Voting Access Scorecard – The franchise project

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Voting Access Scorecard - Texas

The Franchise Project’s Voting Access Scorecard ranks how accessible voting is in Texas. The Voting Access Scorecard measures the accessibility of American elections by analyzing state election laws and practices. Each state’s performance is based on 30 measurable metrics shown to affect accessibility and foster participation. All metrics are weighted equally to fairly assess all states and their practices. If answered in the affirmative, each metric is worth 1 point, for a total of 30 points. Note that if a practice varies by county or municipality, e.g. the number of early voting locations in Wisconsin, the state only received 0.5 points for that metric. Note: Y=Yes, N=No, and V=Varies by Municipality/County.

Currently, Texas ranks 45. But you can make a difference! Take action now!

Overall score: 11.5 / 30

Y=Yes, N=No, V=Varies by County/Municipality

State registration deadline is the Friday before Election Day or later
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/you-must-register-by.html
N
State offers Election Day registration
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/you-must-register-by.html
N
State has automatic registration
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/you-must-register-by.html
N
State does NOT create barriers to voter registration by third parties (e.g. allows third party registration, does not require registration drive training or notification)
Texas requires mandatory training and reporting. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/advisory2012-04.shtml
N
State does NOT impose fines or criminal penalties for negligent/accidential voter registration mistakes
Tex. Elec. Code § 13.043: http://codes.findlaw.com/tx/election-code/elec-sect-13-043.html
N
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting in multiple locations per municipality/county
Locations determined by local officials. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
V
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting during evenings and/or weekends
Hours determined by local officials. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
V
State allows no-excuse early voting/in-person absentee voting
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
Y
State holds all elections entirely by mail
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
N
State does NOT require an excuse to vote by mail
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
N
State deadline to return absentee ballot is NO earlier than Election Day (via any type of delivery)
Must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
Y
State allows all voters to sign up to vote by absentee permanently
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting
N
State allows voters to request vote by mail ballot online
Texas Secretary of State: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrrequest/bbm.asp
N
State allows voters to register online
Texas Secretary of State: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp
N
State allows voters to check their Election Day polling location online
Most counties have polling location lookup tools. E.g. Dallas County: http://www.dallascountyvotes.org/voter-lookup/#VoterEligibilitySearch
V
State allows voters to check their vote by mail status online
Texas Secretary of State: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/FPCA/index.aspx
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote on Election Day
Due to court order, voters without sufficient photo ID may now use certain non-photo IDs + sign a declaration of "reasonable impediment" to getting photo ID. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/about/newsreleases/2016/092116.shtml
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote early or by mail
Due to court order, voters without sufficient photo ID may now use certain non-photo IDs + sign a declaration of "reasonable impediment" to getting photo ID. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/about/newsreleases/2016/092116.shtml
Y
If ID required, State allows voter to vote through alternative process that does not require voter action (Note: full points received if no ID required at all)
Due to court order, voters without sufficient photo ID may now use certain non-photo IDs + sign a declaration of "reasonable impediment" to getting photo ID. Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/about/newsreleases/2016/092116.shtml
Y
During voter maintenance process, if address has not changed, state allows voter to simply mail back confirmation form
Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 15.052: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.15.htm (requiring a post pre-paid notice, but also requiring that the confirmation form provide space for the voter "to include all of the information that a person must include in an application to register to vote")
N
State is NOT a member of Interstate Crosscheck
Bryan Caskey, Kansas Secretary of State, Director of Elections (email communication, May 24, 2017)
Y
State is Member of ERIC
ERIC, http://www.ericstates.org/whowear John Lindback, ERIC Executive Director (email communication, May 25, 2017)
N
State refused to comply with the Pence-Kobach voter registration data request
Texas Secretary of State: https://twitter.com/Jmalewitz/status/880843100775755776
N
State allows individuals to vote when their sentence is complete
Tex. Elec. Code § 11.002: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.11.htm
Y
State allows individuals to vote during their term of incarceration
Tex. Elec. Code § 11.002: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.11.htm
N
State allows individuals to vote after incarceration, while on probation or parole
Tex. Elec. Code § 11.002: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.11.htm
N
State voting technology requires a paper trail
Texas does not have a permanent voter verifiable ballot or record requirement.
N
State requires poll worker training
Training is available but not required. Tex. Elec. Code § 32.111: http://codes.findlaw.com/tx/election-code/elec-sect-32-111.html
N
State law requires voting machines to meet federal standards, testing by a federally accredited laboratory, or federal certification
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/generalinfo.shtml
Y
State provides readily accessible voting technology information
Texas Secretary of State: http://www.votetexas.gov/faq/index.html#expand
Y

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