“Assistants” (helpers) are any volunteers who help voters, either in filling out and/or mailing in applications and ballots (elderly, disabled) or at the polls (non-native speakers, non-readers, etc.). Currently in Texas, assistants simply sign the application or ballot or a form given to them at the poll.
- Assistants will be required to sign an oath that if they make any mistake, they can be criminally prosecuted.
- Assistants will have to sign their names twice with closely matching signatures—or risk having the application rejected.
- It will be illegal for assistants to help voters who are not family members, even if they all live in the same house.
(Does this mean you can’t help an elderly neighbor? You can’t volunteer at a nursing home?)
It will also be illegal for assistants
- to forget to add their own signature, name, address, and relationship on an application or ballot
- to forget to deny receiving any compensation or benefit from a campaign or political committee
(Is recognition at a volunteer luncheon considered compensation?)
- to collect and mail completed mail-in ballots if the intent is to deliver votes for a specific candidate or issue
(What about a Democrat helping neighbors? Volunteering at a nursing home?)
- If a candidate suspects a voting violation by an opposing candidate, he or she can sue, and the burden of proof is the lowest possible allowed by law: “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning the suing candidate just needs to show that there is a >50% chance that the claim is true. The “guilty” candidate could be required to pay $1,000 for each violation.