H.B. No. 246
  relating to establishing a pilot program for recording ballot
  counting activity.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 65, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 65.017 to read as follows:
  PROCESSING. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), the
  secretary of state shall establish a pilot program requiring a
  county to use a video recording device to record:
               (1)  all areas containing voted ballots in:
                     (A)  each central counting station in the manner
  required by Section 127.1232; or
                     (B)  if the county has not established a central
  counting station, not less than 20 percent of precincts in the
  county; and
               (2)  ballot counting activity performed by the early
  voting ballot board after the polls close on election day,
  including the processing of:
                     (A)  early voting ballots voted by mail;
                     (B)  early voting ballots voted by mail that have
  had a defect corrected under Section 87.0411; and
                     (C)  provisional ballots.
         (b)  The secretary of state shall select six counties to take
  part in the pilot program, including:
               (1)  two counties with a population of more than
  100,000 and not more than 500,000;
               (2)  two counties with a population of not less than
  50,000 and not more than 100,000; and
               (3)  two counties with a population of not more than
         (c)  The secretary of state shall adopt procedures to
  implement this section, including procedures to determine which
  counties may participate in the pilot program under this section.
         (d)  The procedures adopted under Subsection (c) may not
  violate the requirements of Section 61.014.
         (e)  The secretary of state shall operate the pilot program
  established under this section until January 1, 2025.
         (f)  Not later than January 1, 2025, the secretary of state
  shall file a report with the legislature. The report must state:
               (1)  which counties participated in the pilot program;
               (2)  the number of precincts and central counting
  stations that recorded video;
               (3)  any best practices for placement and use of the
  video recording devices, including:
                     (A)  best angles for visibility;
                     (B)  best distance between device and counting
  station; and
                     (C)  best devices for clarity;
               (4)  the cost and availability of broadband Internet
  connectivity required to implement the program; and
               (5)  any other information and recommendations
  considered necessary by the secretary of state.
         (g)  This section expires January 1, 2025.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 246 was passed by the House on May 3,
  2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 83, Nays 58, 2 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 246 was passed by the Senate on May
  18, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 19, Nays 12.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________