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  H.B. No. 1987
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the offense of possessing another person's official
  ballot or official carrier envelope.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 86.006, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (f) and adding Subsection (i) to read as
  follows:
         (f)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
  possesses an official ballot or official carrier envelope provided
  under this code to another. Unless the person possessed the ballot
  or carrier envelope with intent to defraud the voter or the election
  authority, [it is an affirmative defense to prosecution under] this
  subsection does not apply to a [that the] person who, on the date of
  the offense, was:
               (1)  related to the voter within the second degree by
  affinity or the third degree by consanguinity, as determined under
  Subchapter B, Chapter 573, Government Code;
               (2)  registered to vote at the same address as the
  voter;
               (3)  an early voting clerk or a deputy early voting
  clerk;
               (4)  a person who possesses the carrier envelope in
  order to deposit the envelope in the mail or with a common or
  contract carrier and who provides the information required by
  Section 86.0051(b) in accordance with that section;
               (5)  an employee of the United States Postal Service
  working in the normal course of the employee's authorized duties;
  or
               (6)  a common or contract carrier working in the normal
  course of the carrier's authorized duties if the official ballot is
  sealed in an official carrier envelope that is accompanied by an
  individual delivery receipt for that particular carrier envelope.
         (i)  In the prosecution of an offense under Subsection (f):
               (1)  the prosecuting attorney is not required to negate
  the applicability of the provisions of Subsections (f)(1)-(6) in
  the accusation charging commission of an offense;
               (2)  the issue of the applicability of a provision of
  Subsection (f)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) is not submitted to
  the jury unless evidence of that provision is admitted; and
               (3)  if the issue of the applicability of a provision of
  Subsection (f)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) is submitted to the
  jury, the court shall charge that a reasonable doubt on the issue
  requires that the defendant be acquitted.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after September 1, 2007. An offense
  committed before September 1, 2007, is covered by the law in effect
  when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense
  was committed before September 1, 2007, if any element of the
  offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1987 was passed by the House on April
  11, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1987 on May 14, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1987 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 10, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor