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  By: Zaffirini S.B. No. 1899
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to elections.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 13.001(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  To be eligible to apply for registration, a person must,
  on the date the registration application is submitted to the
  registrar, be at least 16 [17] years [and 10 months] of age and
  satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a) except for age.
         SECTION 2.  Section 13.002, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (e) and adding Subsections (c-1) and
  (e-1) to read as follows:
         (a)  A person desiring to register to vote must submit an
  application to the registrar of the county in which the person
  resides. Except as provided by Subsections [Subsection] (e) and
  (e-1), an application must be submitted by personal delivery, by
  mail, or by telephonic facsimile machine in accordance with
  Sections 13.143(d) and (d-2).
         (c-1)  In addition to the other requirements prescribed by
  this section, an application must include a space for an applicant
  under 18 years of age to respond to the following question: "Are you
  at least 16 years of age and understand that you must be 18 years of
  age on or before election day to vote, and that until you will be 18
  years of age at the time of such election your registration will be
  marked 'pending' and you will be unable to cast a ballot in any
  election?"
         (e)  Notwithstanding Section 82.005, a [A] person who is
  certified for participation in the address confidentiality program
  administered by the attorney general under Subchapter B, Chapter
  58, Code of Criminal Procedure, is not eligible for early voting by
  mail [under Section 82.007] unless the person submits an
  application under this section by personal delivery. The secretary
  of state may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
         (e-1)  A registrar shall adopt procedures to allow a voter
  registration agency to deliver a completed voter registration
  application over the Internet. The secretary of state shall review
  any procedures adopted under this section to ensure the procedures
  comply with the provisions of this code.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter A, Chapter 13, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 13.009 to read as follows:
         Sec. 13.009.  ELECTRONIC VOTER REGISTRATION. (a) The
  secretary of state shall implement a program to allow a person to
  complete a voter registration application over the Internet from
  the official website of this state. The Internet websites of the
  secretary of state and the Department of Public Safety must also
  provide a link to the location of the application on the official
  Internet website of this state.
         (b)  An applicant for electronic voter registration who has a
  driver's license or personal identification card issued in this
  state, regardless of whether the license or card is unexpired,
  must:
               (1)  attest to the truth of the information provided on
  the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true;
  and
               (2)  affirmatively consent to the use of the signature
  on the applicant's driver's license or personal identification card
  for voter registration purposes.
         (c)  An applicant for electronic voter registration who does
  not have a driver's license or personal identification card issued
  in this state must:
               (1)  attest to the truth of the information provided on
  the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true;
  and
               (2)  print a registration application from the Internet
  website the applicant is using to register, sign the application,
  and mail it to the registrar.
         (d)  For each application submitted under Subsection (b),
  the program shall require that a digital copy of the applicant's
  signature be obtained from the Department of Public Safety.
         (e)  For each application submitted under Subsection (c),
  the program shall provide the applicant with:
               (1)  a registration application that the applicant can
  print from the registration website, sign, and mail to the
  registrar as required under Subsection (c)(2); and
               (2)  information about how the applicant can obtain a
  driver's license or personal identification card from the
  Department of Public Safety.
         (f)  An application submitted under this section is
  considered for all purposes an application submitted by mail under
  this title.
         (g)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section, including rules to provide for additional
  security measures necessary to ensure the accuracy and integrity of
  applications submitted electronically.
         (h)  The rules adopted under Subsection (g) must require
  that:
               (1)  the Internet website through which a person may
  complete a voter registration application include a description of
  the offense described by Section 13.007 in a conspicuous location
  on the website near the place where the person begins or submits the
  application; and
               (2)  the state electronic Internet portal project be
  used to authenticate the identity of a person who submits an
  application electronically under this section.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter A, Chapter 13, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 13.010 to read as follows:
         Sec. 13.010.  AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION. (a) The voter
  registrar of each county shall automatically register any county
  resident who is eligible to vote as provided by Section 13.001 and:
               (1)  is issued a Texas driver's license or a personal
  identification card by the Department of Public Safety; or
               (2)  makes a change to a Texas driver's license or
  personal identification card issued by the Department of Public
  Safety.
