Bill Text: TX SB9 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to election integrity; increasing criminal penalties; creating criminal offenses; creating civil penalties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-19 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB9 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB9-Comm_Sub.html
  86R33408 ADM-F
 
  By: Hughes, et al. S.B. No. 9
 
  (Klick)
 
  Substitute the following for S.B. No. 9:  No.
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to election integrity; increasing criminal penalties;
  creating criminal offenses; creating civil penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
  ARTICLE 1. CRIMINAL PROVISIONS
         SECTION 1.01.  Article 12.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 12.01.  FELONIES. Except as provided in Article 12.03,
  felony indictments may be presented within these limits, and not
  afterward:
               (1)  no limitation:
                     (A)  murder and manslaughter;
                     (B)  sexual assault under Section 22.011(a)(2),
  Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section
  22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code;
                     (C)  sexual assault, if:
                           (i)  during the investigation of the offense
  biological matter is collected and subjected to forensic DNA
  testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match
  the victim or any other person whose identity is readily
  ascertained; or
                           (ii)  probable cause exists to believe that
  the defendant has committed the same or a similar sexual offense
  against five or more victims;
                     (D)  continuous sexual abuse of young child or
  children under Section 21.02, Penal Code;
                     (E)  indecency with a child under Section 21.11,
  Penal Code;
                     (F)  an offense involving leaving the scene of an
  accident under Section 550.021, Transportation Code, if the
  accident resulted in the death of a person;
                     (G)  trafficking of persons under Section
  20A.02(a)(7) or (8), Penal Code;
                     (H)  continuous trafficking of persons under
  Section 20A.03, Penal Code; or
                     (I)  compelling prostitution under Section
  43.05(a)(2), Penal Code;
               (2)  ten years from the date of the commission of the
  offense:
                     (A)  theft of any estate, real, personal or mixed,
  by an executor, administrator, guardian or trustee, with intent to
  defraud any creditor, heir, legatee, ward, distributee,
  beneficiary or settlor of a trust interested in such estate;
                     (B)  theft by a public servant of government
  property over which he exercises control in his official capacity;
                     (C)  forgery or the uttering, using or passing of
  forged instruments;
                     (D)  injury to an elderly or disabled individual
  punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04,
  Penal Code;
                     (E)  sexual assault, except as provided by
  Subdivision (1);
                     (F)  arson;
                     (G)  trafficking of persons under Section
  20A.02(a)(1), (2), (3), or (4), Penal Code; or
                     (H)  compelling prostitution under Section
  43.05(a)(1), Penal Code;
               (3)  seven years from the date of the commission of the
  offense:
                     (A)  misapplication of fiduciary property or
  property of a financial institution;
                     (B)  securing execution of document by deception;
                     (C)  a felony violation under Chapter 162, Tax
  Code;
                     (D)  false statement to obtain property or credit
  under Section 32.32, Penal Code;
                     (E)  money laundering;
                     (F)  credit card or debit card abuse under Section
  32.31, Penal Code;
                     (G)  fraudulent use or possession of identifying
  information under Section 32.51, Penal Code;
                     (H)  exploitation of a child, elderly individual,
  or disabled individual under Section 32.53, Penal Code;
                     (I)  Medicaid fraud under Section 35A.02, Penal
  Code; or
                     (J)  bigamy under Section 25.01, Penal Code,
  except as provided by Subdivision (6);
               (4)  five years from the date of the commission of the
  offense:
                     (A)  theft or robbery;
                     (B)  except as provided by Subdivision (5),
  kidnapping or burglary;
                     (C)  injury to an elderly or disabled individual
  that is not punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section
  22.04, Penal Code;
                     (D)  abandoning or endangering a child; [or]
                     (E)  insurance fraud; or
                     (F)  a felony offense under the Election Code;
               (5)  if the investigation of the offense shows that the
  victim is younger than 17 years of age at the time the offense is
  committed, 20 years from the 18th birthday of the victim of one of
  the following offenses:
                     (A)  sexual performance by a child under Section
  43.25, Penal Code;
                     (B)  aggravated kidnapping under Section
  20.04(a)(4), Penal Code, if the defendant committed the offense
  with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually; or
                     (C)  burglary under Section 30.02, Penal Code, if
  the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and
  the defendant committed the offense with the intent to commit an
  offense described by Subdivision (1)(B) or (D) of this article or
  Paragraph (B) of this subdivision;
               (6)  ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim of
  the offense:
                     (A)  trafficking of persons under Section
  20A.02(a)(5) or (6), Penal Code;
                     (B)  injury to a child under Section 22.04, Penal
  Code; or
                     (C)  bigamy under Section 25.01, Penal Code, if
  the investigation of the offense shows that the person, other than
  the legal spouse of the defendant, whom the defendant marries or
  purports to marry or with whom the defendant lives under the
  appearance of being married is younger than 18 years of age at the
  time the offense is committed; or
               (7)  three years from the date of the commission of the
  offense:  all other felonies.
