Bill Text: TX SB960 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the cancellation of a person's voter registration on notice that the person has acknowledged that the person is not a citizen; providing a civil penalty; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-01 - Co-author authorized [SB960 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB960-Introduced.html
  86R4250 ATP-D
 
  By: Bettencourt, Perry S.B. No. 960
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the cancellation of a person's voter registration on
  notice that the person has acknowledged that the person is not a
  citizen; providing a civil penalty; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 16.031(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The registrar shall cancel a voter's registration
  immediately on receipt of:
               (1)  notice under Section 13.072(b) or 15.021 or a
  response under Section 15.053 that the voter's residence is outside
  the county;
               (2)  an abstract of the voter's death certificate under
  Section 16.001(a) or an abstract of an application indicating that
  the voter is deceased under Section 16.001(b);
               (3)  an abstract of a final judgment of the voter's
  total mental incapacity, partial mental incapacity without the
  right to vote, conviction of a felony, or disqualification under
  Section 16.002, 16.003, or 16.004;
               (4)  notice under Section 112.012 that the voter has
  applied for a limited ballot in another county;
               (5)  notice from a voter registration official in
  another state that the voter has registered to vote outside this
  state;
               (6)  notice from the early voting clerk under Section
  101.053 that a federal postcard application submitted by an
  applicant states a voting residence address located outside the
  registrar's county; [or]
               (7)  notice from the secretary of state that the voter
  has registered to vote in another county, as determined by the
  voter's driver's license number or personal identification card
  number issued by the Department of Public Safety or social security
  number; or
               (8)  a list under Section 18.068 of this code or Section
  62.113, Government Code, of persons excused or disqualified from
  jury service because of citizenship status that includes the voter,
  or other notice from any governmental agency that the voter has
  acknowledged that the voter is not a citizen of the United States.
         SECTION 2.  Section 16.036(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Immediately after, but not later than the 30th day after
  the date a voter's registration is canceled under Section
  16.031(a)(3) or (8), 16.033, or 16.0331, [or 16.0332,] the
  registrar shall deliver written notice of the cancellation to the
  voter.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 16, Election Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter B-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B-1. VOTER REGISTRAR WHO FAILS TO CANCEL REGISTRATION OF
  NONCITIZEN
         Sec. 16.051.  CIVIL PENALTY. (a) A voter registrar who
  intentionally violates Section 16.031(a)(8) is subject to a civil
  penalty in an amount:
               (1)  not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for
  the first violation; and
               (2)  not less than $25,000 and not more than $25,500 for
  each subsequent violation.
         (b)  Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental
  immunity of a county and municipality to suit is waived and
  abolished to the extent of liability created by this section.
         Sec. 16.052.  REMOVAL OF REGISTRAR. (a) For purposes of
  Section 66.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a voter registrar
  holding a public office does an act that causes the forfeiture of
  the person's office if the person violates Section 16.031(a)(8).
  The attorney general shall file a petition under Section 66.002,
  Civil Practice and Remedies Code, against the registrar if
  presented with evidence, including evidence of a statement by the
  registrar, establishing probable grounds that the registrar
  engaged in conduct described by this subsection. The court in which
  the petition is filed shall give precedence to proceedings relating
  to the petition in the same manner as provided for the priority of
  an election contest under Section 23.101, Government Code. If the
  registrar is found guilty as charged, the court shall enter
  judgment removing the registrar from office.
         (b)  The employment of a county elections administrator who
  violates Section 16.031(a)(8) shall be terminated.
         Sec. 16.053.  CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A voter registrar
  commits an offense if the registrar knowingly fails to comply with
  Section 16.031(a)(8).
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
         (c)  It is an exception to the application of this section
  that the person whose voter registration was required to be
  canceled under Section 16.031(a)(3) had provided proof to the voter
  registrar that the person is a citizen of the United States.
         SECTION 4.  Section 18.068(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The secretary of state shall quarterly compare the
  information received under Section 16.001 of this code and Section
  62.113, Government Code, to the statewide computerized voter
  registration list.  If the secretary determines that a voter on the
  registration list is deceased or has been excused or disqualified
  from jury service because the voter is not a citizen, the secretary
  shall send notice of the determination to:
               (1)  the voter registrar of the counties considered
  appropriate by the secretary; and
               (2)  the attorney general, who shall quarterly review
  the information to investigate whether a person has committed an
  offense under Section 13.007 or other law.
         SECTION 5.  Section 19.001(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Before May 15 of each year, the registrar shall prepare
  and submit to the secretary of state a statement containing:
               (1)  the total number of initial registrations for the
  previous voting year;
               (2)  the total number of registrations canceled under
  Sections 16.031(a)(1) and (8) and Section [,] 16.033[, and 16.0332]
  for the previous voting year; and
               (3)  the total number of registrations for which
  information was updated for the previous voting year.
         SECTION 6.  Sections 62.113(b) and (c), Government Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  On the third business day of each month, the clerk shall
  send a copy of the list of persons excused or disqualified because
  of citizenship in the previous month to:
               (1)  the voter registrar of the county;
               (2)  the county official responsible for administering
  elections;
               (3)  the secretary of state; and
               (4) [(3)]  the county or district attorney, as
  applicable, or attorney general for an investigation of whether the
  person committed an offense under Section 13.007 or 64.012,
  Election Code, or other law.
         (c)  A list compiled under this section may not be used for a
  purpose other than a purpose described by Subsection (b) or Section
  16.031(a)(8) [16.0332] or 18.068, Election Code.
         SECTION 7.  Section 16.0332, Election Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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