Stop SB 1039 Now - A Solution in Search of a Problem

Under SB1039 a candidate, the chair of a political party, or the head of a political committee can request an audit of an election. Possible justifications for an audit are broad and vague and include an action taken by an election officer that appears to violate the election code or any irregularities in a precinct or at a polling place. The supportive documentation required for such an audit is not specified. If the requestor of an audit is "not satisfied" with the explanation of events provided by the presiding local election authority, they can request that the secretary of state - an unelected official - audit the issue. The Texas Secretary of State is then empowered to unilaterally determine that a violation of the election code has occurred without conducting an actual audit! The SoS can then appoint a conservator to oversee elections in the county for two subsequent federal election cycles.

SB1039 also empowers the SoS to impose a $500 per day civil penalty on any county clerk or other election authority who does not or is unable to remedy the violation until the violation is remedied.

SB1039 would allow disgruntled individuals to throw elections into disarray on the thinnest of pretenses. It infringes directly and arbitrarily on the rights and powers of county governments. It will further undermine voter trust in a system that has repeatedly been found to be secure, and make it even harder to hire and retain election officials and workers by threatening them with enormous civil penalties that can be levied without due process. And if that weren't enough, the Texas Legislative Budget Board estimates it will cost taxpayers over $6 million before August 2025, and even more thereafter.

This bill has already passed the Senate and been sent to the House. A public hearing on SB1039 will be held on Thursday, May 4. If you are in the Austin area or can travel to the Capitol that day, please testify in person or drop a card to testify, against this horrendous bill. The process is simple and can be found hereRegardless of your ability to testify, enter your information in the panel on the right and send an email to the members of the House Election Committee.  HELP STOP SB1039 from further eroding public confidence in our elections.

Stop SB 1039 Now - A Solution in Search of a Problem

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