         SECTION 1.02.  Section 1.018, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 1.018.  APPLICABILITY OF PENAL CODE.  Titles 1 through 4
  [In addition to Section 1.03, Penal Code, and to other titles of the
  Penal Code that may apply to this code, Title 4], Penal Code, apply
  [applies] to offenses prescribed by this code.
         SECTION 1.03.  Sections 13.007(b) and (c), Election Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony
  [Class B misdemeanor].
         (c)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
  section also constitutes an offense under other law, the actor may
  be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both. [For
  purposes of this code, an offense under this section is considered
  to be perjury, but may be prosecuted only under this section.]
         SECTION 1.04.  Subchapter A, Chapter 61, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 61.0045 to read as follows:
         Sec. 61.0045.  IMPEDING ACCESS TO POLLING PLACE. (a)  A
  person commits an offense if the person impedes a walkway,
  sidewalk, parking lot, or roadway within 100 feet of a polling place
  in a manner that hinders a person from entering the polling place.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
         (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
  at the time of the offense, the person was performing an official
  duty as a first responder.
         (d)  In this section, "first responder" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 421.095, Government Code.
         SECTION 1.05.  Subchapter A, Chapter 64, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 64.0101 to read as follows:
         Sec. 64.0101.  UNLAWFULLY TAKING BALLOT. (a)  A person
  commits an offense if the person takes from a voter without the
  voter's permission a ballot that was provided at the polling place
  to the voter.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor,
  unless the person is serving as a watcher under Subchapter A,
  Chapter 33, at the time of the offense, in which case it is a Class A
  misdemeanor.
         (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
  the person was an election officer performing an official duty at
  the time the person took the ballot.
         SECTION 1.06.  Section 64.012, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (c), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
         (c)  It is sufficient for the purposes of Subsection (a)(1)
  to establish that the person had knowledge of the person's
  ineligibility to vote if the person was aware of the facts or
  circumstances causing the person's ineligibility under this code.
         (d)  It is not a defense to prosecution that the ballot was
  not finally counted.
         (e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
  Subsection (a)(1) that the voter cast or attempted to cast a
  provisional ballot.
         SECTION 1.07.  Section 64.036(d), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (d)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony
  [Class A misdemeanor].
         SECTION 1.08.  Subchapter A, Chapter 125, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 125.0041 and 125.011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 125.0041.  VOTING SYSTEM PROCEDURES BEFORE OPENING
  POLLING PLACE; CRIMINAL OFFENSE.  (a)  Before opening the polls for
  voting, the presiding election judge shall confirm that each voting
  machine has any public counter reset to zero and shall print the
  tape that shows the counter was set to zero.
         (b)  Each election judge present shall sign a tape printed
  under Subsection (a). A representative from each political party
  required to nominate candidates by primary election, if present at
  the polling place, shall sign a tape printed under Subsection (a).
         (c)  The commissioners court of a county that participates in
  the countywide polling place program under Section 43.007 may apply
  to the secretary of state for a waiver of the requirements of
  Subsections (a) and (b) in a form prescribed by the secretary of
  state. If the secretary of state grants the waiver, Subsections (a)
  and (b) do not apply to the county for which the waiver was granted.
         (d)  A presiding election judge commits an offense if the
  judge is required to comply with Subsection (a) and fails to comply
  with the requirements of that subsection. An offense under this
  section is a Class B misdemeanor.
         Sec. 125.011.  VOTING SYSTEM PROCEDURES FOR CLOSING POLLING
  PLACE; CRIMINAL OFFENSE. (a) Before closing the polling place on
  election day, the presiding judge shall verify and document the
  number on the public counter of each voting machine and shall print
  a minimum of three copies of each tally tape. The presiding judge
  shall sign each copy to certify its accuracy and distribute the
  tapes in accordance with this code.
         (b)  Any watcher present at the polling place must be allowed
  to inspect and sign each copy of the tally tape, and may request an
  additional copy to be printed for the watcher's records.
