HB 431

86(R) - 2019
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

Vote No; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative


Matt Shaheen

Bill Caption

Relating to ineligibility to serve as a poll watcher.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 431 would prohibit all convicted felons from serving as poll watchers, regardless of what felony offense a person was convicted for.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action opposes HB 431 for violating the principles of individual liberty and limited government. This bill is overly broad and ignores the fact that not all felonies are created equal. There are numerous offenses that shouldn't be felonies to begin with including for example certain oyster-related felonies, fraudulent award of a bingo prize, unlicensed administration, promotion, or conducting of a bingo game, and cheating in a fishing tournament, to name a few. People who commit low-level crimes which have no business being felony level offenses in the first place shouldn't be permanently prohibited from being a poll watcher. For these reasons we oppose HB 431 unless amended to tailor the felony prohibition to felonies violent and sexually related felonies under the Penal Code and election-related felonies.