The Texas Legislature moved a step closer Monday in toughening the state’s penalties for those who hijack votes from unsuspecting Texans by using mail-in ballots.
The House Elections Committee on Monday voted 4-2 along party lines to approve Senate Bill 5, legislation aimed at making it harder for vote harvesters to operate and to increase penalties for interfering with mail-in votes.
Vote harvesters appropriate mail-in ballots or hijack the ballots to direct a vote for a particular candidate.
The bill was authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and would require a signature verification process for early ballots, notification of rejected ones within a month after an election, and a process for correcting errors.
Punishment for committing mail-in voter fraud in some cases could reach $4,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.