BBBA(LEGAL) - ELECTIONS: CONDUCTING ELECTIONS
Note: If the district is subject to a court order or other binding legal determination, the district shall conduct its elections in accordance with that court order or determination, applicable law, and this policy. To the extent of any conflict, the court order or other legal determination shall prevail. [See BBB(LOCAL)]
The board shall order an election. An election to be held on a uniform election date shall be ordered not later than the 78th day before election day. Election Code 3.004, .005
Each election order must state:
- The date of the election;
- The offices or measures to be voted on;
- The early voting clerk's official mailing address;
- The location of the main early voting polling place;
- The dates and hours for early voting; and
- The dates and hours of any Saturday and Sunday early voting.
Election Code 3.006, 83.010, 85.004, .007
A board shall preserve the election order for the period for preserving the precinct election records. The date and nature of each election shall be entered in the official records of the board. For an election on a measure, the entry must include a description of the measure. Election Code 3.008
Failure to Order an Election
Failure to order a general election does not affect the validity of the election. Election Code 3.007
Notice of the election must state:
- The nature and date of the election;
- The location of each polling place;
- The hours the polls will be open;
- The early voting clerk's official mailing address;
- The location of the main early voting polling place; and
- The dates and hours for early voting, including the dates and hours of any Saturday and Sunday early voting.
Election Code 4.004(a), 83.010, 85.004, .007
Notice of Special Election
The notice of a special election must also state each office to be filled or the proposition stating each measure to be voted on. Election Code 4.004(b)
Notice of the election shall be published at least once, not earlier than the 30th day or later than the tenth day before election day, in a newspaper published within the district's boundaries or in a newspaper of general circulation in the district if none is published within the district's boundaries. The board shall retain a copy of the published notice that contains the name of the newspaper and the date of publication. Election Code 4.003(a)(1), (c), .005(a)
In addition to the notice described above, not later than the 21st day before election day, the district shall post a copy of the notice on the bulletin board used for posting notices of the meetings of the board. The notice must remain posted continuously through election day. The person posting the notice shall make a record at the time of posting stating the date and place of posting. The person shall sign the record and deliver it to the board after the last posting is made. Election Code 4.003(b), .005(b)
A district that maintains a website must post the notice described above on the Internet website of the district. Election Code 85.007(d)
Notice to County Clerk and Voter Registrar
The board shall deliver notice of the election to the county clerk and voter registrar of each county in which the district is located not later than the 60th day before election day. Election Code 4.008(a)
Notice to Election Judge
Not later than the 15th day before election day or the seventh day after the date the election is ordered, whichever is later, the board shall deliver to the presiding judge of each election precinct in which the election is to be held in the district a written notice of:
- The nature and date of the election;
- The location of the polling place for the precinct served by the judge;
- The hours that the polls will be open;
- The judge's duty to hold the election in the precinct specified by the notice; and
- The maximum number of clerks that the judge may appoint for the election.
Election Code 4.007
Failure to Give Notice of Election
Failure to give notice of a general election does not affect the validity of the election. Election Code 4.006
Notice to Candidates
A district shall post notice of the dates of the filing period in a public place in a building in which the district has an office not later than the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file an application for a place on the ballot. Election Code 141.040
A candidate application for a place on the ballot must:
- Be in writing;
- Be signed and sworn to before a person authorized to administer an oath in this state by the candidate and indicate the date that the candidate swears to the application;
- Be timely filed with the appropriate authority; and
- Include all statutorily required information.
Election Code 31.0021, 141.031, .039
An application for a place on the ballot may not be filed earlier than the 30th day before the date of the filing deadline.
An application must be filed not later than 5:00 p.m. of the 78th day before the date of the election for an election to be held on a uniform election date.
Education Code 11.055(a); Election Code 144.005(d)
A declaration of write-in candidacy must be filed not later than 5:00 p.m. of the 74th day before election day for an election to be held on a uniform election date. Education Code 11.056(b); Election Code 146.054
An application for a place on a special election ballot may not be filed before the election is ordered.
An application must be filed not later than:
- 5:00 p.m. of the 62nd day before election day if election day is on or after the 70th day after the election is ordered; or
- 5:00 p.m. of the 40th day before election day if election day is on or after the 46th day and before the 70th day after the date the election is ordered.
For a special election to be held on the date of the general election for state and county officers (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years under Election Code 41.002), the day of the filing deadline is 6 p.m. of the 75th day before election day.
A declaration of write-in candidacy for a special election must be filed not later than the filing deadline.
Election Code 201.054
Delivery or Submission of Documents
Under the Election Code, delivery, submission, or filing of an application, notice, report, or other document or paper with an employee of the district at the district's usual place for conducting official business constitutes filing with the district. The district may accept the document or paper at a place other than the district's usual place for conducting official business.
A delivery, submission, or filing of a document or paper under the Election Code may be made by personal delivery, mail, telephonic facsimile machine, or any other method of transmission.
Election Code 1.007
Election of Unopposed Candidate
The board may declare each unopposed candidate elected to office in accordance with the provisions below. Election Code 2.053(a)
A special election is considered to be a separate election with a separate ballot from a general election for board members or another special election held at the same time. Election Code 2.051(a)
If any members of a board are elected from single-member districts, the procedures to declare unopposed candidates elected apply to the election in a particular single-member district if each candidate for an office that is to appear on the ballot in that single-member district is unopposed and no opposed at-large race is to appear on the ballot. Election Code 2.051(b)
Procedure for Canceling Election
The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall certify in writing that a candidate is unopposed for election to an office if, were the election held, only the votes cast for that candidate in the election for that office may be counted. The certification shall be delivered to the board as soon as possible after the filing deadlines for placement on the ballot and list of write-in candidates.
