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Voter Information

Election Advisory No. 2013-07

November 5, 2013 Election Law Calendar

The uniform election date in November of odd-numbered years is usually the date on which constitutional amendments passed by the Texas Legislature during its recently completed session are voted upon.  Many local political subdivisions, such as cities and school districts, also have their regular general elections for members of their governing bodies or special elections to fill vacancies on this date, or such political subdivisions, including counties, have special elections on this date for propositions.  Therefore, this calendar is required to meet the needs of many diverse governmental bodies.  If there are questions about the applicability of something in this calendar to your specific election, do not hesitate to call the Elections Division of the Office of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683).

1. Note on Campaign Information

Under Title 15 of the Texas Election Code, candidates running for an office must file campaign contribution and expenditure reports.  For further information and all questions about such disclosure filings, campaign finance, and political advertising, please contact the Texas Ethics Commission at 201 E. 14th, 10th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701; call 512-463-5800; or access their website at:  www.ethics.state.tx.us.

2. Note on Submissions to the U.S. Department of Justice

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, No. 12-96, 2013 WL 3184629 (U.S.) (U.S. Jun. 25, 2013).  That decision holds that Section 4 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional and its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.  Both the Attorney General of the United States and the Texas Attorney General have indicated that Shelby takes effect immediately. Accordingly, unless and until there is new law from the United States Congress signed by the President or other court order, the Texas Attorney General has advised the Secretary of State that it is no longer required to submit voting changes to the DOJ for preclearance.  We suggest that Texas counties or other Texas political subdivision discuss the effect of Shelby and the continuing applicability of other provisions of the Voting Rights Act with their legal counsel.

3. Note on Preclearance Status

This calendar reflects 2013 legislative enactments that will have an effect on elections held on the November 5, 2013 uniform election date.  There are other 2013 legislative enactments that will not become effective in time to affect the November 5, 2013 uniform election date.

4. Note on Statutory References

Unless otherwise indicated, all references are to the Texas Election Code.  The county election officer is either the county clerk, the county elections administrator, or the county tax assessor collector, depending on the actions of the county commissioners court.  (Secs. 31.031, 31.071 & 31.091).  The county voter registrar is either the county clerk, the county elections administrator, or the county tax assessor collector, depending on the actions of the county commissioners court.  (Secs. 12.001, 12.031, 31.031 & 31.071).

5. Note on Required Use of County Polling Places

Political subdivisions (except districts created under Article III, Section 52, Texas Constitution or Article XVI, Section 59, Texas Constitution and located in a county with a population of more than 3.3 million or a county adjacent to such county) holding an election on the November uniform election date must use county election precincts and polling places.  (Secs. 42.002, 42.0621 & 43.004).

6. Note on Notice of Candidate Filing Periods

The authority with whom an application for a place on the ballot is filed must post a notice of the filing period dates in a building in which the authority maintains an office.  The notice must be posted not later than the 30th day before the first day to file.  (Sec. 141.040).  If you order a special election to fill a vacancy, the order must include the filing deadline; we recommend posting the notice of the filing period as soon as practicable after a special election is ordered.  The form may be found on our website.  

NOTE: For political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, post the notice the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file the application (if the Texas Election Code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application).  (Sec. 141.040).

7. Note on Joint Election Requirement for School Districts

School districts conducting trustee elections must have joint polling places on election day with either

  1. a city holding an election on the uniform election day (located wholly or partly within the school district’s boundaries);
  2. a public junior college district if it is having an election for members of its governing board in which the school district is wholly or partly located;
  3. in limited circumstances, a hospital district; or
  4. the county on the November uniform election day in even-numbered years.

For purposes of this calendar, we will continue to use separate subheads for Cities and School Districts when their rules are different.  However, many entities will be working out joint election agreements.  (Sec. 11.0581, Texas Education Code; Sec. 271.002).

