Senate Research Center                                                                                                     H.B. 1256

81R25173 JRJ-D                                                                                     By: Allen, Gutierrez (Ellis)

                                                                                                                                       State Affairs







Current law requires the secretary of state to adopt rules for publicizing voters' rights, which must inform voters of their right to report existing or potential abuse, their right to file a complaint, and information about the voting rights hotline. This bill seeks to make voter complaint information at a polling place more prominent and comprehensive.


H.B. 1256 requires the presiding judge of an election precinct to post notice at a polling place informing voters about whom to call or write if a voter has a complaint about the conduct of the election. The bill specifies a font size and type for the notices and requires the notice to include telephone numbers for the voting rights hotline and for reporting complaints about local election officials, as well as mailing addresses and websites where voters can direct complaints to federal, state, or local governments.




This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency.




SECTION 1.  Amends Chapter 62, Election Code, by adding Section 62.0112, as follows:


Sec. 62.0112.  NOTICE OF VOTER COMPLAINT INFORMATION.  (a)  Requires the presiding judge, at one or more locations in the polling place easily visible to voters, to post notice in a form prescribed by the secretary of state that informs voters of who to call or write to if a voter has a complaint about the conduct of the election.


(b)  Requires that the title of the notice read "Voter Complaint Information" and be printed in at least 100-point Times New Roman font.  Requires the notice to include the telephone number for the voting rights hotline established by the secretary of state under Section 31.0055 (Voting Rights Hotline); include any available telephone number dedicated to reporting complaints about the local election official that is administering the election; and include mailing addresses or Internet websites, as available, to which voters may direct complaints to the federal, state, or local governments about the conduct of elections.


SECTION 2.  Effective date: September 1, 2009.