Hi Friend,
Election integrity has risen again as a hot topic and we have continued our work to ensure it’s easy to vote in our elections – and hard to cheat. It’s been our focus since taking office last year and we are proud of the huge accomplishments that were made last year to further secure our elections to rebuild trust in Texans. Ronald Reagan once said:

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance, it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

In an exchange believed to occur with Benjamin Franklin after a session of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, someone asked him “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?" To which Franklin responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

It would be foolish to take on the mentality that our work is done. It would be foolish to assume we have arrived, our republic is secure, and now we can rest on our laurels. No – we must continue to press forward and ensure we are doing all we can to preserve the republic that has delivered freedom and opportunity to people across this great nation. At the foundation of this republic is the ability to elect representatives to preserve our constitution and govern within it. 

So where do we go from here? What do we do next? 

First, we review where we are and research what more can be done. One recent area of focus is election security:

Earlier in May, I went to Montgomery, Alabama for the National Conference of State Legislators’ Reliable Elections Exchange for the Southern States (NCSL). During that meeting of state legislators, secretaries of state, election administrators, and national election experts, we examined what states are doing to ensure elections are secure and easy to vote in. Fortunately, Texas is excelling in all the key areas addressed during the conference. When it comes to election accuracy and procedures before, during, and after elections, Texas has some very good laws on the books. 
Cybersecurity was an area of discussion during the meeting that I found interesting and pressed into. We generally understand that this threat is growing and becoming more sophisticated. We deploy technology to try and block it, but the most common way of compromising our security is through phishing scams where we unknowingly enter our username and password into a fake website and hand over the keys to our system. Having the best technology and policies and procedures is vital to protecting our election system. 

In Section 279 of the Texas Election Code, we require the Texas Secretary of State to adopt rules defining classes of protected election data and establish best practices for identifying and reducing risk to the electronic use, storage, and transmission of election data and the security of election systems. They are then required to provide this training to all appropriate secretary of staff personnel and elections officers annually.

Furthermore, a county election officer is required to get an assessment of the cybersecurity of the county’s election system upon the secretary of state’s recommendation. To the extent that state funds are available, the county will then implement cybersecurity measures to ensure that all devices with access to election data comply to the highest extent possible. We’re planning to spend some time with local elections officers and the Texas Secretary of State’s office to determine how this is functioning and where improvements can be made.  
On the 11th of this month, we also had our first interim hearing of the House Committee on Elections. On the agenda was to “study the effectiveness of new poll watcher training” and “examine the reporting of election results.” We heard testimony and questioned Keith Ingram, Texas Secretary of State Office; Heider Garcia, Tarrant County Elections Administrator; and Isabel Longoria and Beth Stevens, Harris County Elections Administrators Office.

We were made aware of the Harris County Election Administrator’s actions during the last election and her intention to do the same during this runoff election: to have mobile counting stations. Section 127.066 of the Texas Election Code requires two election officers to deliver the sealed ballot box to the central counting station. She is deputizing workers to be the “central counting station” to pick up all the sealed ballots. During the hearing when this was brought up, Mr. Ingram stated plainly that this was not allowed and he disagreed with their assessment that this practice was legal. 
So what is the remedy? 

First, the Texas Secretary of State Elections Division is an advisory agency to the counties that are ultimately responsible for the elections in their county. 

Second, according to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Texas Attorney General cannot unilaterally prosecute election cases. This was based on their belief that this violated the Texas Constitution's separation of powers doctrine by granting the Texas Attorney General’s executive branch office the prosecution authority that is reserved for district and county attorneys, who are members of the judicial branch.

In the case with the runoffs, these elections are contracted by the political parties to be run by the elections administrator. If the elections administrator states that they intend to break the law during the administration of an election being conducted for them or are caught breaking the law, they should take legal action to prevent or stop the actions from taking place. We believe this remedy is being pursued. 

Enforcement of the election code requires us to help monitor and report things. Being a poll watcher for a candidate or ballot measure is a great way to see firsthand what is happening at the polls and in the counting areas. You can volunteer with any campaign to be a poll watcher. Training is required to become a poll watcher. It is free and easy to complete online.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched the Protect the Vote program nationally to help provide attorneys and election integrity specialists to poll workers, watchers, campaigns, and individuals that identify apparent voter fraud or to share concerns that should be immediately addressed. These attorneys and experts will be able to qualify and escalate a claim quickly to help stop fraud in its tracks. You can find the Texas site here:

It’s measures like these that get to the core of how we protect essential elements of our democracy like elections. Security is not passive, and we must take action to continue to bolster our election integrity and build trust in our institutions. This is why I’m proud to work on initiatives like these and will keep pressing in. Please reach out with your thoughts or concerns regarding election integrity. We look forward to working with you to ensure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in Texas. 
Let us know your thoughts!
Our goal is to communicate effectively, with authenticity and simplicity, so that Texans know what and why things are happening, and how to make a difference in their community. We want to empower you with the right information to make things better for yourself, your family, and your neighbors. We will continue to work on this and we want to hear from you about how we can improve on any of the things discussed above.
Jacey Jetton
State Representative
Texas House District 26

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1108 Soldiers Field Dr, Ste 100
Sugar Land, TX 77479
(281) 240-0342
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