8. Note on Joint Elections Generally

Many entities will have joint elections for the November 5, 2013 election.  Note that the entries in this calendar are generally written in terms of elections held individually rather than jointly.  For example, cities are advised about conducting two 12-hour days for early voting.  However, we have long advised different entities who conduct early voting together to coordinate their early voting hours, which may result in entities other than cities also holding early voting on two 12-hour days.  On the other hand, depending on the plan, different entities may choose to do different things separately, i.e., not holding early voting together.  Not all joint election plans are alike.  With a few exceptions, we do not discuss the impact of coordinating rules for a joint election, as we think this would make the calendar longer and confusing.  We encourage joint election partners to read through the entire calendar, taking note of the rules affecting the partner entities and to address the differences within the agreement itself.  If you have questions about how different rules apply to a particular joint election plan, please contact our office by phone or email.

9. Note on Notice of Elections

Political subdivisions other than cities and school districts may have specific statutory notice requirements.  In the absence of specific statutory requirements, such political subdivisions must post a notice on or before the 21st day before the election.  (Sec. 4.003(b)).  For the November 5, 2013 election, this notice must be posted on or before Tuesday, October 15, 2013.  The general rule is that, additionally, notice must be given using one of the following methods:

  1. By posting a notice in each election precinct in which the election is to be held on or before the 21st day before the election, Tuesday, October 15, 2013.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(2)).
  2. By publishing the notice at least once between the 30th day and the 10th day before the election, Sunday, October 6, 2013 – Monday, October 28, 2013.  (Secs. 1.006, 4.003(a)(1)).
  3. By mailing a copy of the notice to each registered voter of the territory covered by the election, not later than the 10th day before election day, Monday, October 28, 2013.  (Secs. 1.006, 4.003(a)(3)).

    This notice must include:

    1. The type and date of the election;
    2. The location of each polling place;
    3. The hours the polls will be open;
    4. The location of the main early voting polling place;
    5. The regular dates and hours for early voting by personal appearance;
    6. The dates and hours of any Saturday or Sunday early voting, if any; and
    7. The early voting clerk’s mailing address.

Note regarding branch early voting locations:

The branch early voting locations are no longer a required part of your notice under the Texas Election Code.  (Sec. 4.004).

Note for State Constitutional Amendment Election:

Since the commissioners court does not order this election (the governor orders it), your county must post notice of the election on the commissioners court bulletin board and must also provide notice under one of the methods authorized under A, B, or C above.  (Secs. 4.002(1), 4.003(b)).

Note for Cities and School Districts:

Cities and school districts are required to publish their notice in a newspaper in accordance with Section 4.003(a)(1) (See B, above) and may also give any additional notice.  (Sec. 4.003(c)).

Note for Home-Rule Charter Cities:

Home-rule cities MUST also give notice as provided in their charters.

Note for Cities:

Cities must choose two weekdays to be open for 12 hours during the regular early voting period. The city council must choose the two weekdays.  (Sec. 85.005(d)).

Note for All Political Subdivisions, Except Counties & Cities:

Voting on ANY Saturday or Sunday must be included in the order and notice of election.  (Secs. 85.006 & 85.007).

Note for All Political Subdivisions, Except Counties:

The governing body of a political subdivision must deliver notice of the election to the county election officer and voter registrar of each county in which the political subdivision is located not later than the 60th day before election day, Friday, September 6, 2013.  (Sec. 4.008).

Notice of Previous Polling Place:

If a different polling place is being used from the previous election held by the same authority, notice must be posted at the entrance of the previous polling place informing voters of the current polling place location, if possible.  (Sec. 43.062).

Notice of Change of Polling Place Location:

For elections ordered by the governor or county judge only, if the location of the polling place changes after notice has been given under Section 4.003 of the Texas Election Code, and the county election officer maintains a website to inform voters about elections, the notice of the change must be posted on the website.  The notice on the website must be posted not later than the earlier of 24 hours after the location was changed or 72 hours before the polls open on election day.  (Sec. 43.061).  If the county election officer is conducting a legislative vacancy election, the candidates listed on the ballot are entitled to receive notice directly from the county judge. 