         (b)  A driver's license or personal identification card
  transaction with an indication provided by Section 262(b) or
  20.063(c) that the transaction is not for voter registration
  purposes is not subject to this section.
         (c)  The secretary of state by rule shall prescribe
  procedures for the voter registrar of each county to automatically
  register any county resident who is eligible to vote when the
  resident applies for agency services at any agency designated under
  Chapter 20.
         (d)  It is a defense to prosecution under Section 64.012 or
  other law that a voter did not wilfully or knowingly seek to
  register to vote when the voter is not eligible to do so as a result
  of merely failing to decline registration under this section or
  under Chapter 20.
         SECTION 5.  Section 13.046(h), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (h)  The secretary of state shall:
               (1)  consult with the Texas Education Agency regarding
  the number of registration application forms to provide to each
  high school;
               (2)  provide to each high school registration
  application forms once each fall and spring semester in the number
  determined from the consultation under Subdivision (1); and
               (3)  prescribe any additional procedures necessary to
  implement this section.
         SECTION 6.  Section 15.021, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b) and (d) and adding Subsections (d-1) and
  (d-2) to read as follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), the [The] voter
  shall use the registration certificate or a registration
  application form as the notice, indicating the correct information
  in the appropriate space on the certificate or application form
  unless the voter does not have possession of the certificate or an
  application form at the time of giving the notice.
         (d)  A voter [who continues to reside in the county in which
  the voter is registered] may correct information under this section
  by digital transmission of the information under a program
  administered by the secretary of state and the Department of
  Information Resources.
         (d-1)  If the notice indicates that a voter no longer resides
  in the county in which the voter is registered, the registrar shall
  forward the notice and the voter's original application for
  registration to the registrar of the county in which the voter
  resides. The registrars shall coordinate to ensure that the
  voter's existing registration is canceled immediately after the
  voter is registered in the county in which the voter resides in
  accordance with Subsection (d-2).
         (d-2)  A registrar who receives a voter's notice and
  application from another registrar under Subsection (d-1) shall
  treat it as an original application for registration under Section
  13.002, and shall register the voter if the voter resides in the
  county and is otherwise eligible under Section 13.001.
         SECTION 7.  Section 15.022, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  If an application clearly indicates that the applicant
  resides in another county, the registrar shall forward the
  application to the other county's registrar not later than the
  second day after the date the application is received and, if the
  other county is not contiguous, shall deliver written notice of
  that action to the applicant not later than the seventh day after
  the date the application is received. The date of submission of a
  completed application to the wrong registrar is considered to be
  the date of submission to the proper registrar for purposes of
  determining the effective date of the registration.
         SECTION 8.  Section 20.032, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (c) and adding Subsection (e) to read
  as follows:
         (a)  An appropriate agency employee shall routinely inform
  each person who applies [in person] for agency services of the
  opportunity to complete a voter registration application form and
  on request shall provide nonpartisan voter registration assistance
  to the applicant.
         (c)  On receipt of a registration application, the
  appropriate agency employee shall review it for completeness [in
  the applicant's presence]. If the application does not contain all
  the required information and the required signature, the agency
  employee shall return the application to the applicant for
  completion and resubmission.
         (e)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an agency
  shall adopt procedures providing for:
               (1)  a person applying for initial services,
  recertification, renewal, or change of address with the agency over
  the Internet to also complete a voter registration application
  online; and
               (2)  the delivery of a voter registration application
  to the voter registrar over the Internet.
         SECTION 9.  Section 20.061, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 20.061.  APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS. The other
  provisions of this chapter apply to the Department of Public Safety
  except provisions that conflict with this subchapter or Section
  13.010.
         SECTION 10.  Section 20.062(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The department shall prescribe and use a change of
  address form and procedure that combines department and voter
  registration functions. The form must allow a licensee or
  cardholder to indicate that [whether] the change of address is not
  [also to be used] for voter registration purposes.
