Voters In Texas Who Skip Elections Run The Danger Of Having Their Names Removed From The Rolls Under A Bill

Under a contentious bill that a Senate subcommittee adopted on Thursday, Texans who skip two straight federal elections risk being placed on a “suspense list.”

If Texans failed to cast a ballot during that period, voter registrars would need to confirm that they had moved.

Registrars do not currently add people to such a list, which may result in registration cancellation until a voter registration certificate is mailed back. The postcard-like document is sent out by the county in January of every odd-numbered year.

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, a Republican, proposed Senate Bill 260 that would make the address-verification procedure dependent on a voter’s inactivity.

Kolkhorst told the Senate State Affairs Committee, “This gives the registrar another weapon to be able to clean up those voter records, which I would simply say, givescq> a lack of confidence.

With an 8-2 vote, the subcommittee forwarded the legislation to the full Senate.

In year, elections have not yet taken center stage as they did in 2021.

Republicans have introduced legislation this session that would permit the state to reschedule elections if 2% or more of polling places lack paper ballots and to fire county election officials who exhibit a “repeated pattern of difficulties,” such as incorrect vote tally or late results reporting.

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Democrats have responded by attempting to increase access, such as by allowing online voter registration, improving accessibility for voters with disabilities, and expanding countywide facilities.

Many GOP-sponsored election-related proposals were the subject of hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee.

They would also establish state-selected election marshals with the authority to respond to complaints and provide orders to local election officials as they conduct an election, among other things, such as requiring evidence of citizenship for voter registration.

The legislation written by the GOP have the best chances of passing because they are controlled by eight of the committee’s eleven Republican members.

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