         (c)  The requirements of this section must be completed
  before any voting system equipment is removed from the polling
  place.
         (d)  The commissioners court of a county that participates in
  the countywide polling place program under Section 43.007 may apply
  to the secretary of state for a waiver of the requirements of
  Subsections (a) and (b) in a form prescribed by the secretary of
  state. If the secretary of state grants the waiver, Subsections (a)
  and (b) do not apply to the county for which the waiver was granted.
         (e)  A presiding judge commits an offense if the judge is
  required to comply with Subsections (a) and (b) and fails to comply
  with those subsections. An offense under this subsection is a Class
  B misdemeanor.
         SECTION 1.09.  Subchapter A, Chapter 273, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 273.005 to read as follows:
         Sec. 273.005.  DEFENSE TO PROSECUTION FOR PERSON CONDUCTING
  INVESTIGATION UNDER THIS CODE. (a)  It is a defense to prosecution
  of an offense under this code that a person employed by a law
  enforcement agency in the commission of the offense is engaged in:
               (1)  the investigation or prosecution of a violation of
  a law under this code; or
               (2)  official activities investigating a weakness in
  the electoral process.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a person employed by a
  law enforcement agency that engages in an activity described in
  Subsection (a) that results in casting a vote for an eligible
  candidate or for or against a measure.
         SECTION 1.10.  Section 276.001, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), an [An] offense
  under this section is a felony of the third degree.
         (c)  An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the
  second degree if the person is serving as a watcher under Subchapter
  A, Chapter 33, at the time of the offense.
         SECTION 1.11.  (a)  The change in law made by this article in
  amending Article 12.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, does not apply
  to an offense if the prosecution of that offense becomes barred by
  limitation before the effective date of this Act. The prosecution
  of that offense remains barred as if this article had not taken
  effect.
         (b)  The changes in law made by this article apply only to an
  offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An
  offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
  this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of
  this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
  ARTICLE 2. VOTERS, ASSISTANTS, AND WATCHERS
         SECTION 2.01.  Section 13.002, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:
         (c-1)  An application may not be accepted if, at the time the
  applicant received the application, a box on the application was
  marked to indicate that the applicant:
               (1)  is a United States citizen; or
               (2)  will be 18 years of age or older on election day.
         SECTION 2.02.  Section 33.004(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  To be eligible to participate in the appointment under
  this section of a watcher for a precinct polling place, a person
  must be a registered voter of the precinct. To be eligible to
  participate in the appointment under this section of a watcher for
  an early voting polling place, the meeting place of an early voting
  ballot board or signature verification committee, or a central
  counting station, a person must be a registered voter of the
  territory served by that facility.
         SECTION 2.03.  Section 33.006(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  A certificate of appointment must:
               (1)  be in writing and signed by the appointing
  authority or, for an appointment for a write-in candidate under
  Section 33.004, by each of the voters making the appointment;
               (2)  indicate the capacity in which the appointing
  authority is acting;
               (3)  state the name, residence address, and voter
  registration number of the appointee and be signed by the
  appointee;
               (4)  identify the election and the precinct polling
  place or other location at which the appointee is to serve;
               (5)  in an election on a measure, identify the measure
  if more than one is to be voted on and state which side of the
  measure the appointee represents; and
               (6)  contain an affidavit executed by the appointee
  stating that the appointee will not use [have possession of] a
  device capable of recording images or sound [or that the appointee
  will disable or deactivate the device] while serving as a watcher
  except as permitted by Section 61.014(b).
         SECTION 2.04.  Section 33.007(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Each appointing authority may appoint not more than two
  watchers for each precinct polling place, meeting place for an
  early voting ballot board or signature verification committee, or
  central counting station involved in the election.
         SECTION 2.05.  Section 33.051(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A watcher appointed to serve at a precinct polling
  place, a meeting place for an early voting ballot board or signature
  verification committee, or a central counting station must deliver
  a certificate of appointment to the presiding judge at the time the
  watcher reports for service. A watcher appointed to serve at an
  early voting polling place must deliver a certificate of
  appointment to the early voting clerk or deputy clerk in charge of
  the polling place when the watcher first reports for service.
         SECTION 2.06.  Section 33.054, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 33.054.  HOURS OF SERVICE AT EARLY VOTING BALLOT BOARD
  MEETING OR SIGNATURE VERIFICATION COMMITTEE MEETING.  (a)  A
  watcher serving at the meeting place of an early voting ballot board
  or signature verification committee may be present at any time the
  board or committee is processing or counting ballots and until the
  board or committee completes its duties. The watcher may serve
  during the hours the watcher chooses, except as provided by
  Subsection (b).