10. Note on Testing Tabulating and Electronic Voting Equipment

Note on Ballot Testing: 

Once all candidate filing deadlines have passed, we recommend that you proof and test your ballot programming as soon as possible.  Early testing will allow adequate time to locate any errors and make any necessary corrections in ballot programming.  We also strongly suggest that you have candidates proof their names and offices before finalizing the ballot to avoid the necessity for last minute ballot corrections. 

Note on Logic and Accuracy Test:

We recommend establishing a date to perform the first test of your electronic voting equipment [L&A, or Logic and Accuracy Test] as soon as possible.  We recommend that this test be performed on a date that allows time to correct programming and retest, if necessary.  A notice of this test must be published by the custodian of the electronic voting equipment at least 48 hours before the date of the test.  (Sec. 129.023; Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03).  The L&A test must be conducted not later than 48 hours before voting begins on a voting system.  (Sec. 129.023).    

Note on Testing Tabulating Equipment:

The automatic tabulating equipment used for counting ballots at a central counting station must be tested three times for each election.  (Ch. 127, Subch. D).  We recommend you test the equipment as soon as possible; early testing will allow adequate time to locate any errors and make any necessary corrections in programming.  However, the first test must be conducted at least 48 hours before the automatic tabulating equipment is used to count ballots voted in the election.  The second test shall be conducted immediately before the counting of ballots with the equipment begins.  The third test must be conducted immediately after the counting of ballots with the equipment is completed.  Please note that the custodian of the automatic tabulating equipment must publish notice of the date, hour, and place of the first test in a newspaper at least 48 hours before the date of the test.  (Sec. 127.096). 

The automatic tabulating equipment may not be used to count ballots voted in the election until a test is successful.

Precinct tabulators must also be tested in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 127, Subchapter D of the Texas Election Code to the extent those procedures can be made applicable.  (Sec. 127.152; Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03).     

For more information on testing tabulating equipment used at the central counting station, please see Chapter 127, Subchapter D of the Election Code and Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03.  See Chapter 129, Subchapter B of the Election Code and Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03 for other types of testing such as functionality tests, logic and accuracy tests, tests for central accumulators, etc.  Also see Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory Nos. 2011-17, 2011-18, and 2011-19 pertaining to voting system equipment access, security and preservation, and chain of custody.

Calendar of Events

Thursday, June 27, 2013 (30th day before Saturday, July 27, 2013, “first day to file”

Cities and School Districts (including junior college districts):  Post notice of the filing period dates in a building in which the authority maintains an office.  The notice must be posted not later than the 30th day before the first day to file.  (Sec. 141.040(a)(1)).  (See Note 6 prior to Calendar of Events).

For political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, post the notice the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file the application (if the Texas Election Code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application).  (Sec. 141.040(a)(2)).  (See Note 6 prior to Calendar of Events). 

Saturday, July 27, 2013 (30th day before the regular filing deadline for a place on the ballot

Cities and Schools Districts only (including junior college districts):  First day to file an application for a place on the ballot.  (Secs. 1.006, 143.007; Secs. 11.055, 130.044, Texas Education Code).  Your office is not required to be open on a Saturday or Sunday.

All Other Districts:  There is no “first” day to file.

For political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, this is the deadline to post the notice of the last day on which a candidate may file the application.  (Sec. 141.040(a)(2)).  (See Note 6 prior to Calendar of Events).

NOTE:  You do not need to have ordered your general (regularly occurring) election in order for the filing period to begin.

Important Note for Cities and Other Districts that do not have business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday during the candidate filing period:  At least part of the candidate filing period will occur during the summer break for school districts.  Additionally, there are political subdivisions that do not have office hours on all days of the business week (Monday through Friday) or do not have an office that is open for eight hours each day of the business week.  The Elections Division recommends that school districts take steps to have someone available for a few hours most days during the candidate filing period to accept filings, and that school districts post a schedule on their websites and on the bulletin boards where notices of school board meetings are posted of the days and times when someone will be available to accept filings.  The Election Division also recommends that if a political subdivision’s office is not open on all days of the business week for eight hours each day that the political subdivision post a schedule on its website and on the bulletin board where notices of meetings of its governing body are posted of the days and times when someone will be available to accept filings.  If a candidate attempts to file at the correct place and no filing official is there, the candidate may have legal grounds to go to court in a mandamus action to compel the city or district to accept the application later.  For this reason, the Election Division strongly recommends having someone available at the place of business on a filing date and until the filing deadline, especially from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (This guideline is based on the office-hour rule that starts later.)  Even if a political subdivision also accept applications by mail and fax, if it does not have someone there at the office at 5:00 p.m., the political subdivision will have no reliable witness to say who has met the deadline.

