With just days left in the legislative session, the Senate moved quickly to pass a last-minute change to law expediting challenges to election contests in constitutional elections.

Senate Bill 6 by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) was filed on Friday, moved quickly through committee, and passed through the Senate within a matter of hours.

It would lower the time period following an election that a trial can be held from 180 to 50 days.

It would also set a 30 day deadline for challenges to be heard by appellate courts and the Texas Supreme Court.

The bill would also create a new requirement that election appeals can be filed no later than the fifth day after an election.

The legislation is in response to a series of six lawsuits filed following the November constitutional election, challenging the results based on the certification of the voting machines used. The results of this election—including property tax relief— cannot be certified until those lawsuits are resolved.

“Because these constitutional amendments that were passed by the House and Senate and approved by the voters affects so many people…Senate Bill 6 is an attempt to speed up the process for this election contest to be heard in court,” said Hughes.

“We are not attempting to change people’s rights or take anything away from them. We are giving them a quicker resolution to the claims,” he added.

While the issue is not on the current call for the special session, Gov. Greg Abbott is reportedly prepared to add the issue if the Senate and House can agree on legislation.

The current special session ends on December 6.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens