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.