August 2013

The county commissioners court should decide whether to consolidate county election precincts for the November 5, 2013 state constitutional amendment election early this month.  (Sec. 42.008).

Governing bodies of political subdivisions, other than counties, which are having elections on November 5, 2013 should establish their election precincts, if necessary, early this month.  (Sec. 42.061).

NOTE:  These are recommendations not deadlines.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 (90th day before election day

Last day for eligible political subdivisions to submit notice or application of undue burden status to the Secretary of State for exemption from accessible voting system requirement.  (Sec. 61.013).  Please remember that the exemption is not available to a political subdivision holding its election jointly with another election in which a federal office appears on the ballot.  For additional information, consult the Tex. Sec’y of State Voting Accessibility Issue, on this topic.

Friday, August 23, 2013 (74th day before election day; day before 2nd day before 71st day)

If a candidate dies on or before this date, his or her name is not placed on the ballot if the filing deadline is the 71st day before election day, Monday, August 26, 2013.  (Sec. 145.094(a)(1)).

Monday, August 26, 2013 (71st day before election day)

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties: 5:00 p.m. – Last day for candidate in a political subdivision (other than a county) to file an application for a place on the ballot for general election for officers for most political subdivisions, except as otherwise provided by the Texas Election Code.  (Secs. 143.007(c), 144.005(d); Sec. 11.055, Texas Education Code; Chapter 286, Texas Health & Safety Code). 

NOTE:  A home-rule city’s charter may not provide an alternate candidate filing deadline.  (Secs. 143.005(a), 143.007).

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties: 5:00 p.m. – Last day for write-in candidates to file declarations of write-in candidacy for regular offices for city, school district, library district, junior college district, hospital district, common school district, Chapter 36 and 49 Water Code district, and other political subdivision elections, unless otherwise provided by law.  (Secs. 144.006, 146.054, 146.055; Secs. 11.056, 11.304, 130.0825, Texas Education Code; Sec. 326.0431, Texas Local Government Code; Sec.  285.131, Texas Health and Safety Code; and Secs. 36.059, 49.101, 63.0945, Texas Water Code).

NOTE:  For elections held on a uniform date other then the November even-numbered year election date, the declaration of write-in candidacy deadline for special elections for most local entities is the 71st day before the election.  (See especially Secs. 144.006, 146.054).

Deadline for counties to order an election to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, other than the constitutional amendment election, which is ordered by the governor.  (Secs. 3.003, 3.005).  (See under Note 9 prior to Calendar of Events).

Deadline for political subdivisions to order an election to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, unless otherwise provided by the Texas Election Code.  (Sec. 3.005). 

The order must include:

  1. The date of the election;
  2. The offices or measures to be voted on;
  3. The location of the main early voting polling place;
  4. (Recommended) branch early voting polling places (See under Note 9 prior to Calendar of Events);
  5. The dates and hours for early voting (it is recommended that this information be included in the order for counties and cities, but it is required to be included for all other entities; cities must include the two designated weekdays for which early voting will be held for 12 hours);
  6. The dates and hours of any Saturday and Sunday early voting (if applicable, it is only recommended that this information be included in the order for counties and cities, but it is required to be included for all other entities); and
  7. The early voting clerk’s official mailing address.

Important Note for City offices with four-year terms:  If no candidate files for a particular office by the deadline, the deadline is extended to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 9, 2013 (57th day before election day).  (Sec. 143.008).

