On the heels of major investigations into voter fraud around the state, conservatives are supporting an aggressive bolstering of our election laws.

Though many areas of the law are in desperate need of reform, topping the list is the state’s mail-in ballot process, which can be improved by increasing penalties for fraud, increasing data availability, and uniform dates for election contests.

Currently the Texas election code is very weak on penalties for those who violate the law regarding ballot by mail and vote harvesting. This makes it nearly impossible for prosecutors to win convictions and plays into Democrat talking points that voter fraud does not exist.

Without serious consequences for vote harvesting, professional operatives and politiqueras will continue to perpetrate voter fraud with relative impunity, and voters will not be able to trust election results. Lawmakers should also make it harder for these electioneers to operate in the first place by substantially restricting ballot by mail “assistance.”

Another necessary change is helping those who feel an election result to be fraudulent investigate the signatures on both original applications for ballot by mail and the corresponding mail in ballot envelope.

These applications must be made available to the public for review (so that the signatures on the application matches the signature on the ballot), but current law delays that until the end of the year—far beyond the primary, runoff, and municipal elections in the first half of the year—preventing them from being examined before the deadline to contest. Mail-in ballot envelopes and corresponding applications should be made available the day after each respective election for parties to review.

Additionally, the election code should be updated so that election data must be made available the day after the election and adjust the time to appeal the results accordingly. Political candidates deserve the right to gather all the data before contesting the result of an election.

Though voter fraud in Texas was mitigated with the implementation of voter ID laws, the current issues in Tarrant and Hill Counties, as well as politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley, demand strong attention from the Texas Legislature.

Texans’ faith in government demands a trust that the people’s voice is not ignored.

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