         SECTION 11.  Section 20.063, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 20.063.  REGISTRATION PROCEDURES. (a) The Department
  of Public Safety shall consider an application made in person, by
  mail, or online at the department's Internet website [provide to
  each person who applies in person at the department's offices] for
  an original or renewal of a driver's license, a personal
  identification card, or a duplicate or corrected license or card by
  a person who is eligible to vote as provided by Section 13.001 an
  application for [opportunity to complete a] voter registration.
  The date of application is considered to be the date of submission
  to the voter registrar for the purpose of determining the effective
  date of registration [application form].
         (b)  The Department of Public Safety shall consider a change
  of address that relates to [When the department processes] a
  license or card and that is submitted to [for renewal by mail,] the
  department [shall deliver to the applicant by mail a voter
  registration application form.
         [(c)  A change of address that relates to a license or card
  and that is submitted to the department] in person, [or] by mail, or
  online at the department's Internet website [serves] as a change in
  [of address for] voter registration [unless the licensee or
  cardholder indicates that the change is not for voter registration
  purposes]. The date of submission of a change of address to a
  department employee is considered to be the date of submission to
  the voter registrar for the purpose of determining the effective
  date of registration [only].
         (c)  The registration of an eligible [(d)  If a completed]
  voter as required by Subsections (a) and (b) is automatic unless the
  person indicates that the transaction is not for voter 
  registration purposes [application submitted to a department
  employee does not include the applicant's correct driver's license
  number or personal identification card number, a department
  employee shall enter the appropriate information on the
  application. If a completed application does not include the
  applicant's correct residence address or mailing address, a
  department employee shall obtain the appropriate information from
  the applicant and enter the information on the application].
         SECTION 12.  Sections 20.065(a) and (b), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  At the end of each day a Department of Public Safety
  office is regularly open for business, the manager of the office
  shall deliver [by mail or in person] to the voter registrar of the
  county in which the office is located each completed voter
  registration application and applicable change of address
  submitted to a department employee.
         (b)  Each weekday the department is regularly open for
  business, the department shall electronically transfer to the
  secretary of state the name and information designated by the
  secretary of state for [of each person who completes a] voter
  registration for each individual who is eligible to vote as
  provided by Section 13.001 and applies in person, by mail, or online
  at the department's Internet website for an original or renewal of a
  driver's license, a personal identification card, or a duplicate or
  corrected license or card [application submitted to the
  department]. The secretary shall prescribe procedures necessary to
  implement this subsection.
         SECTION 13.  Section 20.092(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A public library shall provide to each person of voting
  age who applies [in person] for an original or renewal of a library
  card an opportunity to complete a voter registration application
  form.
         SECTION 14.  Section 43.007(f), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (f)  In selecting countywide polling places, a county must
  adopt a methodology for determining where each polling place will
  be located. The total number of countywide polling places may not
  be less than 80[:
               [(1)  except as provided by Subdivision (2), 50]
  percent of the number of precinct polling places that would
  otherwise be located in the county for that election[; or
               [(2)  for an election held in the first year in which
  the county participates in the program, 65 percent of the number of
  precinct polling places that would otherwise be located in the
  county for that election].
         SECTION 15.  Subchapter A, Chapter 43, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 43.008 to read as follows:
         Sec. 43.008.  CAMPUS POLLING PLACE. (a) The commissioners
  court of a county shall designate as a polling place a location on
  the main campus of an institution of higher education as defined by
  Section 61.003, Education Code, located within the county if at
  least 5,000 students are enrolled in the institution.
         (b)  The commissioners court of a county shall designate two
  polling places on the main campus of an institution of higher
  education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code, if at least
  10,000 students are enrolled in the institution, and shall
  designate one additional polling place for every additional 10,000
  students enrolled in the institution.
         SECTION 16.  Section 82.005, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 82.005.  ELIGIBILITY FOR EARLY VOTING [BY PERSONAL
  APPEARANCE]. Any qualified voter is eligible for early voting by
  mail or personal appearance.
