Bill Text: TX HB1762 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the facilitation of voting by persons confined in certain jails.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-04 - Referred to Elections [HB1762 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB1762-Introduced.html
  86R9933 ADM-D
 
  By: Cole H.B. No. 1762
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the facilitation of voting by persons confined in
  certain jails.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle B, Title 7, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Chapter 108 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 108. ENFRANCHISEMENT OF PERSONS CONFINED IN COUNTY JAIL
         Sec. 108.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "jail
  administrator" means a sheriff or other person assigned to a
  position overseeing a county jail.
         Sec. 108.002.  PLACEMENT OF SECURE VOTING BOX. (a)  An early
  voting clerk may request that one or more secure voting boxes be
  placed in the county jail for the deposit of early voting ballots by
  mail.
         (b)  A secure voting box may only be placed in the jail with
  the consent of the jail administrator.
         (c)  A secure voting box that is placed in accordance with
  this section must be placed in the jail not later than the 30th day
  before election day.
         (d)  The secure voting boxes placed in accordance with this
  section must be placed in one or more locations as necessary to
  facilitate voting under this chapter without impediment by persons
  confined in every building of a multiple-building jail.
         Sec. 108.003.  SECURITY OF SECURE VOTING BOX. (a)  The jail
  administrator shall ensure that a secure voting box placed in the
  county jail is, at all times:
               (1)  locked to prevent tampering; and
               (2)  either:
                     (A)  being guarded by an employee of the jail; or
                     (B)  inside a locked room with no persons present.
         (b)  With the consent of the jail administrator, the early
  voting clerk may collect ballots placed in a secure voting box
  throughout the early voting period. This may include collecting
  and replacing a secure voting box.
         Sec. 108.004.  VOTING BY PERSON CONFINED IN COUNTY JAIL. (a)  
  A person confined in a county jail who is a qualified voter and is in
  possession of the person's early voting ballot to be voted by mail
  may:
               (1)  mail the completed ballot; or
               (2)  place the ballot in a secure voting box placed in
  the jail in accordance with this chapter.
         (b)  The jail administrator may:
               (1)  permit a person confined in jail to place the
  person's ballot directly in the secure voting box; or
               (2)  require a person confined in jail to deliver the
  completed ballot to an employee of the jail, who must then place the
  ballot in the secure voting box.
         (c)  A person who places a ballot in the secure voting box on
  behalf of the voter under Subsection (b)(2) is an assistant for
  purposes of Section 86.0051(b), and Section 86.006(f) does not
  apply to that person.
         Sec. 108.005.  DELIVERY OF SECURE VOTING BOX TO EARLY VOTING
  CLERK. The jail administrator shall ensure that all ballots placed
  in a secure voting box under this chapter have been delivered to the
  registrar not later than the deadline described by Section
  86.007(a)(2).
         Sec. 108.006.  PERSON CONFINED IN JAIL IN COUNTY OTHER THAN
  COUNTY OF RESIDENCE. (a)  A person who is confined in a jail that is
  located in a county where the person does not reside may cast a
  ballot by placing the ballot in a secure voting box under this
  chapter.
         (b)  A ballot to which this section applies shall be
  forwarded by the early voting clerk to the proper early voting clerk
  as soon as practicable.
         (c)  A ballot forwarded under this section is considered
  timely received by the proper early voting clerk if it is received
  by the early voting clerk of the county where the jail is located
  not later than the deadline described by Section 86.007(a)(2).
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 108, Election Code, as added by this Act,
  applies only to an election ordered on or after the effective date
  of this Act.  An election ordered before the effective date of this
  Act is governed by the law in effect when the election was ordered,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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