A certification may be made following the filing of a withdrawal request by a candidate after the deadline prescribed by Election Code 145.092 if:
- The withdrawal request is valid except for the untimely filing;
- Ballots have not been prepared; and
- The other conditions for certification are met.
A certification under these circumstances shall be delivered to the board as soon as possible.
Election Code 2.052
On receipt of the certification, the board by order may declare each unopposed candidate elected to office. If a declaration is made, no election is held.
If no election is to be held by the district on election day, a copy of the order shall be posted on election day at each polling place used or that would have been used in the election.
The ballots used at a separate election held at the same time as an election that would have been held if the candidates were not declared elected shall include the offices and names of the candidates declared elected listed separately after the measures or contested races in the separate election under the heading "Unopposed Candidates Declared Elected." The candidates shall be grouped in the same relative order prescribed for the ballot generally. No votes are cast in connection with the unopposed candidates.
Election Code 2.053
[See BBBB regarding issuance of a certificate of election to an unopposed candidate declared elected and qualification for office.]
The ballot shall be prepared in accordance with Election Code Chapter 52.
The district shall conduct a drawing to determine the order of the candidates' names in an election at which the names of more than one candidate for the same office are to appear on the ballot. The district shall post notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing. The notice must remain posted in the district's office continuously for 72 hours immediately preceding the scheduled drawing. The district shall mail written notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing to each candidate not later than the fourth day before the date of the drawing. Each candidate affected by a drawing is entitled to be present or have a representative present at the drawing. Election Code 52.093–.094
Ballots for an election by position must clearly show the position for which each person is a candidate. A board shall arrange by lot the names of the candidates for each position. Education Code 11.058(g)
Election Services Contract
The county election officer, as defined by Election Code 31.091(a), may contract with the board of a district situated wholly or partly in the county served by the officer to perform election services, as provided by Election Code Chapter 31, Subchapter D, in any one or more elections ordered by the board.
If requested to do so by a district, the county elections administrator, as defined under Election Code Chapter 31, Subchapter B, shall enter into a contract to furnish the election services requested in accordance with a cost schedule agreed on by the contracting parties. A county elections administrator is not required to enter into a contract to furnish elections services for an election held on the first Saturday in May in an even-numbered year.
Election Code 31.092, .093, 41.001(d)
Election Judges and Clerks
By written order, a board shall appoint a presiding election judge and an alternate presiding judge for each election precinct in which an election is held. A board shall prescribe the maximum number of clerks that each presiding judge may appoint for each election. The judges and clerks shall be selected and serve in accordance with Election Code Chapter 32. Election Code 32.001(a), .008, .033
A board shall designate polling places for election day and early voting. Each polling place shall be accessible to and usable by the elderly and persons with physical disabilities. Election Code 43.004, .034, Ch. 85 (regarding early voting by personal appearance)
In an election held on a uniform election date, a district shall use the regular county election precincts and shall designate as the polling places for the election the regular county polling places in the county election precincts that contain territory from the district.
Exception for May Election
A district is not required to use the county election precincts for an election held on the May uniform election date if the district:
- Conducts early voting by personal appearance:
- At 75 percent or more of its permanent or temporary branch polling places on the same days and during the same hours as voting is conducted at the main early voting place; and
- At each remaining polling place for at least two consecutive days of voting during the early voting period, and for at least eight hours on each day; or
- Has not established a permanent or temporary branch early voting polling place.
Election Code 42.002(a)(5), (c), .0621, 43.004(b)
A person commits an offense if, during the voting period and within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which a polling place is located, the person loiters or electioneers for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.
"Electioneering" includes the posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature. The term does not include the distribution of a notice of a party convention authorized under Election Code 172.114.
"Voting period" means the period beginning when the polls open for voting and ending when the polls close or the last voter has voted, whichever is later.
"Early voting period" means the period prescribed by Election Code 85.001.
A district that owns or controls a public building being used as a polling place or early voting polling place may not, at any time during the voting period or early voting periods, as applicable, prohibit electioneering on the building's premises outside of the area described above, but may enact reasonable regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of electioneering.
Election Code 61.003, 85.036
In each election, early voting shall be conducted by personal appearance at an early voting polling place and by mail, in accordance with Election Code Title 7, Chapters 81–114. Election Code 81.001
Elections shall be conducted in accordance with Election Code Title 6, Chapters 61–68.
Bilingual election materials shall be used in each election precinct situated wholly or partly in a county in which five percent or more of the inhabitants are persons of Spanish origin or descent according to the most recent federal decennial census that may be officially recognized or acted upon by the state or political subdivisions. Election Code 272.002
If the director of the census determines that a district must provide election materials in a language other than English or Spanish, the district shall provide election materials in that language in the same manner in which the district would be required to provide materials in Spanish, to the extent applicable. Election Code 272.011; 52 U.S.C. 10503
A voting system shall be adopted and utilized in accordance with Election Code Title 8.
Accessible Voting Stations
Except as provided below, each polling place must provide at least one voting station that complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794) and its subsequent amendments, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. Section 12131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments, and the requirements for accessibility under 42 U.S.C. Section 15481(a)(3) and its subsequent amendments, and that provides a practical and effective means for voters with physical disabilities to cast a secret ballot. Election Code 61.012
Electronic Voting System Exceptions
For an election other than an election of a district that is held jointly with another election in which a federal office appears on the ballot, a district is not required to meet the requirements for accessibility under 42 U.S.C. Section 15481(a)(3) if the district is located in a county that meets certain population and other requirements set forth in Election Code 61.013(a). A district that intends to use this provision to provide fewer voting stations that meet the requirements for accessibility than required must provide notice under Election Code 61.013(d). Election Code 61.013