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Slate Cards at Polling Places - S.B. 82

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsors: Representatives Denny and Danburg

§ Allows voters the option of carrying "slate cards" (which include sample ballots and other forms of written communication) into the polling place, and requires election officers to periodically check areas of the polling place to remove discarded slate cards.

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Judicial Campaign Fairness Act - S.B. 96

by Senator Ellis

House Sponsor: Representative Madden

§ Redefines "noncomplying candidate" to include a judicial candidate who fails to file a declaration of intent to comply with or exceed campaign expenditure limits.

§ Requires a judicial candidate to abide by the prohibition on accepting contributions after 120 days of either a general or a runoff election, if the candidate has no opponent for the election.

§ Requires a judicial candidate or officeholder, who receives a political contribution over the contribution limit, to return the contribution within five days or by the last day of the reporting period in which the contribution was received, whichever is later.

§ Prohibits a judicial candidate or officeholder from accepting political contributions from law firms in excess of $50.

§ Limits the amount of political contributions for supporting or opposing a candidate or officeholder, by or to candidates, officeholders, or specific-purpose committees.

§ Provides that these limits do not apply to a political contribution made to the state or county political parties and executive committees.

§ Provides that a person who violates this provision is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed three times the amount of the violating contribution.

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Early Voting Period - S.B. 292

by Senator Carona

House Sponsor: Representative Galloway, et al.

§ Shortens the period for early voting by personal appearance. The beginning of the early voting period would change to the 17th day before election day, rather than the current 20th day before election day, and would continue through the seventh day, rather than the fourth day, prior to election day.

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Voter Registration Applications - S.B. 500

by Senator Zaffirini

House Sponsor: Representative Danburg, et al.

§ Requires most voter registration applications to include an applicant's driver's license number, thereby enabling the state and counties to identify duplicate registrations.

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Fair Campaign Practices - H.B. 35

by Representative Goolsby, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Establishes a voluntary Code of Fair Campaign Practices (code) for candidates seeking public office.

§ Provides that the purpose is to encourage every candidate and political committee to subscribe to the code, which provides that there are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play that every candidate and political committee in this state has a moral obligation to observe and uphold in campaigning, so that Texas' citizens may exercise their constitutional rights to a free and untrammeled choice and the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the issues.

§ Sets forth the specific tenets of the code and the Texas Ethics Commission's (TEC) and other filing authorities' responsibilities in regard to dissemination and administration of the code.

§ Provides that the subscription to the code by a candidate or a political committee is voluntary.

§ Allows a candidate or a political committee that has filed a copy of the code to so indicate on political advertisement as determined by TEC.

§ Provides that this chapter does not create a civil cause of action for recovery of damages or for enforcement of this chapter.

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Political Contributions in Judicial Elections - H.B. 131

by Representative Madden

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Sets forth provisions regarding political contributions made in connection with certain judicial offices.

§ Applies only to a person appointed to fill a judicial vacancy.

§ Restricts the time period in which the appointed officeholder may accept political contributions.

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Extended Voting Hours - H.B. 324

by Representatives Maxey and Greenberg

Senate Sponsor: Senator Barrientos

§ Extends the hours for early voting from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for city elections conducted in a city in a county in which all the members of a governing body are elected on an at-large basis, and with a population of 450,000 or more, in order to make municipal elections more accessible to those who work during the day.

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Election Procedures - H.B. 330

by Representative Danburg, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapiro, et al.

§ Establishes a ballot stub to be prepared and attached to the official ballot for use by a voter who executes an affidavit of voter eligibility.

§ Sets forth the information to be printed on the ballot stub as prescribed by the secretary of state.

§ Requires the presiding judge to enter certain information including the polling place number, the designation of the nature of the election, and the date of the election on the ballot stub.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the determination of a voter's identity by the presiding judge.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding acceptable documentation as proof of identification for a person who wishes to vote in an election but needs certain verification.

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Election Processes and Procedures - H.B. 331

by Representative Danburg, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Madla, et al.

