Texas Election Law

Related Information

Voter Registration

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
MethodBy mail, in person, or online. No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
DeadlineThirty (30) days prior to election day.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNot allowedNo Changes SB1
P. 2 Lines 2 - 9

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Automatic re-registration when voter moves to new county.
Same DayNot allowedNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Application

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ExcuseRequired;
Absence on election day.
Disability or pregnancy.
Over 65.
Confinement in jail.
No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNoNo ChangesSB1
P. 23 - Lines 1 - 4

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Prohibits the distribution of early ballot application forms or ballots to persons who did not request them.

DeadlineClose of business the eleventh day before Election Day.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Valid for X# of Cycles1No ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Return (other than by mail)

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Voter IDSignature VerificationNo Changes SB1
P. 19 Lines 21 - 26

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Requires expired or unexpired driver's license number or social security number.
In PersonYesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Drop BoxNot mentioned in statutes. Gubernatorial proclamation
Only one ballot drop box per county allowed.
No Legislative Activity
Return DeadlineClose of polls on election daysNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Ballot Harvesting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ProhibitedNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Limited 3rd PartyHousehold members, relatives, or persons lawfully assisting a voter. No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Paid Political OperativesNot allowedNo ChangesSB1

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Sec. 276.015
Prohibits activities in connection with "paid vote harvesting services."

Early Voting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
By MailYesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
In PersonYesHarris County (Houston) implemented 24-hour voting.SB1
P. 8 - Line 22

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Decreases population requirement for 12-hour weekday early voting from 100,000 to 30,000;
Limits voting hours on early voting days to 12 hours per day.
Curbside VotingYes, for people with disabilities who cannot enter a polling place without assistance. Available at all polling locations.Harris County (Houston) implemented Drive Thru Voting at 10 polling places for all voters. AG Ken Paxton issued guidance noting that Drive Thru Voting is guidance not listed as an option in the Texas Election Code.SB 7 bans Drive Thru Voting

Voter Identification - Absentee Ballot

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Signature VerificationYesNo ChangesSB1
P. 25 - Line 23 - 24

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Expands acceptable signatures for verification to any known signature on file.
Witness StatementNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Other--SB1111

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Establishes a strict ID requirement to verify the identity of voters whose voter registration address is a PO box or other address that does not correspond to a residence.
Cure ProcessNoNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Voter Identification - In Person

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Photo IDRequiredNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Other OptionsNoneNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Provisional BallotsNot givenNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Voting Day

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Hours7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. No Changes SB1
P. 8 Lines 9 - 10

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Lengthens poll time to 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Wait TimeNot mentioned in statutesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
ElectioneeringProhibited within 100 feet of polling places.No ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Other-- SB1
P. 6 Lines 20 - 21

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

Bans curbside voting.


SB1
P. 9 Lines 10 - 12

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

People in line at poll closure may vote.

Voter Rolls

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Update FrequencyMonthlyNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Voter RemovalDeath, moving, convicted of a felony. No Changes SB1
P. 3 Lines 22 - 25

PASSED and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR


Immediate cancellation of voter registration if there is notice that a voter has moved to a different country.

Abbot signs Texas elections bill, Democrats file suit

September 7, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) on Tuesday signed a sweeping overhaul of his state’s election procedures after months of delay caused by Democrates who sought to block the bill they say will disenfranchise voters.

Abbot made the measure his top priority in two special legislative sessions he called over the summer, the first of which ground to a halt when state House Democrats denied majority Republicans a quorum by fleeing to Washington, D.C.

Continue Reading on thehill.com

 

With Voting Bill’s Inevitable Passage, Democrats In Texas Hold Out For Federal Help That May Never Come

August 31, 2021

The vote Friday on GOP-backed voting legislation in the Texas House of Representatives was a formality: Senate Bill 1, which would add new restrictions to voting and which its opponents have criticized as an attempt at voter suppression, had enough votes to pass in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Democrats twice blocked similar legislation, first with a walkout during the regular session, and then by traveling to Washington D.C. during the first special session. While there, they urged Congress to pass federal voting protections.

Ahead of the vote, Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas repeated that call to action — and said the fate of Texas voters was now in the hands of federal lawmakers.

Continue Reading on HoustonPublicMedia.org

 

 

Texas House passes voting bill that lawmakers fled state to protest

August 27, 2021

Reuters — Texas’ House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill restricting voting access, more than six weeks after Democratic lawmakers fled the state in an effort to deny the legislature the quorum needed to approve the Republican-backed measure.

Continue Reading on reuters.com

 

As Texas Democrats mull return, GOP voting bill still awaits

August 9, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — Twenty-six days into refusing to come home, Texas Democrats who have twice now blocked a GOP voting bill face a choice: whether to go for Round 3.

It is a decision that partly depends on if the group of more than 50 Democratic state legislators still in Washington can claim victories up through now – and the right answer is not as easy as they would like as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott begins a third attempt to overhaul Texas’ voting laws in another special session starting Saturday.

Continue Reading on ABC13.com

 

 

Texas Democrats leave state to try to stop GOP voting bill

July 12, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrats in the Texas Legislature bolted Monday for Washington, and said they were ready to remain there for weeks in a second revolt against a GOP overhaul of election laws, forcing a dramatic new showdown over voting rights in America.

Private planes carrying more than 50 Democrats left Austin for Dulles International Airport midafternoon, skipping town just days before the Texas House of Representatives was expected to give early approval to sweeping new voting restrictions in a special legislative session. The numbers meant the House would not have enough lawmakers in attendance to conduct business and could not, at least for now, vote on the bill.

Continue Reading on APNews.com