Texas Election Code § 86.010. Unlawfully Assisting Voter Voting Ballot by Mail

<Text of § 86.010 effective Dec. 1, 2017.  See, also, text of § 86.010 effective until Dec. 1, 2017.>

(a) A voter casting a ballot by mail who would be eligible under Section 64.031 to receive assistance at a polling place may select a person as provided by Section 64.032(c) to assist the voter in preparing the ballot.

(b) Assistance rendered under this section is limited to that authorized by this code at a polling place, except that a voter with a disability who is physically unable to deposit the ballot and carrier envelope in the mail may also select a person as provided by Section 64.032(c) to assist the voter by depositing a sealed carrier envelope in the mail.

(c) The person assisting the voter must sign a written oath prescribed by Section 64.034 that is part of the certificate on the official carrier envelope.

(d) If a voter is assisted in violation of this section, the voter's ballot may not be counted.

(e) A person who assists a voter to prepare a ballot to be voted by mail shall enter the person's signature, printed name, and residence address on the official carrier envelope of the voter.

(f) A person who assists a voter commits an offense if the person knowingly fails to comply with Subsections (c) and (e).

(g) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

(h) Subsection (f) does not apply if the person is related to the voter within the second degree by affinity or the third degree by consanguinity, as determined under Subchapter B, Chapter 573, Government Code,   1 or was physically living in the same dwelling as the voter at the time of the event.

(i) An offense under this section is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that:

(1) the defendant was previously convicted of an offense under this code;

(2) the offense involved a voter 65 years of age or older;  or

(3) the defendant committed another offense under this section in the same election.

(j) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

1 V.T.C.A., Government Code § 573.021 et seq.

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