§ Sets forth regulations regarding a variety of election processes and procedures, including the selection of election judges, acceptable proof of identification for voting, voting by mail, electronic transmission of ballots, computerized voting, and joint primaries.

§ Allows a tying candidate to resolve the tie by filing a written statement of withdrawal signed and acknowledged by the candidate.

§ Requires the presiding election judge and alternate presiding election judge to be affiliated or aligned with different political parties. Sets forth procedures for appointing election judges.

§ Provides that a person is ineligible to serve as an election judge or clerk if the person has been finally convicted of an offense in connection with conduct directly attributable to an election.

§ Sets forth regulations regarding the use of a nickname by a candidate.

§ Requires a presiding judge, if a voter's right to vote is challenged, to request the voter to present proof of identification and to execute an affidavit that states the facts necessary to support the voter's eligibility to vote. Sets forth acceptable documentation of proof of identification. Sets forth procedures to be followed if the identity of the voter cannot be established or the voter refuses to execute an affidavit.

§ Sets forth regulations regarding the counting of a marked ballot voted by mail and eligibility for voting by mail.

§ Requires the secretary of state to prescribe procedures to allow certain persons who are casting an early voting ballot by mail to return the ballot by telephonic facsimile machine or similar electronic means.

§ Requires the secretary of state to prescribe procedures allow certain voters to apply for and cast a state write-in ballot before the time a voter may receive a regular ballot to be voted by mail.

§ Sets forth regulations regarding computerized voting system standards.

§ Prohibits a candidate from filing declarations of intent for two or more offices meeting certain requirements.

§ Allows the primary elections in a county to be conducted jointly at the regular polling places designated for the general election for state and county officers. Sets forth regulations regarding joint primaries.

§ Provides that the restrictions on multiple methods of voting at the same polling place or in early voting do not apply to a joint election as if the joint election were a single election but rather apply independently to the election of each participating political subdivision in the joint election.

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Voter Registration of Certain Convicts - H.B. 1001

by Representative Dutton

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Clarifies that a person convicted of a felony must have fully discharged the person's sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court, in order to be eligible for registration as a voter in this state.

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Mail-in Ballot Fraud - H.B. 1257

by Representative Cuellar

Senate Sponsor: Senator Brown

§ Amends early voting procedures and provides a criminal penalty for voter fraud.

§ Requires an application for a mail-in ballot to include certain information regarding age, disability, confinement in jail, or on any other grounds for which the applicant is applying for the ballot.

§ Requires the address to which the balloting materials is addressed to be the address at which the voter is registered to vote, unless the ground for voting by mail is age, disability, or confinement in jail.

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Early Voting Procedures - H.B. 1483

by Representative Danburg, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Sets forth provisions for early voting by mail and in person at designated polling places.

§ Prohibits a common or contract carrier from being used in early voting procedures, unless the carrier meets certain qualifications.

§ Amends the early voting ballot application form to include spaces or boxes for an applicant applying on the grounds of age or disability, confinement in jail, a space for entering the name of any person assisting the applicant, and statements informing the applicant of certain early voting procedures and penalties.

§ Requires the early voting clerk to sign the early voting ballots to be used at the polling place.

§ Provides that movable temporary branch polling places may be used with approval from the county clerk.

§ Sets forth prohibitions for the delivery of ballots which originated from certain locations.

§ Requires the person assisting a voter in certain circumstances to sign a written oath prescribed in this bill.

§ Sets forth provisions for the signature verification committee regarding the verification of signatures on the application for an early voting ballot and on the early voting ballot.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the appointment and duties of the signature verification committee.

§ Provides penalties for noncompliance with the provisions of this Act.

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Prohibition on Voting by the Mentally Incompetent - H.J.R. 104

by Representative Mowery

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ogden

§ Proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit certain persons from voting, including persons who have been determined mentally incompetent by a court, subject to such exceptions as the legislature may provide. Ballot Date: November 4, 1997.

§ Abolishes duplicate legal provisions relating to residency requirements for voters and general provisions relating to the voting process.