Bill Text: TX SB1509 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Relating to identification requirements for early voting by mail.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 5-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-05-07 - Reported favorably as substituted [SB1509 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB1509-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Creighton, et al. S.B. No. 1509
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to identification requirements for early voting by mail.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 84.001(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  An application must be in writing and signed by the
  applicant using ink on paper. An electronic signature or
  photocopied signature is not permitted.
         SECTION 2.  Section 84.002, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  An early voting ballot application must include:
               (1)  the applicant's name and the address at which the
  applicant is registered to vote;
               (1-a)  the following information:
                     (A)  the number of the applicant's driver's
  license or personal identification card issued by the Department of
  Public Safety that has not expired or that expired no earlier than
  four years before the date of application; or
                     (B)  if the applicant has not been issued a number
  described by Paragraph (A), the last four digits of the applicant's
  social security number;
               (2)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  on the ground of absence from the county of residence, the address
  outside the applicant's county of residence to which the ballot is
  to be mailed;
               (3)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  on the ground of age or disability, the address of the hospital,
  nursing home or other long-term care facility, or retirement
  center, or of a person related to the applicant within the second
  degree by affinity or the third degree by consanguinity, as
  determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, if the applicant is
  living at that address and that address is different from the
  address at which the applicant is registered to vote;
               (4)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  on the ground of confinement in jail, the address of the jail or of a
  person related to the applicant within the degree described by
  Subdivision (3);
               (5)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  on any ground, an indication of each election for which the
  applicant is applying for a ballot; and
               (6)  an indication of the ground of eligibility for
  early voting.
         (c)  A person 70 years of age or older may use the number of a
  driver's license or personal identification card that has expired
  for the purpose of fulfilling the requirement under Subsection
  (a)(1-a) if the license or identification is otherwise valid.
         SECTION 3.  Section 84.011(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The officially prescribed application form for an early
  voting ballot must include:
               (1)  immediately preceding the signature space the
  statement: "I certify that the information given in this
  application is true, and I understand that giving false information
  in this application is a crime.";
               (2)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  offenses prescribed by Sections 84.003 and 84.004;
               (3)  spaces for entering an applicant's voter
  registration number and county election precinct of registration,
  with a statement informing the applicant that failure to furnish
  that information does not invalidate the application;
               (3-a)  a space for entering the information required
  under Section 84.002(a)(1-a); and
               (4)  on an application for a ballot to be voted by mail:
                     (A)  a space for an applicant applying on the
  ground of absence from the county of residence to indicate the date
  on or after which the applicant can receive mail at the address
  outside the county;
                     (B)  a space for indicating the fact that an
  applicant whose application is signed by a witness cannot make the
  applicant's mark and a space for indicating the relationship or
  lack of relationship of the witness to the applicant;
                     (C)  a space for entering an applicant's telephone
  number, with a statement informing the applicant that failure to
  furnish that information does not invalidate the application;
                     (D)  a space or box for an applicant applying on
  the ground of age or disability to indicate that the address to
  which the ballot is to be mailed is the address of a facility or
  relative described by Section 84.002(a)(3), if applicable;
                     (E)  a space or box for an applicant applying on
  the ground of confinement in jail to indicate that the address to
  which the ballot is to be mailed is the address of a relative
  described by Section 84.002(a)(4), if applicable;
                     (F)  a space for an applicant applying on the
  ground of age or disability to indicate if the application is an
  application under Section 86.0015;
                     (G)  spaces for entering the signature, printed
  name, and residence address of any person assisting the applicant;
                     (H)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  condition prescribed by Section 81.005; and
                     (I)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  requirement prescribed by Section 86.003(c).
         SECTION 4.  Section 86.001, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (f) to read as follows:
         (f)  If the information required under Section
  84.002(a)(1-a) included on the application does not match the
  information on the applicant's application for voter registration
  under Section 13.002(c)(8), the clerk shall reject the application.
         SECTION 5.  Section 86.002, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (g), (h), and (i) to read as follows:
         (g)  The carrier envelope must include a space that is hidden
  from view when the envelope is sealed for the voter to enter the
  following information:
               (1)  the number of the voter's driver's license or
  personal identification card issued by the Department of Public
  Safety that has not expired or that expired no earlier than four
  years before the date of presentation; or
               (2)  if the voter has not been issued a number described
  by Subdivision (1), the last four digits of the voter's social
  security number.
         (h)  A person 70 years of age or older may use the number of a
  driver's license or personal identification card that has expired
  for purposes of Subsection (g) if the license or identification is
  otherwise valid.
         (i)  No record associating an individual voter with a ballot
  may be created.
         SECTION 6.  Section 87.041(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A ballot may be accepted only if:
               (1)  the carrier envelope certificate is properly
  executed;
               (2)  neither the voter's signature on the ballot
  application nor the signature on the carrier envelope certificate
  is determined to have been executed by a person other than the
  voter, unless signed by a witness;
               (3)  the voter's ballot application states a legal
  ground for early voting by mail;
               (4)  the voter is registered to vote, if registration
  is required by law;
               (5)  the address to which the ballot was mailed to the
  voter, as indicated by the application, was outside the voter's
  county of residence, if the ground for early voting is absence from
  the county of residence;
               (6)  for a voter to whom a statement of residence form
  was required to be sent under Section 86.002(a), the statement of
  residence is returned in the carrier envelope and indicates that
  the voter satisfies the residence requirements prescribed by
  Section 63.0011; [and]
               (7)  the address to which the ballot was mailed to the
  voter is an address that is otherwise required by Sections 84.002
  and 86.003; and
               (8)  the information required under Section 86.002(g)
  provided by the voter matches the information on the voter's
  application for voter registration under Section 13.002(c)(8).
         SECTION 7.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an application to vote an early voting ballot by mail submitted on
  or after the effective date of this Act.  An application to vote an
  early voting ballot by mail submitted before the effective date of
  this Act is governed by the law in effect when the application was
  submitted, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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