AUSTIN – State Representative Jacey Jetton announces support for election integrity legislation passed by the Texas House, following more than 15 years of bipartisan efforts to increase confidence in the outcomes of our elections.
“Texans have spoken loud and clear: it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Rep. Jetton said. “After many years of slowly improving the elections process in Texas, the House and Senate have made major strides this legislative session to restore confidence in the outcomes of our elections. SB 7 (Hughes/Cain), HB 2546 (Jetton), and HB 1382 (Bucy) are just a few of the bills to watch in the 87th Legislature.”
WHY: As the Attorney General’s Office testified in the House Elections Committee this session, the most frequent victims of election fraud are individuals of minority communities, those who live in low-income areas, the elderly, or those with a disability. These groups are particularly susceptible to paid ballot trafficking and voter assistance fraud schemes. As early as 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission released a report detailing the need for photo ID and the main ways our elections were susceptible to fraud: ballot trafficking and voter assistance schemes. In 2017, the argument against Texas’ photo ID law was that mail in ballot fraud was the root of problem, further confirming the need for a bipartisan effort to address the issue.
WHAT: SB 7, HB 2546, HB 1382, and other bills address the concerns raised by Texans across the state today and the Carter-Baker commission report on elections from 2005. These bills will accomplish four primary goals:
· Stop Paid Ballot Trafficking
· Stop Voter Assistance Fraud
· Provide Accountability in the Polls
· Prevent Voter Intimidation
· Ensure the accuracy of our voter rolls
HOW: This proactive legislation does not react to individual election cycles, but anticipates potential weaknesses in the system and pre-emptively addresses them. This ensures voting is predictable by making election expectations consistent across the state. It is easier to vote when people know what to expect at the polls because it is clear and consistent. It is hard to cheat when laws secure the process and equipment statewide.