Bills Supported in the 2021 Texas Legislative Session

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In 2021 during the 87th Legislative Session, Ranked Choice Voting for Texas advocated for several bills:

Allow ranked choice voting as a local option for nonpartisan county, municipal, and school district elections (SB537, HB 2457)

  • Summary:
    Texans value the freedom of choice and the right to self-government. It's an idea rooted in the belief that local residents and governments have a better grasp of what is best for their communities and citizens. This bill would enable local governments or school districts the choice to conduct their elections using ranked choice voting (RCV). It would not mandate RCV but provides Texans the opportunity to test or fully adopt this method of voting in their local jurisdictions.
  • Legislative Outcome:
    No action was taken on this bill in either the House or the Senate during the 87th legislative session.

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Enable military and overseas voters to use ranked choice voting so their right to vote is not affected by delays in receiving ballots for runoff elections (HB740)

  • Summary:
    The right to vote is a right guaranteed to all eligible Americans. This bill prevents the disenfranchisement of military and overseas voters by allowing the voter to rank their choices in a potential runoff at the same time they cast their standard ballot. Avoiding the mailing of a second runoff ballot would not only protect their votes but also respect the use of taxpayer money. Ultimately, by using ranked choice voting this bill enhances the election and runoff processes for military and overseas voters so that their votes count.
  • Legislative Outcome:
    The House Committee on Elections held a hearing on April 15, the bill was reported out favorably on April 29, and passed by the full House on May 14. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs on May 17, but unfortunately no further action was taken before the 2021 legislative session ended.

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Adopt ranked choice voting to help sort through multiple candidates in primary elections (HB117)

  • Summary:
    This bill eliminates not only the additional time and expense of primary runoff elections, but also the wasted votes of early or mail-in voters that occurs when candidates drop out before election day. Ultimately, the use of ranked choice voting in primary elections will save Texans money and provide voters with increased confidence in selecting their preferred nominees for the general election by ensuring their votes count, even with a large number of similar candidates.
  • Legislative Outcome:
    No action was taken on this bill in the House during the 87th legislative session.

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