With just two weeks left in the legislative session, a number of key election bills are moving a step closer to passage.
Senate Bill 9, this session’s highest-priority election integrity legislation, is set for a hearing in the House Elections Committee on Wednesday. The omnibus bill, authored by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola), addresses a wide range of election security and transparency issues including provisions to curb mail ballot voter fraud and illegal voter assistance. SB 9 is expected to draw extensive public testimony both for and against the measure.
Today the Elections Committee is hearing testimony on five Senate bills, including proposals by State Sen. Pat Fallon (R–Prosper) to hold all school board and bond elections on uniform November dates (Senate Bill 1048) and to prohibit school district trustees, employees, or contractors from electioneering using public funds or district resources (Senate Bill 1569).
Elections will also decide this week what bills will advance to the Calendars Committee, which determines what bills are put on the House calendar for a vote. Key bills pending after last week’s hearings include:
- SB 902 (Hughes): Improves public access to election records.
- SB 966 (Bettencourt): Limits “rolling polling” in counties of 100,000 or more, allowing mobile polling places to be moved only once during early voting.
- SB 1568 (Fallon): Adds $1,000 fines to criminal penalty for organized election fraud; allows the attorney general to seek an injunction to stop criminal activity during an election.
- SB 1638 (Zaffirini): Allows election officials to compare signatures on multiple mail ballot envelopes to help detect fraud; requires mail-in and in-person early voting ballots to be stored and reported separately.
Senate bills have until the end of the week to be heard and reported out of House committees, but they may not make it onto the calendar in time to receive a floor vote. House bills that didn’t pass the House by Thursday’s deadline died on the calendar.