         SECTION 17.  Section 82.007, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 82.007.  PARTICIPATION IN ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY
  PROGRAM. Notwithstanding Section 82.005, a [A] qualified voter
  who, [is eligible for early voting by mail if:
               [(1)  the voter submitted a registration application by
  personal delivery as required by Section 13.002(e); and
               [(2)]  at the time the voter's early voting ballot
  application is submitted, [the voter] is certified for
  participation in the address confidentiality program administered
  by the attorney general under Subchapter B, Chapter 58, Code of
  Criminal Procedure, is eligible for early voting by mail only if the
  voter submitted a registration application by personal delivery as
  required by Section 13.002(e).
         SECTION 18.  Sections 84.001(a) and (b), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  To be entitled to vote an early voting ballot by mail, a
  person [who is eligible for early voting] must make an application
  for an early voting ballot to be voted by mail as provided by this
  title.
         SECTION 19.  Section 84.002(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  An early voting ballot application must include:
               (1)  the applicant's name and the address at which the
  applicant is registered to vote;
               (2)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  by an applicant who will be absent from the applicant's [on the
  ground of absence from the] county of residence on election day, the
  address outside the applicant's county of residence to which the
  ballot is to be mailed;
               (3)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  by an applicant who is 65 years of age or older on election day or
  has a sickness or physical condition that requires the applicant to
  reside in a hospital or nursing home or other long-term care
  facility, or with a relative [on the ground of age or disability],
  the address of the hospital, nursing home or other long-term care
  facility, or retirement center, or of a person related to the
  applicant within the second degree by affinity or the third degree
  by consanguinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code,
  if the applicant is living at that address and that address is
  different from the address at which the applicant is registered to
  vote;
               (4)  for an application for a ballot to be voted by mail
  by an applicant who is confined [on the ground of confinement] in
  jail as described by Section 84.009(a), the address of the jail or
  of a person related to the applicant within the degree described by
  Subdivision (3); and
               (5)  [for an application for a ballot to be voted by
  mail on any ground,] an indication of each election for which the
  applicant is applying for a ballot[; and
               [(6)  an indication of the ground of eligibility for
  early voting].
         SECTION 20.  Section 84.009, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (b) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  This section applies only to an applicant who, at the
  time the application for a ballot to be voted by mail is submitted,
  is confined in jail:
               (1)  serving a misdemeanor sentence for a term that
  ends on or after election day;
               (2)  pending trial after denial of bail;
               (3)  without bail pending an appeal of a felony
  conviction; or
               (4)  pending trial or appeal on a bailable offense for
  which release on bail before election day is unlikely.
         (b)  On request of the applicant, an application for a ballot
  to be voted by mail [on the ground of confinement in jail] may be
  submitted to the early voting clerk, at the discretion of the
  authority in charge of the jail, by personal delivery by the jail
  authority or by a designated subordinate of the authority.
         SECTION 21.  Section 84.011(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The officially prescribed application form for an early
  voting ballot must include:
               (1)  immediately preceding the signature space the
  statement: "I certify that the information given in this
  application is true, and I understand that giving false information
  in this application is a crime.";
               (2)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  offenses prescribed by Sections 84.003 and 84.004;
               (3)  spaces for entering an applicant's voter
  registration number and county election precinct of registration,
  with a statement informing the applicant that failure to furnish
  that information does not invalidate the application; and
               (4)  on an application for a ballot to be voted by mail:
                     (A)  a space for an applicant [applying on the
  ground of absence from the county of residence] to indicate whether
  the applicant will be absent from the applicant's county of
  residence on election day and, if applicable, the date on or after
  which the applicant can receive mail at the address outside the
  county;
                     (B)  a space for indicating the fact that an
  applicant whose application is signed by a witness cannot make the
  applicant's mark and a space for indicating the relationship or
  lack of relationship of the witness to the applicant;
                     (C)  a space for entering an applicant's telephone
  number, with a statement informing the applicant that failure to
  furnish that information does not invalidate the application;
                     (D)  a space or box for an applicant who is 65
  years of age or older on election day or has a sickness or physical
  condition that requires the applicant to reside in a hospital or
  nursing home or other long-term care facility, or with a relative,
  [applying on the ground of age or disability] to indicate that the
  address to which the ballot is to be mailed is the address of a
  facility or relative described by Section 84.002(a)(3), if
  applicable;
                     (E)  a space or box for an applicant confined
  [applying on the ground of confinement] in jail as described by
  Section 84.009(a) to indicate that the address to which the ballot
  is to be mailed is the address of a relative described by Section
  84.002(a)(4), if applicable;
                     (F)  a space for an applicant [applying on the
  ground of age or disability] to indicate if the application is an
  application under Section 86.0015;
                     (G)  spaces for entering the signature, printed
  name, and residence address of any person assisting the applicant;
                     (H)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  condition prescribed by Section 81.005; and
                     (I)  a statement informing the applicant of the
  requirement prescribed by Section 86.003(c).
