Election integrity reform is mostly dead this year due to mismanagement by Republicans in the Texas Legislature. But it may be revived—if the same lawmakers who bungled the priority over the past several months can do better in a special legislative session.
With the 140-day regular session officially over as of May 31, election integrity advocates are disappointed the Republican-controlled Legislature failed (again) to pass most of their priorities to better secure Texas elections.
“Quite frankly, this session has been a letdown,” said Jill Glover, chair of the Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priorities Committee, which identifies and champions proposed laws that align with the party’s priority-issue policy goals.
Election integrity was the No. 1 RPT legislative priority this session, and a top goal for other conservative grassroots activists as well, after lawmakers failed to pass proposed election reforms in past sessions. It was also the only RPT priority given fast-track emergency status by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott back on February 1.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan also publicly endorsed major election reform bills filed in the House and Senate.
Yet lawmakers in both chambers failed to consider election integrity (or any of the governor’s emergency items) until the legislative session was beyond the first 60 days.
Lawmakers did manage to pass a handful of election bills, but conservatives’ top-priority comprehensive election reform bill was slow-rolled by Republican lawmakers and finally killed by a Democrat maneuver just hours before the final deadline to pass legislation.
Glover said she would give lawmakers a score of one out of 10 on election integrity.
“The big omnibus bill died,” she said. “Our Republicans did not manage the calendar as well as they should have.”
In fact, the omnibus election integrity bill that eventually died was a mashup of two
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