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News / Articles

SB 1 Limits Our Freedom to Vote

 | Published on 12/21/2021

During the last election cycle, Texans all over the state benefited from more voting opportunities, such as expansion of early voting, extended hours at the polling places, and more options to return vote-by-mail ballots. These are the kinds of measures that Texans want. With the enactment of SB 1, these measures are prohibited. SB 1 adds to the morass of our election laws by using broad and confusing language, creating barriers to voting, and adding criminal offenses. 

The list below summarizes the League’s highest concerns. They are shared by a number of other nonpartisan groups as well.

  1. Threatens election officials with criminal prosecution for enacting procedures to meet local

    community needs and increase voter freedom;

  2. Threatens advocacy groups and individuals with felony prosecution for providing needed

    assistance to voters at polling locations and with mail ballots;

  3. Limits the ability of election judges to remove disruptive or intimidating partisan poll

    watchers;

  4. Allows partisan poll watchers to take election officials to court over perceived obstruction;

  5. Requires voters using mail ballots to include the ID number contained in their registration

    records when applying for or returning mail ballots;

  6. Requires audits disproportionately targeting more populous counties that are duplicative

    of audits required by legislation passed during the regular session.

  7. Prohibits outdoor voting, even in situations involving natural disasters and prohibit

    drive-through voting locations and mail ballot drop boxes;

  8. Requires new procedures for purging lists of registered voters and threaten local officials

    with loss of employment and civil penalties for failing to maintain voter lists to the

    satisfaction of the Secretary of State;

  1. One good thing was included...
    Provides voters an opportunity to electronically cure certain minor errors on mail ballots using the new electronic ballot tracking platform approved in the regular session.
See Review of SB1

By Cinde A Weatherby

See blog here