Patrick Creates Election Security Committee

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has established a seven-member Select Committee on Election Security and appointed Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) as chair. Patrick named Sens. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), Don Huffines (R-Dallas), Joan Huffman (R-Houston),...

Straus Releases Interim Charges

Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) issued interim study charges to the standing and select committees of the House of Representatives. Many, including one election-related charge, direct committees to assess the impacts from Hurricane Harvey or the potential response...

Abbott Vetoes Trio of Election Measures

Three election-related bills were among 50 vetoes issued by Gov. Greg Abbott. House Bill 2410 by Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) would have permitted a primary runoff to be conducted by mail if fewer than 100 votes were cast in the county’s primary election and no...

Abbott Signs Voter ID, Straight-party Bills

Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law bills that conform the state’s Voter ID law to recent judicial rulings and end the option to cast a single-punch, straight-party ballot after the 2018 general election. Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) codifies a process...

Final Fate of Election Issues as Legislative Session Ends

This post had been updated to reflect Gov. Abbott’s subsequent actions on these bills. The 85th Legislature, Regular Session has adjourned sine die. While there are rumors of a special session in the air, one is not likely to include election-related issues....

Voter ID Conferees Nix Several House Amendments

Updated. The conference committee on Senate Bill 5, the Voter ID fix, largely kept to the Senate’s version and rejected House language calling for a voter turnout strategic plan and a report on voter education expenditures. The conference committee report (pdf) was...

House Tentatively Approves Voter ID Fix

The House gave preliminary approval to a bill that largely conforms the state’s Voter ID law to a court decision requiring a process for people to vote who lack an acceptable form of identification. The 95-54, almost party-line vote capped a lengthy debate over the...

Status of Election Issues as Session Nears End

The 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session is down to its final two weeks. We have already passed two of the session’s most significant end-of-session deadlines: the last day a House committee may report a House bill (May 8) and the last day the House may consider a...

Senate Committee Approves Single-punch Elimination Bill

The Senate Business & Commerce Committee heard testimony on, and ultimately approved, a bill that would end single-punch, straight-ticket voting in Texas: House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton). It passed the House last week on a near party-line vote....

House Tentatively Approves Single-punch Elimination

The House gave tentative approval to a bill that would eliminate the single-punch option to vote a straight ticket. House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) was passed to engrossment (third reading) by and following a series of largely party-line votes. The...