As Texas gears up for the 2024 GOP primary election, voters are set to decide on several critical ballot measures. These measures will serve as a reflection of the issues most important to the GOP electorate. In March, three election-related measures will be on the ballot: closed primaries, accountability, and the accuracy of voter rolls.
Closed Primaries: Restricting Republican Primary Voting
Measure: “The Republican Party of Texas should restrict voting in the Republican primary to only registered Republicans.”
Texas is an open primary state, meaning anyone can vote in either party’s primary election. This measure proposes a significant change to the current primary voting system in Texas. If passed, it would limit the ability to vote in the Republican primary to individuals who are registered Republicans.
Supporters argue that this change would ensure that only committed Republicans can choose the party’s candidates, potentially leading to nominees who more closely align with the party’s core values. Currently, in areas where Democratic primaries are uncontested, liberal voters cast votes in the Republican primary to dilute conservative votes and help more left-leaning candidates win.
Of course, there’s nothing that would bar Democrats from registering as a Republican to continue the practice. However, having to openly register as Republicans should deter some from engaging in these acts of sabotage.
Election Security: Enhancing Prosecution of Election Crimes
Measure: “The Texas Constitution should be amended to restore authority to the Texas Attorney General to prosecute election crimes.”
This proposed amendment supports restoring the Texas Attorney General’s power to prosecute election crimes. It aims to enhance the state’s ability to handle allegations of election fraud or misconduct, a role that the Attorney General had filled admirably until he was stripped of that power by a feckless ruling from the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Empowering the Attorney General in this manner will lead to more robust election security and integrity. Currently, election crimes are going largely, if not entirely, unprosecuted, and efforts by the GOP to empower local officials with the ability to prosecute election crimes have been met with stiff opposition from Democrats and a handful of Republicans in the Texas House.
Election Integrity: Requirement of Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration
Measure: “The Texas Constitution should be amended to require proof of citizenship before any individual can be registered to vote.”
For years, Texans have been asking elected officials to address the process of voter registration issues, specifically by making proof of citizenship a mandatory requirement for registration. It reflects a growing focus on ensuring that only eligible citizens participate in elections.
This amendment is essential for maintaining the integrity of elections, preventing non-citizens from influencing electoral outcomes.
These amendments are a start to election concerns that have undermined trust. The outcomes of these ballot measures will have lasting impacts on the voting process in Texas. It’s crucial for voters to be informed and engaged in these discussions, as their decisions will influence the democratic process in the years to come.