Bill Text: TX HB1026 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the duties of the secretary of state relating to voter registration.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-04-08 - Left pending in committee [HB1026 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1026-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Middleton H.B. No. 1026
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the duties of the secretary of state relating to voter
  registration.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 12.001, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 12.001.  DESIGNATION OF SECRETARY OF STATE AS VOTER
  REGISTRAR. (a)  The secretary of state is the voter registrar of
  every county for the purpose of the registration of voters and
  maintenance of the list of registered voters. The voter registrar
  designated under Subsection (b) is the voter registrar for all
  other purposes.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (a), the [The] county
  tax assessor-collector is the voter registrar for the county unless
  the position of county elections administrator is created or the
  county clerk is designated as the voter registrar.
         (c)  A reference in this code to the voter registrar, as
  related to voter registration duties, means the secretary of state.
         (d)  The secretary of state may adopt rules for the
  transition of the voter registration duties of the voter registrars
  under this code to the secretary of state.
         SECTION 2.  Section 13.071, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 13.071.  REVIEW OF APPLICATION.  (a)  The secretary of
  state [registrar] shall review each submitted application for
  registration to determine whether it complies with Section 13.002
  and indicates that the applicant is eligible for registration.
         (b)  The secretary of state [registrar] shall make the
  determination not later than the seventh day after the date the
  application is submitted to the secretary of state [registrar].
         SECTION 3.  Sections 13.072(a), (b), and (c), Election Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The secretary of state [Unless the registrar challenges
  the applicant, the registrar] shall approve the application if:
               (1)  the secretary of state [registrar] determines that
  an application complies with Section 13.002 and indicates that the
  applicant is eligible for registration; and
               (2)  for an applicant who has not included a statement
  described by Section 13.002(c)(8)(C), the [registrar verifies with
  the] secretary of state verifies:
                     (A)  the applicant's Texas driver's license number
  or number of a personal identification card issued by the
  Department of Public Safety; or
                     (B)  the last four digits of the applicant's
  social security number.
         (b)  After approval of an application by an applicant who was
  registered in another county at the time of application, the
  secretary of state [registrar] shall update the statewide voter
  registration list to reflect [deliver written notice of the
  applicant's change of residence to the other county's registrar and
  include in the notice] the applicant's change in county of [name,
  former] residence [address, and former registration number, if
  known].
         (c)  If [Except as provided by Subsection (d), if] the
  secretary of state [registrar] determines that an application does
  not comply with Section 13.002 or does not indicate that the
  applicant is eligible for registration, the secretary of state
  [registrar] shall reject the application.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter C, Chapter 13, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 13.0721 to read as follows:
         Sec. 13.0721.  DETERMINATION OF CITIZENSHIP.  (a)  The
  secretary of state shall verify with the Department of Public
  Safety the citizenship status of each applicant for voter
  registration.  If the department verifies the applicant's
  citizenship status, the secretary of state may approve the
  applicant's application.  If the department does not have
  information regarding the citizenship status of the applicant or
  has information indicating that the applicant is not a citizen, the
  applicant shall be notified as provided by secretary of state rule.
         (b)  An applicant for voter registration who receives notice
  under Subsection (a) must provide proof of citizenship to the
  secretary of state not later than the 60th day after the date of
  receipt. Except as provided by Subsection (c), this proof must be
  presented in person. The following is acceptable as proof of
  citizenship under this section:
               (1)  an unexpired passport issued to the person;
               (2)  a certified copy of a birth certificate or other
  document confirming the person's birth that is admissible in a
  court of law and establishes the person's identity, presented with
  a government-issued identification that contains the person's
  photograph; or
               (3)  United States citizenship papers issued to the
  person, presented with a government-issued identification that
  contains the person's photograph.
         (c)  An applicant may mail a certified copy of a document
  described by Subsection (b)(2) or (3) with a copy of the person's
  government-issued photo identification to the registrar.
         (d)  If an applicant does not provide proof of citizenship as
  required, the secretary of state shall reject the application.
         (e)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules and prescribe
  procedures to implement this section.
         SECTION 5.  Section 13.143(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection [Subsections] (b) [and
  (e)], if an applicant's registration application is approved, the
  registration becomes effective on the 30th day after the date the
  application is approved [submitted to the registrar] or on the date
  the applicant becomes 18 years of age, whichever is later.
         SECTION 6.  Sections 18.043(a) and (c), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The [At the times prescribed by the] secretary of
  state[, the registrar] shall produce [deliver to the secretary] a
  statement containing the voter registration information determined
  [by the secretary] to be necessary to comply with reporting
  requirements prescribed under federal law.
         (c)  The secretary of state [registrar] shall maintain the
  information required for the statements in accordance with
  procedures prescribed by this section [the secretary of state].
         SECTION 7.  Section 18.066(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Information furnished under this section may not
  include:
               (1)  a voter's social security number; or
               (2)  the residence address of a voter whose residence
  address is confidential under Section 13.004.
         SECTION 8.  Section 18.068, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 18.068.  COMPARISON OF INFORMATION REGARDING
  INELIGIBILITY. (a)  The secretary of state shall quarterly compare
  the information received under Subchapter A, Chapter 16, and
  Section 18.062 [Section 16.001] of this code and Section 62.113,
  Government Code, to the statewide computerized voter registration
  list.