         (b)  A watcher serving at the meeting place of an early
  voting ballot board may not leave during voting hours on election
  day without the presiding judge's permission if the board has
  recorded any votes cast on voting machines or counted any ballots,
  unless the board has completed its duties and has been dismissed by
  the presiding judge.
         SECTION 2.07.  Section 33.056, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (e)  A watcher serving at the meeting place of an early
  voting ballot board or signature verification committee is entitled
  to inspect a form submitted in accordance with Section 64.0322.
         SECTION 2.08.  Section 33.060(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  On request of a watcher, an election officer who
  delivers election records from a precinct polling place, an early
  voting polling place, a meeting place for an early voting ballot
  board or signature verification committee, or a central counting
  station shall permit the watcher appointed to serve at that
  location to accompany the officer in making the delivery.
         SECTION 2.09.  Section 61.014(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  A person, other than a watcher solely recording the
  counting of ballots, may not use any mechanical or electronic means
  of recording images or sound within 100 feet of a voting station.
         SECTION 2.10.  Section 64.009, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (e), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
         (e)  A person who assists at least three voters voting under
  this section at the same time by providing the voters with
  transportation to the polling place must complete and sign a form
  that contains the following information:
               (1)  the person's name and address; and
               (2)  whether the person is providing assistance to the
  voters solely under this section or under both this section and
  Subchapter B.
         (f)  Subsection (e) does not apply to a person if the person
  is a family member of all voters that the person provides with
  transportation to the polling place. For purposes of this
  subsection, "family member" means a person related to the person
  within the second degree by affinity or third degree by
  consanguinity, as determined under Subchapter B, Chapter 573,
  Government Code.
         (g)  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form
  described by Subsection (e).
         SECTION 2.11.  Subchapter B, Chapter 64, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 64.0322 to read as follows:
         Sec. 64.0322.  SUBMISSION OF FORM BY ASSISTANT. (a)  Before
  a person, other than an election officer, assists a voter in
  accordance with this chapter, the person must complete a form
  stating:
               (1)  the name and address of the person assisting the
  voter; and
               (2)  the relationship of the assistant to the voter.
         (b)  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form required
  by this section. The form must be incorporated into the official
  carrier envelope if the voter is voting an early voting ballot by
  mail and receives assistance under Section 86.010, or must be
  submitted to an election officer before the voter may be accepted
  for voting if the voter is voting at a polling place or under
  Section 64.009.
         (c)  An election officer may, at the officer's discretion,
  make a copy of a form submitted under this section and deliver the
  copy to the secretary of state.
         SECTION 2.12.  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; 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); and
                     (J)  a statement informing the applicant that
  expected or likely confinement for childbirth on election day is
  sufficient cause to entitle a voter to vote under Section
  82.002(a).
         SECTION 2.13.  Section 86.013(f), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (f)  The oath of a person assisting a voter and the form
  described by Section 64.0322(a) must be included on the official
  carrier envelope as part of the certificate prescribed by
  Subsection (c).
         SECTION 2.14.  Section 213.013(i), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (i)  No device capable of recording images or sound is
  allowed inside the room in which the recount is conducted, or in any
  hallway or corridor in the building in which the recount is
  conducted within 30 feet of the entrance to the room, while the
  recount is in progress unless the person entitled to be present at
  the recount is a watcher or agrees to disable or deactivate the
  device. However, on request of a person entitled to appoint
  watchers to serve at the recount, the recount committee chair shall
  permit the person to photocopy under the chair's supervision any
  ballot, including any supporting materials, challenged by the
  person or person's watcher. The person must pay a reasonable charge
  for making the copies and, if no photocopying equipment is
  available, may supply that equipment at the person's expense. The
  person shall provide a copy on request to another person entitled to
  appoint watchers to serve at the recount.
  ARTICLE 3. ELECTION CONTESTS
         SECTION 3.01.  Section 232.006(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The venue of an election contest for a statewide office
  is in Travis County or any county where a contestee resided at the
  time of the election.  For purposes of this section, a contestee's
  residence is determined under Section 411.0257, Government Code.
