WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, March 30, the Texas Senate’s State Affairs Committee advanced multiple anti-voting bills to the Senate floor. The bills impact multiple aspects of elections in the Lone Star State, including in-person voting, election irregularities and voter purges. Given Republican control of the Texas Senate, all of these bills have a good chance at advancing further in the legislative process.
Among the bills approved by the committee are
- Senate Bill 260, which would allow the state to start the purge process for voters who have not voted in an election in the previous 25 months,
- Senate Bill 990, which would eliminate the countywide polling program that allows voters to vote at any polling place in their county,
- Senate Bill 1039, which would create a system for investigating alleged election irregularities and empower the secretary of state to appoint a conservator to oversee elections,
- Senate Bill 1070, which would help pave the way for Texas to exit the voter data sharing organization ERIC,
- Senate Bill 1807, which would create an enforcement mechanisms to punish officials who change any election procedure required by law without authorization and
- Senate Bill 1950, which creates a new criminal penalty for election officials who suspend a statutory requirement that would require a mail ballot to be rejected.
The committee also heard testimony on several other bills that would allow the secretary of state to remove local elections officials, change election administration in the state’s largest counties, allow the secretary of state to order new elections in certain counties and establish a system of election law marshals. These bills have yet to receive a committee vote.