Important Note for Cities and Other Districts that do not have regularly scheduled business hours on a filing date or until a filing deadline:  If a candidate attempts to file at the correct place and no filing official is there, the candidate may have legal grounds to go to court in a mandamus action to compel the city or district to accept the application later.  For this reason, the Elections Division strongly recommends having someone available at the place of business on a filing date and until the filing deadline, especially from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (This guideline is based on the office-hour rule that starts later.)  Even if a city or district also accepts applications by mail and fax, if the city or district does not have someone there at 5:00 p.m., the city or district will have no reliable witness to say who has met the deadline.

Note on Candidate’s Application Filed by Mail:  An application by mail is considered to be filed at the time of its receipt by the appropriate filing authority.  (Secs. 143.007(b), 144.005(b)).

Note on Ballot Position Drawing:  First day to post notice of ballot position drawing if drawing is to be conducted on Thursday, August 29, 2013.  This notice must be posted for 72 hours immediately preceding the time of the drawing.  (Sec. 52.094(c)).

For an election not held at county expense or by a political subdivision other than a city, a notice of ballot position drawing must be mailed to candidates by this date if drawing is to be conducted on Thursday, August 29, 2013.  (Sec. 52.094(d)).  Candidates who have not filed by this date should be given a copy of the notice at the time they file.

For an election held at county expense or a city election, if a candidate gives the filing authority a written request, accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope, the filing authority must mail the candidate a notice of ballot position drawing.  (Sec. 52.094(d)).

Recommended date to order the lists of registered voters from the county voter registrar.  The list should include both the voters’ residences and mailing addresses in order to conduct early voting by mail.  (Sec. 18.006).

Recommended date to confirm telephone number for the county voter registrar’s office on election day.

Recommended date to order election supplies.

Recommended date to appoint presiding and alternate judges in political subdivisions other than counties.  Currently, the Texas Election Code does not establish a deadline for appointing election officials; there is only a notification deadline.  For further information concerning procedures for appointing judges and their alternates, see Sections 32.005, 32.008, and 32.011.  General eligibility requirements are found in Chapter 32, Subchapter C.  In addition to appointing a judge and alternate judge for each election precinct pursuant to Sections 32.001 and 32.005, the governing body must allow the judge to appoint no less than two clerks; however, the alternate judge must serve as one of the clerks as a matter of law.  The presiding judge then appoints an additional clerk(s), but not more than the maximum set by the governing body.  (Sec. 32.033).  Presiding judges and their alternates must be given notice of their appointments not later than the 20th day after the appointment is made.  (Sec. 32.009). This notice may be combined with the writ of election pursuant to Section 32.009, which is required in accordance with Section 4.007 to be delivered to each presiding judge not later than the 15th day before the election, Monday, October 21, 2013.  If the notices are combined, both must be delivered by the date required in the earlier notice.

Also the recommended date to appoint the central counting station personnel, if applicable (Secs. 127.002, 127.003, 127.004, and 127.005), and to appoint the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board or to designate the election workers of one election precinct to serve as the early voting ballot board.  (Secs. 87.001, 87.002, and 87.004).  General eligibility requirements are found, as applicable, in Chapter 32, Subchapter C, Section 87.003, and Sections 127.002-127.005.  There is no statutory notice requirement for members of the early voting ballot board or central counting station personnel, but good practice suggests that written notice be given to them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 (70th day before election day, Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, a State Holiday)

Last day to order a special election to fill a vacancy (if authorized to fill vacancies by special election) and have the filing deadline be the 62nd day before election day, (Wednesday, September 4, 2013).  (Secs. 201.052, 201.054).

NOTE ON NEW LAW:  Section 201.054 (as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session) provides for two possible times to order a special election to be held on the November uniform date, each triggering a different filing deadline.  These are:  (1) on or before the 70th day before election day (62nd day deadline); and (2) after the 70th day but on or before the 57th day before election day (45th day deadline).  This is the "first" of the two possible ordering times.  We do not interpret the 70th day order date here as “moving” to the next business day because the date falls on Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, August 27, 2013, a state holiday), as this is not the last day to order a special election to fill a vacancy for this uniform election date.

