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Relating to election integrity; increasing a criminal penalty.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 901 would amend the Election Code to authorize the signature verification committee to compare certain mailed-in ballot signatures with any signature, rather than two or more signatures, of the voter made within the preceding six years and on file with the county clerk or voter registrar. It would also require the early voting ballot board to place ballots in a separate container for future investigation if necessary. Finally, it would also amend certain procedures for counting ballots and preparing returns, as well as increase the penalty for certain crimes related to mail ballot fraud (Unlawful Carrier Envelope Action by Person Other Than Voter) to a state jail felony.
This bill would increase the penalty under Section 86.0051(d) of the Election Code (Unlawful Carrier Envelope Action by Person Other Than Voter) to a state jail felony, rather than a Class A misdemeanor.
Texas Action remains neutral on SB 901 because it does not affect our liberty principles. Protecting the integrity of elections is a core responsibility of state government and the provisions of this bill are within the legitimate scope of legislative authority within the context of limited government.