Chair: Briscoe Cain, 512-463-0733, briscoe.cain@house.texas.gov
  • Vice-Chair: Jessica González, 512-463-0408, jessica.gonzalez@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Michelle Beckley, 512-463-0478, michelle.beckley@house.texas.gov
  • Member: John Bucy III, 512-463-0696, john.bucy@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Travis Clardy, 512-463-0592, travis.clardy@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Art Fierro, 512-463-0596, art.fierro@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Jacey Jetton, 512-463-0710, jacey.jetton@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Mike Schofield, 512-463-0528, mike.schofield@house.texas.gov
  • Member: Valoree Swanson, 512-463-0572, valerie.swanson@house.texas.gov

SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS

Texas residents may submit comments online until the time the hearing is adjourned. Go HERE. Put in your contact information, then select the bill you want to submit a comment on. (You could use the descriptions above as a basis for your comment.)

TESTIFY IN PERSON

If you’re in Austin, you could testify in person. Note that public testimony will be limited to 2 minutes each. Information for witness registration can be found HERE.

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