Securing Trust in Texas’ Election System
The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Election Protection Projects Secure, Accountable, and Free Elections (SAFE) agenda ensures that every citizen’s basic democratic right to vote is protected from intentional fraud and inefficient bureaucracy. The polices below ensure voters should understand their rights and the rules of voting, should be free to choose whom they vote for, and the voting system should preserve the integrity of each ballot.
- Ensure all voters for all offices to be United States citizens by requiring proof of citizenship at voter registration. Registration identification requirements should align with accepted identification for voting in person, with the provision a voter can submit a reasonable impediment declaration. Such standards should also apply to vote by mail or applications for ballot by mail.
- Remove all non-voters from voter-registration lists after a set number of missed cycles, following a given notification period. This can be accomplished by address and status verification conducted by counties or the Secretary of State in order to ensure accurate and up to date rolls.
- Improve Texas’ vote-by-mail system by conducting all operations within the Office of the Secretary of State. Reforms include all counting and storage of ballots and applications for ballot by mail, and strengthening qualifications, such as implementing a defined disability-verification process.
- Strengthen coordination between the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division and Texas counties through measures such as standardized voter-registration information and communication. Specifically:
- Require the Texas Secretary of State to establish and administer a standardized system for voter-registration information and communication.
- Require all Texas counties to adhere to the minimum standards for voter-registration information and communication set by the Texas Secretary of State.
- Require all Texas counties to exchange voter-registration information, and to modify their own voter-registration lists, on the demand of the Texas Secretary of State.
- Require the Texas Secretary of State to perform a full audit of all county voter-registration lists every five years.
- Require all Texas counties who fail to pass the five-year audit, and/or fail to adhere to the minimum standards set for voter-registration information and communication — at the assessment and discretion of the Texas Secretary of State — to have their elections and voter-registration operations wholly run and supervised by the Texas Secretary of State for a five-year period.
- Aggressively police ballot harvesting. Increase criminal penalties for persons committing voter-assistance fraud, and prohibit certain persons from soliciting, intimidating, or coercing voters.