Chapter 19 Funds Defined
Chapter 19 funds are state allocated funds issued to voter registrars in Texas to help defray the county’s voter registration expenses. Historic legislation, which passed in 1966 during the 59th Texas Legislative Session, established these funds after the poll tax was declared unconstitutional and abolished.
- Upon enactment of this legislation, funds were directly deposited in the county treasury until 1987 when the 70th Legislature amended Chapter 19 of the Texas Election Code to require the SOS to approve requests submitted by voter registers prior to the issuance of state warrants.
- From September 1987 to the present, Chapter 19 funds have been maintained in a special account at the State Comptroller of Public Accounts. The county voter registrars submit purchase requests for reimbursement and funds are directly deposited into the prescribed county account upon SOS approval, in accordance with Chapter 19 of the Texas Election Code.
- Voter registrars obtain these funds by filing before May 15th of each year an activity statement setting forth the total number of registrations, the total number of registrations canceled, and the total number of registrations updated - all for the previous calendar year.
- Section 19.002 entitles voter registrars to receive 25 cents for each new registration, 40 cents for each cancelled registration, 40 cents for each updated registration and in the even-numbered years, 40 cents for the difference between the number of registered voters and the number of initial registrations for the two previous voting years.
- The Texas Administrative rules adopted by the Secretary of State provide that Chapter 19 funds may be used to defray the cost of any item or service designed to increase the number of registered voters, maintain and report an accurate list of the number of registered voters and/or increase the efficiency of the voter registration office.
- Payable items or services include, but are not limited to, the following: temporary employees working in the voter registration department for up to 39 weeks within a fiscal year [House Bill 3061, 81st Legislature], membership dues to groups and associations whose sole or primary purpose is voter registration, computer equipment and upgrades for the voter registration office, computer training for voter registration staff, travel to voter registration-related seminars/conferences, electronic office equipment, voter registration drive supplies, and NVRA related expenses.