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Brazos Valley leaders talk upcoming election security bills during 88th Texas legislative session

Over 100 bills have been filed for discussion in the 88th Texas Legislative Session.

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Several Election Security bills are set to be discussed in Austin in the coming months after Senate Bill 1 passed in 2021.

The controversial legislation placed restrictions on early voting times and heightened restrictions on several voting methods to increase election security in the Lone Star State. Governor Abbott signed the legislation in September of 2021, after multiple sessions that year.

This year, there are over 100 bills on the topic with some holding different motivations for the state going forward. One, if passed, would make election fraud a felony within the state, while several others would create a system for online voter registration.

Judy LeUnes, a voting advocate in Brazos County, has registered thousands of voters through Voterpalooza and other initiatives for years. LeUnes served as an educator for years and said that there should be more emphasis on voter education as opposed to security.

“No matter which party, I’ll register anybody. I just want you to go vote,” said LeUnes.

Trudy Hancock, the Elections Administrator for Brazos County, said that Senate Bill 1 put a lot more responsibility on county leaders to ensure the security of elections. As a result, Hancock said that the county had to allocated $23,000 towards registration forms.

“I feel like we probably threw away $8,000 worth of forms and to purchase new forms it took about $15,000 to replace what we already had,” said Hancock.

Both agree that an online voter registration system could prove beneficial if it were to pass in the session.

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