2023 Texas Statutes
Election Code
Title 8 - Voting Systems
Chapter 129 - Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines
Subchapter A. General Provisions
Section 129.003. Paper Audit Trail Required

Universal Citation: TX Elec COde § 129.003 (2023)

Sec. 129.003. PAPER AUDIT TRAIL REQUIRED. (a) In this section, "auditable voting system" means a voting system that:

(1) uses, creates, or displays a paper record that may be read by the voter; and

(2) is not capable of being connected to the Internet or any other computer network or electronic device.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this section, a voting system that consists of direct recording electronic voting machines may not be used in an election unless the system is an auditable voting system.

(c) The electronic vote is the official record of the vote cast if a risk-limiting audit conducted under Section 127.302 produces strong evidence that the reported outcome of the election matches the results that a full counting of the paper records would reveal.

(d) The paper record is the official record of the vote cast:

(1) for a recount under Title 13, including a recount of ballots cast on a system involving direct recording electronic voting machines;

(2) for an election contest under Title 14; or

(3) if a risk-limiting audit conducted under Section 127.302 fails to produce strong evidence that the reported outcome of the election matches the results that a full counting of the paper records would reveal.

(e) An authority that purchased a voting system other than an auditable voting system after September 1, 2014, and before September 1, 2021, may use available federal funding and, if federal funding is not available, available state funding to convert the purchased voting system into an auditable voting system in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) if the voting system was converted into an auditable voting system not later than the election taking place November 8, 2022, the authority is eligible to have 100 percent of the cost of conversion reimbursed under this section; and

(2) if the authority is not eligible for a 100 percent reimbursement of cost under Subdivision (1) and the voting system was converted into an auditable voting system not later than the election taking place November 3, 2026, the authority is eligible to have 50 percent of the cost of conversion reimbursed under this section.

(f) The secretary of state may use any available funds to assist an authority with the purchase of an auditable voting system if the funds have been appropriated for that purpose.

(g) Subsections (b), (c), and (d) do not apply to an election held before September 1, 2026.

(h) A paper record generated by an auditable voting system may be used only for the purposes described by this section and may not be retained by the voter.

(i) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a voter voting under Section 64.009 may use a direct recording electronic voting machine regardless of whether the direct recording electronic voting machine is part of an auditable voting system.

(j) The secretary of state may not waive any requirements of this section.

Added by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 573 (S.B. 598), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2021.

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