         (a-1)  If the secretary determines from information received
  under Subsection (a) that a voter on the registration list may be
  ineligible to vote [is deceased or has been excused or disqualified
  from jury service because the voter is not a citizen], the secretary
  shall determine under this section whether the voter is ineligible
  to vote [send notice of the determination to the voter registrar of
  the counties considered appropriate by the secretary].
         (b)  The secretary of state shall by rule determine what
  information combinations identified as common to a voter and to an
  individual who is deceased or ineligible to vote constitute a weak
  match or a strong match in order to:
               (1)  produce the least possible impact on Texas voters;
  and
               (2)  fulfill its responsibility to manage the voter
  rolls.
         (c)  The secretary of state may not determine that a voter is
  deceased or ineligible to vote based on a weak match.  The secretary
  of state may inform the county of the voter's residence that a weak
  match exists.
         (d)  On determining [receiving notification from the
  secretary of state under Subsection (c)] that a weak match of
  identifying information exists for a [county] voter and an
  individual who is deceased or ineligible to vote, the secretary of
  state [county] shall investigate whether the voter is that [the]
  individual [who is deceased].
         (e)  The secretary of state may determine that a voter is
  deceased or ineligible to vote based on a strong match.
         (f)  The secretary of state may obtain, for purposes of
  determining whether a voter is deceased or ineligible to vote,
  information from other state agency databases relating to a voter
  that is the same type of information that the secretary of state or
  a voter registrar collects or stores for voter registration
  purposes.
         (g)  The secretary of state shall conduct a review under this
  section of every voter whose voter registration is effective on
  September 1, 2021. This subsection expires January 1, 2023.
         SECTION 9.  Section 20.008, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 20.008.  ASSISTANCE BY SECRETARY OF STATE [OR
  REGISTRAR].  If a question arises concerning voter registration
  that an agency employee cannot answer, the employee shall provide
  the person[:
               [(1)]  the toll-free telephone number of the Elections
  Division of the Office of the Secretary of State[; and
               [(2)  the telephone number of the voter registrar to
  whom registration applications are submitted].
         SECTION 10.  Sections 20.033, 20.034, and 20.035, Election
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 20.033.  EFFECT OF SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION TO
  EMPLOYEE.  The date of submission of a completed registration
  application to the agency employee is considered to be the date of
  submission to the secretary of state [voter registrar] for the
  purpose of determining the effective date of registration only.
         Sec. 20.034.  SUBMISSION TO SECRETARY OF STATE [REGISTRAR]
  BY APPLICANT.  (a)  The applicant may keep the registration
  application form or the completed application to submit the
  application personally to the secretary of state [voter registrar].
         (b)  The agency employee shall enter on the declination of
  registration form a notation that after being given the opportunity
  to register, the applicant kept the application or application form
  for personal submission of the application to the secretary of
  state [registrar].
         Sec. 20.035.  DELIVERY OF APPLICATIONS TO SECRETARY OF STATE
  [REGISTRAR].  (a)  The agency shall deliver to the secretary of
  state [voter registrar of the county in which the agency office is
  located] each completed registration application submitted to an
  agency employee.
         (b)  An application shall be delivered to the secretary of
  state [registrar] not later than the fifth day after the date the
  application is submitted to the employee.
         SECTION 11.  Section 20.037(c), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  An application form delivered by mail must be
  accompanied by a notice informing the applicant that the
  application may be submitted in person or by mail to the secretary
  of state [voter registrar of the county in which the applicant
  resides or in person to a volunteer deputy registrar for delivery to
  the voter registrar of the county in which the applicant resides].
         SECTION 12.  Section 20.063, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (e)  A person who submits a voter registration application to
  the department in person shall at the time of submission present as
  proof of citizenship:
               (1)  an unexpired passport issued to the person;
               (2)  a certified copy of a birth certificate or other
  document confirming the person's birth that is admissible in a
  court of law and establishes the person's identity; or
               (3)  United States citizenship papers issued to the
  person.
         SECTION 13.  Section 20.122(c), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  The application forms must be accompanied by a notice
  informing the licensees that the applications may be submitted in
  person or by mail to the secretary of state [voter registrar of the
  county in which they reside or in person to a volunteer deputy
  registrar for delivery to the voter registrar of the county in which
  they reside].
         SECTION 14.  Section 112.012, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 112.012.  NOTIFICATION TO SECRETARY OF STATE [VOTER 
  REGISTRAR].  Not later than the 30th day after receipt of an
  application for a limited ballot, the early voting clerk shall
  notify the secretary of state [voter registrar for the voter's
  former county of residence] that the voter has applied for a limited
  ballot.
         SECTION 15.  The following provisions of the Election Code
  are repealed:
               (1)  Section 12.005;
               (2)  Section 12.006;
               (3)  Subchapter B, Chapter 13;
               (4)  Section 13.072(d);
               (5)  Section 13.121(c);
               (6)  Sections 13.143(d),(d-1),(d-2), and (e);
               (7)  Section 15.083;
               (8)  Section 18.012;
               (9)  Section 18.061(c);
               (10)  Section 18.064;
               (11)  Section 18.065; and
               (12)  Sections 20.065(a) and (c).
         SECTION 16.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
feedback