On Friday, the House gave final approval to Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), the session’s main elections bill, as amended. The final vote was 80-41 with all present Democrats voting no and all Republicans voting yes except for Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), who voted against it.
In the Senate, Hughes said he could not move to accept House amendments, which would have sent the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) desk. Hughes objected to an amendment added by Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), the chair of the House Elections Committee. Cain authored the main elections bill during the regular session, and he gave Democrats an easy opportunity to kill it because of self-inflicted procedural delays. He may have just given the Democrats another chance to kill it – albeit a slim chance – as the second special session enters its final week.
Cain’s amendment (PDF) changes the standard for illegal voting to a person knowing “of particular circumstances that make” the person ineligible and “that those circumstances make the person ineligible to vote.” Current law simply says a person votes illegally if he or she “votes or attempts to vote in an election in which the person knows the person is not eligible to vote.” Importantly, Cain’s amendment makes this change apply retroactively, which is unusual for laws allowing for civil or criminal penalties.
Hughes said he intended to use the conference committee solely to strike this amendment. Senate conferees are Sens. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) and Hughes. House conferees are Reps. Andrew Murr (R-Junction), Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) and John Turner (D-Dallas). Only three conferees from each chamber need to sign the conference committee report.
The House also passed an amended Senate Bill 13 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which would adjust the dates of the filing period and primary elections based on when redistricting plans become law.
HD10 special: Just over 5,500 people – 4.5% of registered voters – cast ballots in person or by mail during the five-day early voting period in Ellis Co. Fewer than 200 people voted early in Henderson Co., but that county represented just 4% of the district’s vote in the 2020 general election. Tuesday is Election Day. Our live coverage will begin at 7 p.m. CT.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) endorsed Brian Harrison.
HD9: Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) announced he will seek re-election.
HD122: Former Bexar Co. Dist. Atty. Nico LaHood (D while in office, R now) said he is considering challenging Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) in the Republican primary.
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