         SECTION 22.  Section 84.032(c), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  An applicant may submit a request after the close of
  early voting by personal appearance by appearing in person and:
               (1)  returning the ballot to be voted by mail to the
  early voting clerk; or
               (2)  executing an affidavit that the applicant:
                     (A)  has not received the ballot to be voted by
  mail; [or]
                     (B)  never requested a ballot to be voted by mail;
  or
                     (C)  received notice of a defect under Section
  87.0271(b) or 87.0411(b).
         SECTION 23.  Section 85.031(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  For each person entitled to vote an early voting ballot
  by personal appearance or who is entitled to register at a polling
  place, the early voting clerk shall follow the procedure for
  accepting a regular voter on election day, with the modifications
  necessary for the conduct of early voting.
         SECTION 24.  Section 86.0015(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  This section applies only to an application for a ballot
  to be voted by mail that[:
               [(1) indicates the ground of eligibility is age or
  disability; and
               [(2)] does not specify the election for which a ballot
  is requested or has been marked by the applicant as an application
  for more than one election.
         SECTION 25.  Sections 86.003(c), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  The address to which the balloting materials must be
  addressed is the address at which the voter is registered to vote,
  or the registered mailing address if different, unless the
  application to vote early by mail indicates that the voter [ground
  for voting by mail is]:
               (1)  will be absent from the voter's [absence from the]
  county of residence on election day, in which case the address must
  be an address outside the voter's county of residence;
               (2)  is confined [confinement] in jail as described by
  Section 84.009(a), in which case the address must be the address of
  the jail or of a relative described by Section 84.002(a)(4); or
               (3)  is 65 years of age or older on election day or has a
  sickness or physical condition that requires the applicant to
  reside in a hospital or nursing home or other long-term care
  facility, or with a relative, [age or disability] and [the voter] is
  living at a hospital, nursing home or other long-term care
  facility, or retirement center, or with a relative described by
  Section 84.002(a)(3), in which case the address must be the address
  of that facility or relative.
         SECTION 26.  Section 86.004(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  For an election to which Section 101.104 applies, the
  balloting materials for a voter who indicates on the application
  for a ballot to be voted by mail or the federal postcard application
  that the voter seeks [is eligible] to vote early by mail as a
  consequence of the voter's being outside the United States shall be
  mailed on or before the later of the 45th day before election day or
  the seventh calendar day after the date the clerk receives the
  application. However, if it is not possible to mail the ballots by
  the deadline of the 45th day before election day, the clerk shall
  notify the secretary of state within 24 hours of knowing that the
  deadline will not be met. The secretary of state shall monitor the
  situation and advise the clerk, who shall mail the ballots as soon
  as possible in accordance with the secretary of state's guidelines.
         SECTION 27.  Sections 86.007(a) and (e), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A [Except as provided by Subsection (d), a] marked
  ballot voted by mail must arrive at the address on the carrier
  envelope:
               (1)  before the time the polls are required to close on
  election day; or
               (2)  not later than the sixth day after the date of the
  election [5 p.m. on the day after election day], if the carrier
  envelope was placed for delivery by mail or common or contract
  carrier before election day and bears a cancellation mark of a
  common or contract carrier or a courier indicating a time not later
  than 7 p.m. at the location of the election on election day.