For future reference, please note that these deadlines are not the same for elections held on the November uniform election date in an even-numbered year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – Saturday, August 31, 2013 (69th day – 66th day before election day)

If a special election to fill a vacancy (if authorized to fill vacancies by special election) is ordered during this time period, the candidate filing deadline will be Monday, October 7, 2013 because the effective date of Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session is September 1, 2013.  (Sec. 201.054(a)(2), prior to being amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session).  See entries at Tuesday, August 27, 2013, Wednesday, September 4, 2013, and Monday, October 7, 2013.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 (68th day before election day; 3rd day after 71st day)

5:00 p.m. – Last day for a candidate to withdraw in an election for which the filing deadline is the 71st day before election dayIf a candidate withdraws or is declared ineligible by this date, his or her name is omitted from the ballot.  (Secs. 145.092(a) and 145.094(a)(2)).

NOTE:  The general rule for withdrawal deadlines for city, school district, and other local elections is 5:00 p.m. of the third day after the regular filing deadline, pursuant to Sections 145.092(a) and 145.094 of the Texas Election Code.  This deadline conflicts with Section 145.096 of the Texas Election Code (deceased or ineligible candidate’s name to appear on ballot), which was not amended in 2011 to be consistent with the new law.  We view Section 145.094, amended in 2011, as prevailing.  NEW LAW:  Senate Bill 904, 2013 Legislative Session, will take effect on September 1, 2013.  It amends Section 145.092(a) of the Texas Election Code to change the candidate withdrawal deadline from the third day after the filing deadline to the fifth day after the filing deadline.  While the withdrawal deadline for candidates subject to the regular filing deadline will not change (because Senate Bill 904 is not effective until September 1, 2013, and the withdrawal deadline is August 29, 2013, before Senate Bill 904 is in effect), the withdrawal deadline for candidates subject to the filing deadline of the 45th day before a special election to fill a vacancy will change.  See entry at Saturday, September 28, 2013.

Recommended date to conduct ballot position drawing.  (Sec. 52.094).

Cancellation – Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  Recommended first day that an election may be cancelled IF all filing deadlines have passed, each candidate for an office listed on the ballot is unopposed, and write-in votes may be counted only for names appearing on the list of write-in candidates.  (Sec. 2.052).  This recommendation presumes a filing deadline of Monday, August 26, 2013 and a write-in deadline of Monday, August 26, 2013.  Special elections may have different deadlines, and may now be cancelled separately.  For further information on cancellation of elections, please see Cancellation of Elections on the Secretary of State’s website.

Note for a Political Subdivision Holding a Special Vacancy Election:  If you are having a special election to fill a vacancy for an unexpired (partial) term, you must not cancel the special election until after all deadlines to file for a special vacancy election have passed.  (Reminder:  The cancellation procedures allow general and special elections to be considered separate elections for cancellation purposes.  If the elections are separated, note there are procedures related to listing unopposed candidates in the same relative order on the ballot.  For additional information see Section 2.053 and Cancellation of Elections on the Secretary of State’s website.) 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 (62nd day before election day)

5:00 p.m. – Last day to file for a place on the ballot in a special election to fill a vacancy, if the special election is ordered on or BEFORE the 70th day before election day, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 (see entry at Tuesday, August 27, 2013).  (Sec. 201.054(a)(1)). 

NOTE:  For new law about write-in declaration deadline, see entry at Monday August 26, 2013, which indicates that the declaration of write-in candidacy deadline for special elections for most local entities is the 71st day before the election.

Note on Candidate’s Application Filed by Mail:  An application by mail is considered to be filed at the time of its receipt by the appropriate filing authority.  (Secs. 143.007(b), 144.005(b)).

Proofing and Testing:  The Elections Division recommends that you proof and test your ballot programming as soon as possible and prior to the deadline to mail a ballot if the county will be using automatic tabulating equipment to count the mail ballots or if your mail ballots are printed from the same database used to program your precinct scanners and/or DREs (See Note 10 prior to Calendar of Events).  The Elections Division also recommends that you provide candidates with copies of ballot proofs so that candidates may verify the correctness of their names, positions sought, and order of names on the ballot. 

