S.B. No. 895
relating to the processing of certain election ballots voted early.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 87.022, Election Code, is amended to
read as follows:
Sec. 87.022. TIME OF DELIVERY: GENERAL RULE. Except as
provided by Section 87.0221, 87.0222, 87.023, or 87.024, the
materials shall be delivered to the early voting ballot board under
this subchapter during the time the polls are open on election day,
or as soon after the polls close as practicable, at the time or
times specified by the presiding judge of the board.
SECTION 2. Subchapter B, Chapter 87, Election Code, is
amended by adding Section 87.0222 to read as follows:
Sec. 87.0222. TIME OF DELIVERY: BALLOTS VOTED BY MAIL.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 87.024, in an election conducted by an
authority of a county with a population of 100,000 or more or
conducted jointly with such a county, the jacket envelopes
containing the early voting ballots voted by mail may be delivered
to the board between the end of the ninth day before election day
and the closing of the polls on election day, or as soon after
closing as practicable, at the time or times specified by the
presiding judge of the board.
(b) The early voting clerk shall post notice of each
delivery of materials under this section that is to be made before
the time for opening the polls on election day. The notice shall be
posted at the main early voting polling place continuously for at
least 24 hours immediately preceding the delivery.
(c) At least 24 hours before each delivery, the early voting
clerk shall notify the county chair of each political party having a
nominee on the ballot of the time the delivery is to be made.
SECTION 3. Section 87.027, Election Code, is amended by
amending Subsection (i) and adding Subsection (l) to read as
(i) The signature verification committee shall compare the
signature on each carrier envelope certificate, except those signed
for a voter by a witness, with the signature on the voter's ballot
application to determine whether the signatures are those of the
same person. The committee may also compare the signatures with the
signature on the voter's registration application to confirm that
the signatures are those of the same person but may not use the
registration application signature to determine that the
signatures are not those of the same person. Except as provided by
Subsection (l), a [
A] determination under this subsection that the
signatures are not those of the same person must be made by a
majority vote of the committee's membership. The committee shall
place the jacket envelopes, carrier envelopes, and applications of
voters whose signatures are not those of the same person in separate
containers from those of voters whose signatures are those of the
same person. The committee chair shall deliver the sorted
materials to the early voting ballot board at the time specified by
the board's presiding judge [ but within the period permitted for
the early voting clerk's delivery of early voting ballots to the
(l) If more than 12 members are appointed to serve on the
signature verification committee, the early voting clerk may
designate two or more subcommittees of not less than six members.
If subcommittees have been designated, a determination under
Subsection (i) is made by a majority of the subcommittee.
SECTION 4. The change in law made by this Act applies only
to an election ordered on or after the effective date of this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 895 passed the Senate on
April 21, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
Secretary of the Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 895 passed the House on
May 9, 2005, by a non-record vote.
Chief Clerk of the House