Home » Analysis » Interim Charges for Texas House Elections Committee

Interim Charges for Texas House Elections Committee

A nice summary is available from Texas Redistricting.

The text of the charge is here, along with all the other interim charges. See page 16 for the interim charge to the Elections Committee.

It looks like the committee is responding to constituent complaints, or that the committee is thinking about budget issues, considering the committee charges relating to the responsiveness and programmatic efficiency of election-related agencies. “Agencies” in this context can be read to refer to the Texas Secretary of State, the Texas Ethics Commission, and the License Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.

I should clarify that this isn’t some sort of singling out of election agencies. Every committee was given exactly the same “agency oversight” charge across the board, from Agriculture all the way to Transportation, so the budget or responsiveness angle is being pursued across the entire regulatory framework of state government, and not just in the field of elections.

The Elections Committee is typically busy – the Election Code and its administration is a topic of interest in almost every legislative session. I’m a little disappointed that the Committee charge doesn’t include a suggestion for re-writing the Election Code, which has become increasingly and hopelessly unreadable and self-contradictory over the last 60 years. That’s not a partisan position, by the way. Independent of whatever policy objectives might be the flavor of the hour, the fact is that the Texas Election Code is a train wreck, and has been since prior to the last two recodifications (in 1985 and 1951).

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