SB 554 Would Increase Penalty for Theft of an Official Ballot

Austin – Senator Donna Campbell filed legislation to strengthen penalties against voter fraud in Texas. SB 554 changes the Texas Penal Code to classify theft of an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election from the lesser state jail felony to a third degree felony.

“Confidence in the integrity of our elections is paramount to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Texans expect and demand nothing less than honest elections. Stiffer penalties for voter fraud will help ensure that integrity stays intact,” Senator Campbell stated.

According to Section 31.03 of the Penal Code, theft of an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election is currently punishable by jail time not to exceed two years or less than 180 days. SB 554 would raise the offense to a third degree felony and impose a harsher penalty of 2 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

“Sadly, the potential for fraud and abuse will never go away. The least we can do is put measures in place that will deter criminal activity and make an example of those who try to undercut the democratic process,” Sen. Campbell said.

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Senator Donna Campbell represents Senate District 25 which includes all or parts of Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall and Travis counties. She is a practicing emergency room physician who lives in New Braunfels with her husband and the youngest of their four daughters.