State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst

State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst 

The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill authored by State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst to require a voter-verifiable paper audit trail for all elections systems, according to a Tuesday news release.

Senate Bill 598 also prohibits any voting system from being connected to the internet and includes a risk limiting audit to ensure the accuracy of voting systems, according to the news release.

The bill was passed in the Senate Monday.

Texas will be considered to have one of the most accurate vote counting systems in the nation, said a news release from the state senator’s office. Texas is one of only three states that uses a paperless trail system in some areas.

“In 2005, I filed one of the first bills calling for a paper ballot trail to combat election fraud,” said Kolkhorst, R-Brenham. “After many visits with so many concerned constituents and years of efforts I am glad to see this through. Elections are the bedrock of our republic and ensuring that our elections are conducted to the highest standards possible is a must.”

The measure will now be sent to the Republican-led House.

Upon passage of Kolkhorst’s bill, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said the bill will work to restore some voters’ faith in electoral systems.

“At a time when the rhetoric around election security is being increasingly used in the media and corporate America to divide Texans and Americans, it is notable that Republicans and Democrats came together today in Texas to unanimously pass SB 598 designed to safeguard our elections. As I noted recently, over the past several years, both parties have expressed mistrust in the final outcome of elections,” Patrick said in a statement after the bill’s passage. “These bills will help us rebuild that trust.”

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