Bill Text: TX SB1926 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the procedures for accepting certain voters without photo identification; providing for additional elements and prosecutorial authority to related offenses.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-19 - Referred to State Affairs [SB1926 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB1926-Introduced.html
  86R13650 JRJ-F
 
  By: Fallon S.B. No. 1926
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the procedures for accepting certain voters without
  photo identification; providing for additional elements and
  prosecutorial authority to related offenses.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Sections 63.001(b), (d), (e), (f), and (i),
  Election Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), on offering to
  vote, a voter must present to an election officer at the polling
  place:
               (1)  one form of photo identification listed in Section
  63.0101(a); or
               (2)  one form of identification listed in Section
  63.0101(b) accompanied by the affidavit [declaration] described by
  Subsection (i).
         (d)  If, as determined under Subsection (c), the voter's name
  is on the precinct list of registered voters and the voter's
  identity can be verified from the documentation presented under
  Subsection (b), the voter shall be accepted for voting.  [An
  election officer may not question the reasonableness of an
  impediment sworn to by a voter in a declaration described by
  Subsection (i).]
         (e)  On accepting a voter, an election officer shall indicate
  beside the voter's name on the list of registered voters that the
  voter is accepted for voting.  If the voter executes a [declaration
  of] reasonable impediment affidavit to meet the requirement for
  identification under Subsection (b), the election officer must
  affix the voter's voter registration number to the affidavit
  [declaration] either in numeric or bar code form.
         (f)  After determining whether to accept a voter, an election
  officer shall return the voter's documentation to the voter.  The
  election officer may make photographic evidence of the voter's
  documentation before returning it to the voter.
         (i)  If the requirement for identification prescribed by
  Subsection (b)(1) is not met, an election officer shall notify the
  voter that the voter may be accepted for provisional voting only
  under Section 63.011 if the voter meets the requirement for
  identification prescribed by Subsection (b)(2) and executes an
  affidavit swearing [a declaration declaring] the voter has a
  reasonable impediment to meeting the requirement for
  identification prescribed by Subsection (b)(1). An election
  officer shall indicate on the envelope in which the voter's
  provisional ballot is placed that the voter was accepted for voting
  under this subsection.  A person is subject to prosecution for
  perjury under Chapter 37, Penal Code, or Section 63.0013 for a false
  statement or false information on the affidavit.  The election
  officer shall orally notify the voter that the voter may be
  prosecuted for a crime if the voter's claims are not true or the
  voter has been issued a form of identification listed in Section
  63.0101(a) if the impediment indicated by the voter is an
  impediment other than described by Subdivision (3)(D) 
  [declaration].  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form of
  the affidavit [declaration].  The form shall include:
               (1)  a notice that a person is subject to prosecution
  for perjury under Chapter 37, Penal Code, or Section 63.0013 for a
  false statement or false information on the declaration;
               (2)  a statement that the voter swears or affirms that
  the information contained in the declaration is true, that the
  person described in the declaration is the same person appearing at
  the polling place to sign the declaration, and that the voter faces
  a reasonable impediment to procuring the identification prescribed
  by Subsection (b)(1);
               (3)  a place for the voter to indicate one of the
  following impediments:
                     (A)  lack of transportation;
                     (B)  lack of birth certificate or other documents
  needed to obtain the identification prescribed by Subsection
  (b)(1);
                     (C)  work schedule;
                     (D)  lost or stolen identification;
                     (E)  disability or illness;
                     (F)  family responsibilities; and
                     (G)  the identification prescribed by Subsection
  (b)(1) has been applied for but not received;
               (4)  a place for the voter to sign and date the
  declaration;
               (5)  a place for the election judge to sign and date the
  declaration;
               (6)  a place to note the polling place at which the
  declaration is signed; and
               (7)  a place for the election judge to note which form
  of identification prescribed by Subsection (b)(2) the voter
  presented.
         SECTION 2.  Section 63.0013, Election Code, as added by
  Chapter 410 (S.B. 5), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular
  Session, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 63.0013.  FALSE STATEMENT ON [DECLARATION OF]
  REASONABLE IMPEDIMENT AFFIDAVIT. (a)  A person commits an offense
  if the person intentionally makes a false statement or provides
  false information on an affidavit [a declaration] executed under
  Section 63.001(i) or encourages or enables another to do so.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
         SECTION 3.  Section 63.004(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The secretary of state may prescribe forms that combine
  the poll list, the signature roster, or any other form used in
  connection with the acceptance of voters at polling places with
  each other or with the list of registered voters.  The secretary
  shall prescribe any special instructions necessary for using the
  combination forms.  The combination forms must include space for an
  election officer to indicate whether a voter executed a
  [declaration of] reasonable impediment affidavit under Section
  63.001(i).
