Texas Senate Approves Stricter Voter Fraud Penalties

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved a bill increasing criminal penalties for stealing someone else’s mail-in ballot, part of an attempt to curb absentee voting fraud.

Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special legislative session to tackle a number of conservative priorities, including mail-in voter fraud.

Disabled Texans, or those 65 or older, or who will be out of their home counties on Election Day, can vote by mail.

Passed 21-10 on Wednesday, the bill by Republican Sen. Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills makes mail-in voter fraud punishable by up to a year behind bars and a $4,000 fine. It needs a final vote to go to the Texas House.

Hancock’s bill also increases signature verification rules and requires that voters be officially notified if their ballots are declared invalid.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Watch & Listen LIVE