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Relating to voter qualification and registration.
Estimated Twoyear Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB1340, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($20,438,867) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. The Secretary of State is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the Secretary of State may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
SB 1340 would require the secretary of state and the Department of Public Safety to jointly develop a program to allow a person who is a citizen of the United States with an unexpired Texas driver’s license to complete a voter registration application simultaneously with an online application for an original, renewal, or duplicate driver’s license.
The bill would require courts to provide in writing to convicted felons the nature and expected duration of the impact on their voting rights in this state as a result of their conviction. It would also require the Department of Public Safety to, on a daily basis, file with the secretary of state and registrar, abstracts for newly convicted felons. These felons would be removed from voter rolls upon the relevant authorities receiving the aforementioned abstracts.
To ensure a person who is not a citizen of the United States cannot register to vote, the secretary of state would be required to use the United States Department of Homeland Security database to search biannually for noncitizens living in Texas by identifying noncitizens whose voter registrations should be canceled and receiving a file from the Department of Public Safety of all persons who apply for a Texas driver’s license or identification card and indicate on the application that they are not a US citizen.
The bill would require the secretary of state to, as frequently as possible, request from USPS information showing changes of address for voters in this state, examine any information obtained from the interstate voter registration, identify each voter in the state who fails to vote in any election, submit an application for a mail-in ballot or submit a change in voter registration.
The bill would require the Department of Public Safety to verify on a quarterly basis the information of voter registration records containing a social security number. The department must at minimum verify the name, date of birth, and social security number of a registered voter and whether or not the voter is deceased.
The bill would require the secretary of state to annually audit the voter registrar for each county’s compliance with applicable law and not later than December 31, file a copy of the audit with the legislature.
The bill would require that, by the end of each year, the secretary of state provide a report to the legislature of the number of voters determined to be ineligible under existing law during the calendar year.
The bill would require county voter registrars to merge the registration files of a person determined to have more than one file.
Texas Action supports SB 1340 because it helps the government fulfill its lawful duties without infringing on the rights of Texans. This bill would increase the security and integrity of Texas elections with a variety of measures designed to remove felons, non-citizens, the deceased, and any duplicate registrations from Texas voter rolls.