The Secretary of State initially distributes funding to the County Chairs based on estimated costs. Seventy-five (75%) of the approved estimated cost is advanced to the chair. Estimates are submitted for both the primary and runoff elections, if applicable, after which, a Final Primary Election Cost Report (FCR) must be submitted of actual expenses. The net difference between the final costs and revenue received prior to the election (i.e., estimate payments and filing fees) will result in either another payment being issued by the state or funds will be due back to the state. Primary/Runoff Estimates and FCRs must be submitted via the Online Primary Finance System prescribed by the Secretary of State. If you do not have your user ID and password or otherwise need assistance, please email the Election Funds Management or call 800-252-2216 (option 3 for Election Funds Management).
The following is a line by line description of the statistics and cost categories for the primary and runoff elections:
- Voter Turnout – Voter turnout for the primary and runoff elections. If you do not know the turnout, contact your County Election Officer. If you conducted a joint primary, the county election officer must combine the turnout for each joint primary precinct for both parties.
- Polling Places – Number of polling locations used in your party’s election. A consolidated precinct is considered a single precinct and is counted as one polling place. The number of election judges for a primary and runoff should equal to the number of polling place locations.
- Precincts – Total number of precincts designated by the county commissioner’s court. Again, if you do not know this number, contact your County Election Officer.
- Polling Places Shared – Shared number of physical polling locations in which another party holds a primary election in the same building.
- Public Building Used – Number of Election Day polling locations used by the party that are owned by a political subdivision. A political subdivision is defined for this section as a tax supported entity. As a reminder, state law prohibits the payment of any charges for the use of a public building that is normally open on Election Day (1 TAC §81.133 (a) and Tx. Elec. Code §43.003).
- Early Voting Stations – Total number of early voting locations used by the County Election Officer.
- Ballots Ordered – Total number of ballots ordered for the primary and runoff primary elections. (Exclude early voting and sample ballots).
- Election Kits Ordered – Total number of election kits ordered (excluding the early voting kits).
- Joint Primary - Indicate “Yes” or “No.” Keep in mind sharing polling locations and/or equipment does not necessarily qualify as an “official” joint primary. For example, you did not have an official joint primary election if a joint resolution was not passed by the county’s commissioner’s court.
- Contracting with the County – Indicate “Yes” or “No.”
- B 1. Printing – The cost of printing balloting material. Balloting material is any paper product, printed with candidate names, used in a polling place location.
- B 2. Voting Systems Programming – The cost of programming and testing electronic voting equipment, including optical scan systems, AutoMarks, and Direct Recording Electronic Devices (DRE’s).
- B 3. Logic and Accuracy Testing Advertisement - The cost of publishing legal notices for testing of the electronic voting system. Primary funds may not be used to purchase publication space for any other notices such as location of polling places not specifically required by the Election Code.
NOTE: Section 172.1112(a), in conjunction with 4.003(b) of the Texas Election Code does not require that a “notice of election” for the primary or runoff be published in a newspaper. These notices are required to be posted on a bulletin board used for posting notice of meetings of the commissioner’s court. Accordingly, primary funds may not be used to publish these notices in your local newspaper.
- B 4. Tech Support – Vendor or County technical support required for Election Day processing and/or Vendor site support or technical support other than programming and/or testing. Definitions of technical personnel are included in Sections 127.121 and 127.122 of the Texas Election Code.
- B 5. Election Kits – Non–ballot election materials given to all Election Day precincts. These materials include but are not limited to: election kits, required party stamps, distance signs, indelible markers, tape, pens, and office supplies. The cost of precinct convention supplies and materials may not be paid with primary funds. Do not include early voting election kits.
- B 6. Rental of County Owned Equipment – The cost of renting county owned electronic voting system election equipment. The county may not charge rent for the use of voting booths or ballot boxes. The rental rate per unit of equipment is limited to $5 by the Election Code §123.033 and restated in TAC §81.130.
- B 7. Rental of Non–county Owned Equipment – The cost of renting non–county owned electronic voting system election equipment. The rental rates are not limited by the Election Code §123.033 or TAC §81.130.
- B 8. Transportation of Voting Booths and/or Delivery of Machines – The cost for transporting and preparing election equipment for Election Day polling locations and central counting station. If the election judge picked up the equipment and transported it to the polling place that is included in the $15 pickup and delivery fee and is reported in B11.
- B 9. Polling Place Rental – The cost and number of polling places rented. As stated earlier, open public buildings must be supplied free of charge.
- B 10. Precinct Workers – The number of election workers and the total amount paid. All Election Day Judges and Clerks receive $8.00 per hour and are required to complete training, which is offered through The State of Texas Online Poll Worker Training Program. The average number of hours per election worker should be approximately 14 hours.
- B 11. Pickup and Delivery Fee – The number of election judges × the delivery fee. The delivery fee may not exceed $15 (TAC §81.120 (f)). The number of fees to be paid may not be greater than the number of polling places plus one additional fee for the early voting ballot board judge. If two workers will be handling this task and both wish to be compensated, the $15 fee must be split and half paid to each individual. Except as provided by this section, a judge or clerk may be paid only for the actual time spent on election duties performed in the polling place or central counting station (TAC §81.120 (c)).
- B 12. Central Counting Station Manager – The central counting station manager, hourly rate, and the total amount paid. The central counting station manager may be compensated at a greater rate than $8.00 per hour, but costs may not exceed those paid to county staff for comparable work. Definition of central counting station manager is in Section 127.002 of the Texas Election Code.
- B 13. Tabulation Supervisor – The tabulation supervisor, hourly rate, and the total amount paid. The tabulation supervisor may be compensated at a greater rate than $8.00 per hour, but costs may not exceed those paid to county staff for comparable work.Definition of tabulation supervisor manager is in Section 127.003 of the Texas Election Code.
