Bill Text: TX HB4498 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to compliance with the National Voter Registration Act.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-05-04 - Reported favorably as substituted [HB4498 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB4498-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Cain H.B. No. 4498
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to compliance with the National Voter Registration Act.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 13, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 13.009 to read as follows:
         Sec. 13.009.  VOTER REGISTRATION IN A SIMULTANEOUS
  TRANSACTION FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE RENEWALS BY PERSONS ELIGIBLE. (a)
  The secretary of state and the Department of Public Safety shall
  jointly implement a program to allow a person who is a citizen of
  the United States and has an unexpired driver's license issued in
  this state to complete a voter registration application
  simultaneously with the person's application for an original,
  renewal, or duplicate driver's license and from the official
  Internet website of this state. The Internet websites of the
  secretary of state and the Department of Public Safety must also
  provide a link to the location of the application on the official
  Internet website of this state.
         (b)  An applicant for electronic voter registration must:
               (1)  attest to the truth of the information provided on
  the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true;
               (2)  affirmatively consent to the use of the signature
  on the applicant's driver's license or personal identification card
  for voter registration purposes;
               (3)  provide the information required under Section
  13.002(c); and
               (4)  provide the audit number and date of issuance of
  the applicant's Texas driver's license issued by the Department of
  Public Safety.
         (c)  For each application the program shall:
               (1)  require that a digital copy of the applicant's
  signature be obtained from the Department of Public Safety; and
               (2)  compare the information provided by the applicant
  against Department of Public Safety records.
         (d)  If the information submitted by an applicant does not
  match Department of Public Safety records, the program shall:
               (1)  notify the applicant that the application is
  incomplete; and
               (2)  advise the applicant to correct and resubmit the
  application.
         (e)  If the information submitted by an applicant matches
  Department of Public Safety records, the program shall forward the
  application to the registrar of the county in which the applicant
  states that the applicant resides and to the secretary of state.
         (f)  An application electronically submitted under this
  section is considered for all purposes as an application submitted
  by mail under this title.
         (g)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section, including rules to provide for additional
  security measures necessary to ensure the accuracy and integrity of
  applications submitted electronically.
         (h)  The rules adopted under Subsection (g) must require
  that:
               (1)  the Internet website through which a person may
  complete a voter registration application include a description of
  the offense described by Section 13.007 in a conspicuous location
  on the website near the place where the person begins or submits the
  application; and
               (2)  the state electronic Internet portal project be
  used to authenticate the identity of a person who submits an
  application electronically under this section.
         SECTION 2.  Section 13.071, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (a-1) and (c) and amending Subsection (b) to
  read as follows:
         (a-1)  The registrar shall send each submitted application
  determined eligible for registration to the secretary of state for
  verification.
         SECTION 3.  Sections 13.143(a) and (d-2), Election Code, are
  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.
         (d-2)  For a registration application not submitted by
  personal delivery or mail [telephonic facsimile machine] to be
  effective, a copy of the original registration application
  containing the voter's original signature must be submitted by
  personal delivery or mail and be received by the registrar not later
  than the fourth business day after the submission [transmission by
  telephonic facsimile machine] is received.
         (b)  If the application is submitted to the Department of
  Public Safety in conjunction with an application for an original,
  renewal, or duplicate driver's license the application shall be
  approved, rejected, or challenged under this subchapter [The
  registrar shall make the determination] not later than the seventh
  day after the date it was [the application is] submitted to the
  registrar.
         (c)  If the application is submitted in a manner other than
  the manner described by Subsection (b), the registrar shall forward
  the information relating to the applicant to the secretary of state
  for determining correct information necessary to prevent duplicate
  voter registrations and assess the eligibility of the applicant as
  provided by Section 13.0721. The registrar shall not accept an
  application under this subsection until the secretary of state has
  notified the registrar the applicant meets the requirements of
  Section 13.001. The secretary of state shall adopt rules and
  prescribe procedures to implement this subsection.
         SECTION 4.  Section 13.072, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 13.072.  ACTION ON APPLICATION. (a) Unless the
  registrar challenges the applicant, the registrar shall approve the
  application if:
               (1)  the registrar determines that an application
  complies with Section 13.002 and indicates that the applicant is
  eligible for registration under Section 13.001; 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:
                     (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.
               (3)  for an applicant who has included a statement
  described by Section 13.002(c)(8)(C), the registrar has forwarded
  the application to the secretary of state and the secretary of state
  has verified the identity of the applicant. The secretary of state
  shall adopt rules and prescribe procedures to implement this
  subsection.
         (b)  After approval of an application by an applicant who was
  registered in another county at the time of application, the
  registrar shall deliver written notice of the applicant's change of
  residence to the other county's registrar and include in the notice
  the applicant's name, former residence address, and former
  registration number, if known.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), if the registrar
  determines that an application does not comply with Section 13.002
  or does not indicate that the applicant is eligible for
  registration under Section 13.001, the registrar shall reject the
  application.
         (d)  If an application clearly indicates that the applicant
  resides in another county, the registrar shall forward the
  application to the other county's registrar not later than the
  second day after the date the application is received [and, if the
  other county is not contiguous, shall deliver written notice of
  that action to the applicant not later than the seventh day after
  the date the application is received]. The date of submission of a
  completed application to the wrong registrar is considered to be
  the date of submission to the proper registrar for purposes of
  determining the effective date of the registration.
         SECTION 5.  Section 18.062, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  To the extent practicable, a system developed under this
  section shall allow real-time verification of identity,
  eligibility and residency.
         SECTION 6.  Section 20.062, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  The Department of Public Safety shall prescribe and use
  a form and procedure that combines the department's application
  form for a license or card with an officially prescribed voter
  registration application form for each United States citizen who
  applies in person at the department's offices or using the
  procedure provided in Section 13.009.
         (d)  A procedure prescribed under this section must provide
  for the electronic transmission of an applicant's voter
  registration data by the department to the secretary of state in
  accordance with Section 20.066.
         SECTION 7.  Sections 20.063, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The Department of Public Safety shall provide to each
  United States Citizenperson who applies in person or using the
  procedure provided in Section 13.009 [at the department's offices]
  for an original or renewal of a driver's license, a personal
  identification card, or a duplicate or corrected license or card an
  opportunity to complete a voter registration application in a
  simultaneous transaction [form].
         (b)  The department shall prescribe and use a change of
  address form and procedure that combines department and voter
  registration functions. The form must allow a licensee or
  cardholder to indicate that [whether] the change of address is not
  [also to be used] for voter registration purposes.
         (c)  A change of address that relates to a license or card and
  that is submitted to the department in person, [or] by mail, or
  using the procedure provided in Section 13.009 serves as a change of
  address for voter registration unless the licensee or cardholder
  indicates that the change is not for voter registration purposes.
  The date of submission of a change of address to a department
  employee is considered to be the date of submission to the voter
  registrar for the purpose of determining the effective date of
  registration [only].
         SECTION 8.  Section 20.065(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Each weekday the department is regularly open for
  business, the department shall electronically transfer to the
  secretary of state the name and information designated by the
  secretary of state for [of each person who completes a] voter
  registration for each individual who is eligible to vote as
  provided by Section 13.001 and applies in person, by mail, or using
  the procedure provided in Section 13.009 for an original or renewal
  of a driver's license, [application submitted to the department].
  The secretary shall prescribe procedures necessary to implement
  this subsection.
         SECTION 9.  Sections 13.143(d) and (e), Election Code, are
  repealed.
         SECTION 10.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to an application to register to vote submitted on or after the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 11.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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