April 20, 2021

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021

(Austin, TX) – In the Election Code, a presiding election judge is required to “preserve order and prevent breaches of the peace and violations.” The attorney general, noting a 1913 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case – Hooks v. State – recognized that district court judges can carry firearms to polling places and election judges “likewise had the authority to do so.”

Due to the attorney general’s interpretation and at the request of a constituent, Representative Jared Patterson filed HB 530 to codify that opinion so that both presiding and alternate election judges are statutorily authorized to carry a handgun in a polling place on election day and during the early voting period. Today, HB 530 was passed out of the Texas House.

“Our elections require security to safeguard our voting laws. By codifying this interpretation into law, Texas will improve enforcement of our future elections, discourage bad actors, and further ensure the safety of Texas voters,” said Representative Patterson.

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Calendars, and Homeland Security & Public Safety. He also serves on the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.