Facing imminent threat of a federal takeover of Texas elections by Democrats in D.C., lawmakers have filed bills to “decouple” the state’s elections from federal contests.
Republican State Reps. Jacey Jetton (Sugar Land) and Mike Schofield (Katy) have each filed “trigger” bills in the Texas Legislature that are set to take effect if congressional Democrats’ massive anti-election integrity bill, House Resolution 1, becomes law.
H.R. 1—a top Democrat priority that seeks to transform how American elections are run by mandating a left-wing litany of lax voting processes—would seize power from state legislatures to set their own election laws and lock in voting rules that created chaos in 2020.
If that happens, House Bill 4366 or 4507 would kick in, and state officials would develop voting procedures to comply with the new federal statutes without compromising the integrity of other elections in Texas.
New state processes would establish separate voter registration rules and lists for federal and state elections and move non-federal contests to dates other than November of even years when federal elections are held.
House Bill 4402, also by Schofield, would move elections for state and county officials to November of odd-numbered years.
Jetton said H.R. 1 is a transparent attempt by Democrats in Congress to interfere with elections nationwide.
“Given how poorly the federal government manages many other agencies, I have no confidence in their ability to oversee elections across the country,” he said. “I filed House Bill 4366 to ensure the integrity of Texas’ elections.”
Among other anti-integrity provisions, H.R. 1 restricts state voter roll maintenance activities, prohibits states from requiring more than a signature to verify eligibility to register to vote, automatically registers people in state and federal database, eliminates penalties for noncitizens who illegally vote after being automatically registered, encourages minors to register to vote, and forces states to allow same-day registration.
“Should it become law, I will use every possible resource to protect our elections, state sovereignty, and the rights of all Texans,” Paxton said.
He and 19 other Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to congressional leaders opposing H.R. 1 as an unconstitutional overreach, after it passed the U.S. House on March 3 with all Republicans and one Democrat voting no.
The bill is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate, which has a 50-50 party split.
“The Republican Party is unified in opposing this,” election law expert J. Christian Adams said on WBAP radio in Dallas this week. Adams heads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm dedicated exclusively to election integrity.
“This is an absolute federal takeover of elections,” Adams said. “You should be extremely frightened… clean elections are hanging by a thread.”
Adams said concerned Texans can contact Senators, “even if they’re not in your state.”
One group of North Texas grassroots activists has already done just that.
The Republican Club at Heritage Ranch sent a letter to their U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz urging them to “work with fellow Republican Senators to convince a few Democrat Senators to join Republicans and soundly defeat H.R. 1.”
The club also encouraged members to contact Senators in other states and ask them to reject H.R. 1 and to not change the Senate filibuster rules to allow passage of the bill with just 51 votes—known as the “nuclear option.”
Either way, state lawmakers are preparing to protect Texas elections from federal mismanagement and potential fraud.
Election integrity is a top legislative priority of the Texas GOP and the only one also declared an emergency item by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Earlier this week, Abbott publicly endorsed “robust” election reform legislation.
Details about bills, along with resources to help citizens participate in the legislative process, are available at Texas Legislature Online. Find federal and state officials’ contact information at Texas Directory.