         (e)  A delivery under Subsection (a)(2) [or (d)] is timely,
  except as otherwise provided by this title, if the carrier envelope
  or, if applicable, the envelope containing the carrier envelope:
               (1)  is properly addressed with postage or handling
  charges prepaid; and
               (2)  bears a cancellation mark of a recognized postal
  service or a receipt mark of a common or contract carrier or a
  courier indicating a time before the deadline.
         SECTION 28.  Chapter 86, Election Code, is amended by adding
  Section 86.015 to read as follows:
         Sec. 86.015.  ELECTRONIC TRACKING OF APPLICATION FOR BALLOT
  VOTED BY MAIL OR BALLOT VOTED BY MAIL. (a) The secretary of state
  shall publish on the secretary's Internet website an online
  database that enables a person who submits an application for a
  ballot to be voted by mail to track the location and status of the
  person's application and ballot.
         (b)  The database must include the following information for
  each person who submits an application for a ballot to be voted by
  mail:
               (1)  the date that the early voting clerk received the
  person's application for a ballot to be voted by mail;
               (2)  the date that the early voting clerk accepted or
  rejected the person's application for a ballot to be voted by mail;
               (3)  if the application is rejected, an explanation of
  why the application was rejected and instructions regarding how the
  person may proceed;
               (4)  the date the early voting clerk placed in the mail
  the person's official ballot;
               (5)  the date the early voting clerk received the
  person's marked ballot;
               (6)  the date that the early voting ballot board
  accepted or rejected the person's marked ballot; and
               (7)  instructions regarding how the person may cast a
  ballot in the election, if the early voting ballot board rejected
  the ballot.
         (c)  Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), each
  early voting clerk shall update the database with information
  required under Subsection (b) not less frequently than once per
  week.
         (d)  Beginning on the 90th day before the date of an
  election, the early voting clerk shall update the database at least
  once per day with information required under Subsection (b)
  relating to that election.
         (e)  Not later than 20 days after the date of the election for
  which a person submitted an application under Section 86.0015, the
  early voting clerk shall update the person's information on the
  database for each election to which the application applies.
         (f)  The database must allow a person to:
               (1)  sort the information contained in the database by
  data points including the voter's:
                     (A)  first and last name, as provided on the
  voter's application for voter registration;
                     (B)  date of birth; and
                     (C)  residence address zip code; and
               (2)  retrieve the information listed under Subsection
  (b) for a specific voter by inputting the voter's voter
  registration number.
         (g)  The database may not display information from a person's
  voter registration record except to the extent necessary to provide
  information described by Subsection (b).
         (h)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules and prescribe
  procedures as necessary to implement this section.
         SECTION 29.  Subchapter B, Chapter 87, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 87.0271 to read as follows:
         Sec. 87.0271.  OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT DEFECT: SIGNATURE
  VERIFICATION COMMITTEE. (a) This section applies to an early
  voting ballot voted by mail:
               (1)  for which the voter did not sign the carrier
  envelope certificate;
               (2)  for which it cannot immediately be determined
  whether the signature on the carrier envelope certificate is that
  of the voter;
               (3)  missing any required statement of residence; or
               (4)  containing incomplete information with respect to
  a witness.
         (b)  Before deciding whether to accept or reject a ballot
  under Section 87.027, the signature verification committee may: 
               (1)  return the carrier envelope to the voter by mail,
  if the signature verification committee determines that it would be
  possible to correct the defect and return the carrier envelope
  before the time the polls are required to close on election day; or
               (2)  notify the voter of the defect by telephone or
  e-mail and inform the voter that the voter may come to the early
  voting clerk 's office in person to:
                     (A)  correct the defect; or
                     (B)  request to have the voter's application to
  vote by mail canceled under Section 84.032.
         (c)  If the signature verification committee takes an action
  described by Subsection (b), the committee must take either action
  described by that subsection with respect to each ballot in the
  election to which this section applies.
         (d)  A poll watcher is entitled to observe an action taken
  under Subsection (b).
         (e)  The secretary of state may prescribe any procedures
  necessary to implement this section.