         SECTION 3.02.  Chapter 232, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter C to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER C. CONTEST INVOLVING ALLEGED FRAUD
         Sec. 232.061.  PETITION ALLEGING FRAUD. This subchapter
  applies to an election contest in which the contestant alleges in
  the petition that an opposing candidate, an agent of the opposing
  candidate, or a person acting on behalf of the opposing candidate
  with the candidate's knowledge committed a violation of any of the
  following sections of this code:
               (1)  Section 13.007;
               (2)  Section 64.012;
               (3)  Section 64.036;
               (4)  Section 84.003;
               (5)  Section 84.0041;
               (6)  Section 86.0051;
               (7)  Section 86.006;
               (8)  Section 86.010; or
               (9)  Section 276.013.
         Sec. 232.062.  EVIDENTIARY STANDARD. A contestant must
  prove an allegation described by Section 232.061 by a preponderance
  of the evidence.
         Sec. 232.063.  CIVIL PENALTY. (a)  If the court in its
  judgment finds that the contestee, an agent of the contestee, or a
  person acting on behalf of the contestee with the contestee's
  knowledge committed one or more violations of a section described
  by Section 232.061, the contestee is liable to this state for a
  civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation.
         (b)  A penalty collected under this section shall be
  deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue
  fund.
         Sec. 232.064.  ATTORNEY'S FEES. In an election contest to
  which this subchapter applies, the court may award reasonable
  attorney's fees to the prevailing party.
         SECTION 3.03.  The changes in law made by this article apply
  only to an election contest for which the associated election
  occurred after the effective date of this Act.
  ARTICLE 4. STATE AND COUNTY OFFICERS
         SECTION 4.01.  Section 18.061, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (f) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The statewide computerized voter registration list
  must:
               (1)  contain the name and registration information of
  each voter registered in the state;
               (2)  assign a unique identifier to each registered
  voter; and
               (3)  be available to any election official in the
  state, including the attorney general, through immediate
  electronic access.
         (f)  Appropriate state or local officials and agencies shall
  provide technological security measures to prevent unauthorized
  access to the statewide computerized voter registration list.
         SECTION 4.02.  Section 18.062, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  For the purposes of Subsection (a), the secretary of
  state may disclose a voter's social security number or date of birth
  to other states and jurisdictions.
         SECTION 4.03.  Subchapter A, Chapter 31, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 31.014 to read as follows:
         Sec. 31.014.  RULES. The secretary of state shall adopt
  rules establishing best practices for:
               (1)  maintaining the physical and digital security of
  elections infrastructure and systems; and
               (2)  restricting access to elections infrastructure
  and systems to authorized personnel.
         SECTION 4.04.  Section 43.007, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (f) and (m) and adding Subsection (g-1) to
  read as follows:
         (f)  In selecting countywide polling places, a county must
  adopt a methodology for determining where each polling place will
  be located.  The total number of countywide polling places may not
  be less than:
               (1)  except as provided by Subdivisions [Subdivision]
  (2) and (3), 50 percent of the number of precinct polling places
  that would otherwise be located in the county for that election;
  [or]
               (2)  except as provided by Subdivision (3), for an
  election held in the first year in which the county participates in
  the program, 65 percent of the number of precinct polling places
  that would otherwise be located in the county for that election; or
               (3)  for an election held on the November general
  election date in an even-numbered year, 80 percent of the number of
  precinct polling places that would otherwise be located in the
  county for that election.
         (g-1)  A county participating in the program shall, at each
  countywide polling place, post a notice of the four nearest
  countywide polling place locations by driving distance.
         (m)  In adopting a methodology under Subsection (f), the
  county must ensure that:
               (1)  in a county with a population of less than one
  million, each county commissioners precinct contains at least one
  countywide polling place and the percentage of the total number of
  countywide polling places located in each commissioners precinct
  must be as equal as mathematically possible to the percentage of
  registered voters of the county whose registrations are effective
  on the date of the election residing in each commissioners
  precinct; or [and]
               (2)  in a county with a population of one million or
  more, the percentage of the total number of countywide polling
  places located in each state representative district in the county
  containing territory in which the election is held must be as equal
  as mathematically possible to the percentage of registered voters
  of the county whose registrations are effective on the date of the
  election residing in each state representative district [the total
  number of permanent branch and temporary branch polling places open
  for voting in a county commissioners precinct does not exceed more
  than twice the number of permanent branch and temporary branch
  polling places in another county commissioners precinct].
         SECTION 4.05.  Section 67.007, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (f) to read as follows:
         (f)  Not later than 24 hours after completing county election
  returns under this section, the county clerk shall post on the
  county's Internet website, if the county maintains a website:
               (1)  the number of votes that were cast in the county;
  and
               (2)  the number of registered voters in the county.
