Texas state legislators file payments trying to broaden voting mail

The Texas legislative session began greater than two weeks in the past. Within the first days, members of the Home and Senate filed payments referring to poll mail.

AUSTIN, Texas — The 2020 election put mail-in voting beneath a microscope. Texas noticed file numbers of individuals vote mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To begin the 87th legislative session in Texas, lawmakers in each chambers have launched payments that relate to ballots mail. For instance, Rep. John Bucy (D-Cedar Park) launched a invoice this week that will permit election officers to ship ballots to certified voters way of e mail. These ballots would then be mailed again with a signature to be verified.

“Consider the truck driver, the oil rig employee, who’s in a spot the place they’re on the transfer or do not have quick access to the mail to have the ability to nonetheless get their poll mail, forged their vote and make their voice heard,” Bucy stated Friday.

Bucy’s not the one one. Democratic Sen. Royce West filed a invoice that will permit Texas election officers to inform voters of any errors listed on a ballot--mail. Voters would then have an opportunity to repair the signature downside.

In the identical invoice West filed, the language would additionally permit extra voters to qualify for early voting throughout a pandemic, a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.

West filed a invoice within the Senate mirroring Bucy’s H.B. 845. Bucy’s invoice would stop e mail addresses, whereas used for the aim of requested an emailed poll, from turning into public info. Nonetheless, emails have come beneath safety threats for years. Bucy stated the ballots would nonetheless be protected.

“This could improve safety as a result of it creates a path of who requested for the poll,” Bucy stated. “I’d nonetheless must print it. I nonetheless must signal it and ship it again in identical to anyone else … We have now legal guidelines to guard round that already, whether or not it is somebody breaking into someone’s mailbox or another means to take somebody’s poll mail.”

Bucy hopes his invoice will obtain bipartisan assist when each chambers reconvene on Feb. 8.

“It will improve poll entry and that in the end can be all of our aim,” Bucy stated. “Let’s get extra participation. Texas wants it.”

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