         SECTION 30.  Sections 87.041(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  A ballot may be accepted only if:
               (1)  the carrier envelope certificate is properly
  executed;
               (2)  neither the voter's signature on the ballot
  application nor the signature on the carrier envelope certificate
  is determined to have been executed by a person other than the
  voter, unless signed by a witness;
               (3)  [the voter's ballot application states a legal
  ground for early voting by mail;
               [(4)]  the voter is registered to vote, if registration
  is required by law;
               (4)  [(5)  the address to which the ballot was mailed
  to the voter, as indicated by the application, was outside the
  voter's county of residence, if the ground for early voting is
  absence from the county of residence;
               [(6)]  for a voter to whom a statement of residence form
  was required to be sent under Section 86.002(a), the statement of
  residence is returned in the carrier envelope and indicates that
  the voter satisfies the residence requirements prescribed by
  Section 63.0011; and
               (5) [(7)]  the address to which the ballot was mailed
  to the voter is an address [that is otherwise] required by Sections
  84.002 and 86.003.
         SECTION 31.  Subchapter C, Chapter 87, Election Code, is
  Amended by adding Section 87.0411 to read as follows:
         Sec. 87.0411.  OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT DEFECT: EARLY VOTING
  BALLOT BOARD. (a) This section applies to an early voting ballot
  voted by mail:
               (1)  for which the voter did not sign the carrier
  envelope certificate;
               (2)  for which it cannot immediately be determined
  whether the signature on the carrier envelope certificate is that
  of the voter;
               (3)  missing any required statement of residence; or
               (4)  containing incomplete information with respect to
  a witness.
         (b)  Before deciding whether to accept or reject a timely
  delivered ballot under Section 87.041, the early voting ballot
  board may:
               (1)  return the carrier envelope to the voter by mail,
  if the early voting ballot board determines that it would be
  possible to correct the defect and return the carrier envelope
  before the time the polls are required to close on election day; or
               (2)  notify the voter of the defect by telephone or
  e-mail and inform the voter that the voter may come to the early
  voting clerk 's office in person to:
                     (A)  correct the defect; or
                     (B)  request to have the voter 's application to
  vote by mail canceled under Section 84.032.
         (c)  If the early voting ballot board takes an action
  described by Subsection (b), the board must take either action
  described by that subsection with respect to each ballot in the
  election to which this section applies.
         (d)  A poll watcher is entitled to observe an action taken
  under Subsection (b).
         (e)  The secretary of state may prescribe any procedures
  necessary to implement this section.
         SECTION 32.  Section 102.001(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A qualified voter is eligible to vote a late ballot as
  provided by this chapter if the voter has a sickness or physical
  condition [described by Section 82.002] that prevents the voter
  from appearing at the polling place on election day without a
  likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the
  voter's health and originates on or after the day before the last
  day for submitting an application for a ballot to be voted by mail.
         SECTION 33.  The following provisions of the Election Code
  are repealed:
               (1)  Section 43.007(i);
               (2)  Sections 82.001, 82.002, 82.003, and 82.004;
               (3)  Section 84.002(b);
               (4)  Sections 86.007(d) and (g); and
               (5)  Section 112.002(b).
         SECTION 34.  (a) The voter registrar of a county must adopt
  procedures for the acceptance of voter registration applications
  under Section 13.002(e-1), Election Code, as added by this Act, not
  later than September 1, 2021.
         (b)  A voter registration agency must adopt procedures as
  required by Section 20.032(e), Election Code, as added by this Act,
  not later than September 1, 2021.
         SECTION 35.  Section 13.046(h), Election Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
         SECTION 36.  The secretary of state shall adopt rules as
  required by Section 63.010, Election Code, as added by this Act, not
  later than February 1, 2022.
         SECTION 37.  The secretary of state shall prescribe rules
  for the implementation of Section 13.010, Election Code, as added
  by this Act, not later than January 1, 2022. An agency designated
  under Chapter 20, Election Code, shall provide automatic voter
  registration on the earlier of January 1, 2024, or five days after
  the date of certification by the secretary of state that the
  information technology infrastructure to substantially implement
  the provisions of Section 13.010 and Chapter 20, Election Code, at
  the agency is functional.
         SECTION 38.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to an election ordered on or after September 1, 2021.
         SECTION 39.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.