- B 14. Assistant Tabulation Supervisor – The assistance tabulation supervisor, hourly rate, and the total amount paid. The assistant tabulation supervisor may be compensated at a greater rate than $8.00 per hour, but costs may not exceed those paid to county staff for comparable work. Definition of tabulation supervisor manager is in Section 127.004 of the Texas Election Code.
- B 15. Central Counting Station Judges and Clerks – The number of judges and clerks and the total amount paid. The Texas Election Code provides that the hourly compensation for the presiding judge and clerks at central counting station are paid at the same rate as paid to precinct election workers, which is $8.00. Definitions of central counting station presiding judge and clerks are included in Sections 127.005 and 127.006 of the Texas Election Code.
- B 16. Early Voting Ballot Board Personnel – Number of workers and the total amount paid. The ballot board is the group of workers who verify, prepare, and count early voting ballots. Members of the board, including the presiding judge, may receive compensation at $8.00 and they must attend election school training (TAC §81.120 (a)). The early voting ballot board judge may receive a delivery fee of $15, which is included in line B11. The persons who conduct early voting by mail and by personal appearance are selected and paid by the county.
- B 17. Provisional and Late Board Personnel – Number of workers and the total amount paid. If the early voting ballot board reconvenes to process provisional and late ballots and the ballots are counted by automatic tabulating equipment, the central counting station personnel must also reconvene to tabulate election results in accordance with Subchapter F, Chapter 87 of the Texas Election Code. Compensation for these workers is the same as described above in B12 – B15. The cost for the reconvening early voting ballot board who will process provisional and late ballots is paid from primary funds at the same rate as that paid to precinct election workers as described in B10.
- B 18. Supplies – The cost of any supplies required for the conduct of the election that would not be considered administrative costs and are not part of the Election Kits.
- B 19. Communication – Communication costs at the polling location, e.g. go-phones, internet connectivity, etc…
- B 20. Postage – Postage necessary for the conduct of the election, such as the mailing of election worker compensation checks.
- B 21. Legal Fees – Refer to 1 TAC §81.134 for guidance regarding legal fees due to litigation pertaining to the conduct of the election.
- B 22. Security – Security costs for polling location or central counting station.
- B 23. Miscellaneous – The cost of any miscellaneous Election Day expenses which cannot be reported elsewhere on the report. Election Day expenses are those costs incurred on Election Day or those directly attributable to preparing election equipment or tabulating election returns, such as preparing unofficial election returns. Do not include technical staff in this section, record them in B4.
Contract Administrative Fee – The cost of the County Election Services Contract administrative fee. This applies to the county parties that contract with the county election officer. The administrative fee can be up to 10% of the contracted items (there are checkboxes to indicate which items are contracted).
Please review 1 TAC §81. 123 for the administrative costs caps applicable to your county.
- C 1. Office Rent – The cost of renting necessary office space. A copy of the signed office lease and three competitive bids must be attached to the Final Primary Election Cost Report. (Note: If the party maintains a lease, unrelated to the conduct of the primary, the cost of that lease will not be reimbursed in excess of 30% of the rental cost by the state as a primary expense.) Please review 1 TAC §81.129.
- C 2. Office Personnel – The administrative personnel cost. "Administrative Personnel" means a non-election-day worker. The administrative personnel payroll taxes. Please refer to Chapters 10 thru 13 and Appendix A of Primary Election Financial Management Guide for County Chairs (PDF).
- C 3. Telephone and Utilities – Telephone and utility costs for the primary or runoff elections. Long distance costs necessary for the conduct of the elections are payable. Only those utility costs required by an office lease submitted for payment on line C1 may be paid with primary funds.
- C 4. Office Supplies – The cost of necessary office supplies. See 1 TAC §81.127.
- C 5. Election Law Books (excluded from the cap) – The cost of up to two election law books.
- C 6. Computer – The cost of one computer up to $1500. The serial number must be recorded. If a computer is purchased for the 2014 Primary Election, the county chair may not request reimbursement for a computer for the 2016 Primary Election. The computer must be transferred from the outgoing chair to the incoming chair if there is a change in chairmanship.
- C 7.Miscellaneous – Any eligible expense which does not fit other descriptions detailed throughout the form should be reported as miscellaneous.
- C 8 Bank Fees – Monthly fees or minimum balance to keep account open.
- E 1. Beginning Balance – If the primary fund account had a balance at the beginning of the primary season, it should be reported here. Typically, this would include funds remaining from previous primaries that were not returned to the state. Do not include a balance that was maintained to keep the account open.
- E 2. Candidate Filing Fees – The filing fees accompanying the application to be on the ballot filed with the county chair.
- E 3. State Committee Filing Fees – The filing fees accompanying the application to be on the ballot filed with the state chair and distributed by the state party to the county party.
- F 1. Contributions – Any contributions or donation given to the county party to offset primary election day expenses.
- All supporting documentation such as copies of leases, receipts, bills, invoices, contracts, competitive bids, compensation sheets for election day workers, petty–cash, monthly bank statements, electronic bookkeeping records (i.e.: Quicken Quickbooks, etc...), and any other related materials documenting primary–fund expenditures must be submitted with the Final Cost Report. There are four ways to submit the documents (you only need to choose one method, e.g., you do not need to mail hardcopies if you submit the documents electronically):
- “Upload” electronic versions, including scanned documents, when you submit the Final Cost Report online. There is an Upload link on the left side of the screen when you click “Verify/Submit”.
- Email electronic versions of the documents.
- Fax the documents to 512-463-7552.
- Mail them to:
Texas Secretary of State
Election Funds Management Section
P. O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060