Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Statement on the Passage of Senate Bill 7


AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 7, the Election & Ballot Security bill, by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola:

“Maintaining the integrity of our elections is vital to preserving public trust so our democracy can flourish, and that’s why I have made election security a top priority again this legislative session. SB 7 will strengthen the public’s faith in our electoral process and ensure that every Texan knows that when they cast their ballot, their vote is secure. I congratulate Sen. Hughes and the Texas Senate for passing these comprehensive reforms.”

Senate Bill 7 is authored by Senators Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and Drew Springer, R-Muenster.

Highlights of Senate Bill 7 include:

  • A backup paper ballot is required of the official voting record
  • Mass-mailed voter registration cards cannot be pre-checked to affirm eligibility
  • Public employees are prohibited from distributing unrequested applications for mail-in ballots
  • Consistent voting hours are applied statewide
  • In person voting rules are applied statewide and drive-through voting is prohibited
  • Voting machines are required to remain in place throughout the voting period
  • Counties are required to save voting machine memory devices and are prohibited from erasing the disks so all votes can be verified
  • Open record and transparency requirements are applied to all election equipment vendor communications
  • The ability of the Texas Secretary of State to waive voting rules is removed
  • The creation of a program for citizens to track their mail-in ballots online is mandated
  • Curbside voting for disabled individuals will have the same protections as voting within a polling place
  • The “if in line when polls close” law, guaranteeing that everyone in line can vote, applies to early voting, just like on election day
  • Candidates who are harmed by election fraud have an avenue for redress in criminal and civil court
  • Polling locations will be linked to the actual number of eligible voters in an area
  • Live video and live streams are required at central counting locations for counties with a population of over 100,000