FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/26/2013
HOUSE PASS BILL TO STOP “VOTE HARVESTING” IN TEXAS ELECTIONS
AUSTIN, TEXAS (April 26, 2013) . . . Today, The Texas House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Rep. Cindy Burkett (Sunnyvale) to make the practice of ballot harvesting illegal.
Texas law currently allows a person to mail another person’s ballot as long as it is already sealed in an envelope and the voter’s signature and address is sealed on the outside. However, current law does not set a limit on the number of times a person can mail another person’s ballot, leading to what Rep. Burkett referred to as “ballot harvesting,” a practice where paid workers deliver large numbers of mail-in ballots.
Rep. Burkett said, “House Bill 148 is an attempt to weed out the ‘bad actors’ that are preying on vulnerable Texans and corrupting our democratic process.” Rep. Burkett added, “Any amount of fraudulent or illegal activity is unacceptable in a system where one vote can determine the outcome of an election.”
Rep. Burkett’s bill will hold those who engage in voter fraud accountable for their actions by increasing the penalty to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. If a person is convicted two or more times, then the offense is punishable by a state jail felony. The bill garnered widespread support from numerous election administrators across Texas.
Contact: Carrie Simmons – (512) 903.1490