On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a major bill that strengthens the state’s stance against election fraud.
The new law, House Bill 1243, has reinstated election fraud as a serious criminal offense, a felony that can lead to a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Governor Abbott has been clear about his support for the new law. He even took to Twitter to share the news.
“I signed a law that makes election fraud a felony in Texas. Voting illegally can lead to a 20-year sentence. Don’t mess with Texas elections,” he wrote.
As reported by Dallas News, the classification of election fraud in Texas has been a roller coaster ride in recent years
Just a few years back, a Republican-led effort in the Texas House made the decision to downgrade the punishment for election fraud, shifting it from a felony to a misdemeanor. This adjustment was made due to growing concerns regarding accidental illegal voting.
However, the tables have turned once again as legislators have chosen to restore the felony classification. The bill successfully passed the House on April 28, 2023, with a vote of 88-60, and later gained approval in the Senate with a vote of 19-11 on May 24. The law is set to take effect on September 1, 2023.
Rep. Cole Hefner, the bill’s sponsor, has been outspoken about the law’s necessity. He firmly states that its main objective is to strengthen Texans’ trust in the voting process.
“We must ensure that Texans are confident that the legitimate votes they cast will be counted and are not canceled out by someone who has knowingly or intentionally cast an illegal ballot,” Hefner said.
The Republican Party in Texas has consistently emphasized election fraud as a major concern, particularly during the leadership of President Donald Trump.
After the 2020 election, where Trump challenged the results due to allegations of widespread fraud, there was an intensified drive for comprehensive election law. This ultimately resulted in the passage of significant legislation in 2021.
The 2021 law brought several changes to the mail ballot process, including the introduction of new voter ID checks.
In 2021 Raquel Rodriguez, a consultant working for GOP House candidate Mauro Garza, was captured on camera coercing and bribing voters into voting Democrat.
Later on, Rodriguez admits that what she is doing is illegal and brags about giving the elderly voter a pretty shawl as a gift for her Democrat vote!
Ken Paxton made the announcement that Raquel Rodriguez was arrested for charges related to election fraud, illegal voting, aiding individuals in mail-in voting unlawfully, and possessing an official ballot in violation of the law.
Back in 2019, the Texas Secretary of State, David Whitley, issued a voter fraud alert indicating that around 95,000 individuals identified by DPS as non-U.S. citizens possessed a matching voter registration record in Texas. Out of those, approximately 58,000 individuals had cast their votes in one or more Texas elections.
And during the 2022 midterm election, more than 16,000 ballots were rejected.
Share your thoughts by scrolling down to leave a comment.