         SECTION 4.06.  Subchapter A, Chapter 127, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 127.008 to read as follows:
         Sec. 127.008.  ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN CENTRAL COUNTING
  STATION. (a)  A counting station manager and the presiding judge
  of the counting station shall develop a protocol under which no
  electronic device capable of being connected to the Internet is
  permitted inside a central counting station, except as permitted by
  Subsection (b).
         (b)  The protocol developed under Subsection (a) may permit a
  cellular telephone or the equipment necessary to count votes to be
  present in the central counting station if the devices are not
  connected to the Internet.
         SECTION 4.07.  Section 216.001, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 216.001.  APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. (a)  Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), this [This] chapter applies only to an
  election that results in a tie vote as provided by Sections
  2.002(i), 2.023(b) and (c), and 2.028.
         (b)  If the results of an election show that the number of
  votes cast in an election precinct exceeds the number of registered
  voters in the precinct, the authority designated under Section
  212.026 shall initiate an automatic recount for that precinct in
  accordance with this chapter.
  ARTICLE 5. AUDITABLE VOTING SYSTEMS
         SECTION 5.01.  Chapter 127, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter I to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER I. RISK-LIMITING AUDIT
         Sec. 127.301.  APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a)  This
  subchapter applies to an election: 
               (1)  that occurs after August 31, 2024; 
               (2)  that contains a race or measure that is voted on
  statewide; and
               (3)  in which an auditable voting system is used.
         (b)  In this subchapter, "auditable voting system" means a
  voting system that uses, creates, or displays a paper record that
  may be read by the voter.
         Sec. 127.302.  RISK-LIMITING AUDIT. (a)  Not later than 24
  hours after all ballots have been counted in an election, the
  general custodian of election records shall conduct a risk-limiting
  audit for a selected statewide race or measure.
         (b)  The secretary of state shall select, in accordance with
  rules adopted by the secretary, the precincts to be counted and the
  office or proposition to be counted.
         (c)  The general custodian of election records shall
  complete the audit not later than 24 hours before the time for
  conducting the canvass of the election.
         (d)  The general custodian of election records shall post a
  notice of the date, hour, and place of the audit in the custodian's
  office and on the county's Internet website, if the county
  maintains a website.
         (e)  A watcher may be present for the audit if appointed by a
  candidate in the election or appointed under Section 33.003 or
  33.005. A watcher must deliver a certificate of appointment to the
  general custodian of election records at the time the watcher
  reports for service. The certificate must be in writing and must
  include:
               (1)  the printed name and signature of the watcher;
               (2)  the election subject to the audit; and
               (3)  the printed name and signature of, as appropriate:
                     (A)  the candidate making the appointment;
                     (B)  the county chair of the political party
  making the appointment; or
                     (C)  the campaign treasurer or assistant campaign
  treasurer of the specific-purpose political committee making the
  appointment.
         (f)  The secretary of state may appoint personnel to assist
  with the audit, including applicable voting system technicians or
  representatives and persons who have assisted with the design and
  implementation of the audit.
         Sec. 127.303.  RULES. (a)  The secretary of state shall
  adopt rules prescribing procedures necessary to implement this
  subchapter.
         (b)  Rules adopted under this subchapter must include a rule,
  using widely accepted statistical methods, that provides for the
  number or percentage of paper records that must be counted in a
  risk-limiting audit under Section 127.302.
         Sec. 127.304.  PUBLICATION OF RESULTS. The results of a
  risk-limiting audit conducted under this subchapter must be
  published on the Internet website of the secretary of state not
  later than three days after the completion of the audit.
         Sec. 127.305.  PILOT PROGRAM. (a)  Notwithstanding Section
  127.301(1), the secretary of state shall conduct a pilot program,
  beginning with the election taking place November 3, 2020, of the
  risk-limiting audit program created under this subchapter.
         (b)  The secretary of state shall select up to five counties
  to participate in the pilot program.  At least one county
  participating in the pilot program must have a population of at
  least 500,000.
         (c)  After each election conducted under the pilot program,
  the secretary of state shall send a detailed report to each member
  of the legislature evaluating the success of the program and making
  a recommendation as to whether the legislature should act to delay
  the statewide implementation of the program.
         (d)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section.
         (e)  This section expires August 31, 2024.
  ARTICLE 6. REPEALER AND EFFECTIVE DATE
         SECTION 6.01.  Section 33.051(c), Election Code, is
  repealed.
         SECTION 6.02.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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