         SECTION 4.  Sections 63.011(a) and (b), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A person to whom Section 63.001(g) or (i) or 63.009
  applies may cast a provisional ballot if the person executes an
  affidavit stating that the person:
               (1)  is a registered voter in the precinct in which the
  person seeks to vote; and
               (2)  is eligible to vote in the election.
         (b)  A form for an affidavit required by this section must be
  printed on an envelope in which the provisional ballot voted by the
  person may be placed and must include:
               (1)  a space for entering the identification number of
  the provisional ballot voted by the person; [and]
               (2)  a space for an election officer to indicate
  whether the person presented a form of identification described by
  Section 63.0101(a); and
               (3)  a space for an election officer to indicate
  whether the person was accepted for voting under Section 63.001(i) 
  [63.0101].
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter B, Chapter 65, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 65.0521 to read as follows:
         Sec. 65.0521.  DUTY OF SECRETARY OF STATE.  The secretary of
  state shall prescribe procedures to establish a web portal by which
  the early voting ballot board of the county in which a provisional
  ballot is cast may search information provided to the secretary of
  state by the Department of Public Safety to verify that a voter who
  was accepted for voting under Section 63.001(i) and cast a
  provisional ballot has not been issued identification by the
  Department of Public Safety if the impediment indicated by the
  voter is an impediment other than described by Section
  63.001(i)(3)(D).
         SECTION 6.  Section 65.054, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (e) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  A provisional ballot shall be accepted if the board
  determines that:
               (1)  from the information in the affidavit or contained
  in public records, the person is eligible to vote in the election
  and has not previously voted in that election;
               (2)  the person:
                     (A)  meets the identification requirements of
  Section 63.001(b)(1) [63.001(b)] at the time the ballot was cast or
  in the period prescribed under Section 65.0541 or meets the
  identification requirements of Section 63.001(b)(2) at the time the
  ballot was cast and the board verifies the person under Section
  65.0521;
                     (B)  notwithstanding Chapter 110, Civil Practice
  and Remedies Code, executes an affidavit under penalty of perjury
  that states the voter has a religious objection to being
  photographed and the voter has consistently refused to be
  photographed for any governmental purpose from the time the voter
  has held this belief; or
                     (C)  executes an affidavit under penalty of
  perjury that states the voter does not have any identification
  meeting the requirements of Section 63.001(b) as a result of a
  natural disaster that was declared by the president of the United
  States or the governor, occurred not earlier than 45 days before the
  date the ballot was cast, and caused the destruction of or inability
  to access the voter's identification; and
               (3)  the voter has not been challenged and voted a
  provisional ballot solely because the voter did not meet the
  requirements for identification prescribed by Section 63.001(b)(1)
  [63.001(b)].
         (e)  If the board determines that a voter who was accepted
  for voting under Section 63.001(i) and cast a provisional ballot
  has been issued identification by the Department of Public Safety
  and Subsections (b)(2)(B) and (C) do not apply, the board shall
  notify the county or district attorney and the attorney general for
  prosecution.
         SECTION 7.  Section 272.011(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The secretary of state shall prepare the translation for
  election materials required to be provided in a language other than
  English or Spanish for the following state prescribed voter forms:
               (1)  voter registration application form required by
  Section 13.002;
               (2)  the confirmation form required by Section 15.051;
               (3)  the voting instruction poster required by Section
  62.011;
               (4)  the reasonable impediment affidavit [declaration]
  required by Section 63.001(b);
               (5)  the statement of residence form required by
  Section 63.0011;
               (6)  the provisional ballot affidavit required by
  Section 63.011;
               (7)  the application for a ballot by mail required by
  Section 84.011;
               (8)  the carrier envelope and voting instructions
  required by Section 86.013; and
               (9)  any other voter forms that the secretary of state
  identifies as frequently used and for which state resources are
  otherwise available.
         SECTION 8.  Section 273.021, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) and amending Subsection (b) to read as
  follows:
         (a-1)  The attorney general may prosecute an offense under
  Section 63.0013 or an offense of perjury under Chapter 37, Penal
  Code, if the offense was committed in relation to voting under
  Section 63.001(i).
         (b)  The attorney general may appear before a grand jury in
  connection with an offense the attorney general is authorized to
  prosecute under Subsection (a) or (a-1).
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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