Friday, September 6, 2013 (60th day before election day)

First day to accept applications for early voting ballots by mail for the November 5, 2013 election.  (Sec. 84.007).

REMINDER:  Federal Post Card Applications (“FPCAs”) filed on or after January 1, 2013 are valid until December 31, 2013 (i.e., calendar year; law effective 2011).  (Sec. 101.052).

First day of period during which the Secretary of State must publish first statewide notice of state constitutional amendment election.  The Secretary of State will publish this notice a second time on the same day of the next week after the first notice was published.  (Art. XVII, Sec. 1, Texas Constitution).

Last day for the governing body of a political subdivision to deliver notice of the election to the county election officer and county voter registrar of each county in which the political subdivision is wholly or partly located.  (Sec. 4.008). 

Monday, September 9, 2013 (57th day before election day)

5:00 p.m. – Extended filing deadline in cities with four-year terms of office, when no candidate files for a particular office by the regular deadline.  (Sec. 143.008).  (See entry at Monday, August 26, 2013.)

Last day to order a special election to fill a vacancy if ordered on or after September 1, 2013, but on or before the 57th day before election day (if authorized by law to order such an election) in order to have a candidate application deadline of the 45th day before the election day.  See entries at Tuesday, August 27, 2013, Monday, September 23, 2013, and Monday, October 7, 2013.  (Sec. 201.054(a)(3), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session).

Friday, September 13, 2013 (53rd day before election day)

5:00 p.m. – Last day for a candidate to withdraw in an election for which the filing deadline is not later than 5:00 p.m. of the 62nd day before election day (for example, a special election).  If a candidate withdraws or is declared ineligible by this date, his or her name is omitted from the ballot.  (Secs. 145.092(b), 145.094(a)(3)).

Monday, September 16, 2013 – Sunday, December 15, 2013 (50th day before election day – 40th day after election day)

Mandatory office hours:  Each county election officer, city secretary, or secretary of a governing body (or the person performing duties of a secretary) must keep the office open for election duties for at least 3 hours each day, during regular office hours, on regular business days.  (Sec. 31.122).  

Note for Counties:  This office hour rule applies to the entity’s general election or special election ordered by that authority; we recommend that the county maintain these office hours, because the county conducts the constitutional amendment election.  The hours are clearly required if the county authority orders an additional county election.

Note for Independent School Districts:  A regular business day means a day on which the school district’s main business office is regularly open for business.  (Sec. 31.122(b)).  If a school holiday falls on a day during the early voting by personal appearance period that is not a federal or state holiday (see Sec. 1.006), the independent school district is still required to be open to conduct early voting by personal appearance.

NOTE:  In the case of a special election, the office hour rule is triggered starting the third day after the special election is ordered.  (Sec. 31.122).

Monday, September 16, 2013 (50th day before election day; 20th day after August 26, 2013)

Last day for the Secretary of State to certify the state constitutional amendment election.  (Sec. 274.003).

Last day of period during which the Secretary of State must publish first statewide notice of state constitutional amendment election.  The Secretary of State will publish this notice a second time on the same day of the next week after the first notice was published.  (Art. XVII, Sec. 1, Texas Constitution).

Last day to notify election judges of their appointment if they were appointed, as recommended, by Monday, August 26, 2013.  (Secs. 1.006, 32.009(b)).  Presiding and alternate judges must be notified of their appointment in writing, not later than the 20th day after the date the appointment is made.  The notice of the judge’s duty to conduct the election (writ of election) pursuant to Section 4.007 may be combined with the above notice, if the appointment is for a single election only.  If the notices are NOT combined, then the notice of the judge’s duty to conduct the election (writ of election) must be delivered not later than Monday, October 21, 2013 (15th day before election day).

Saturday, September 21, 2013 (45th day before election day)

Recommended date to mail overseas and military ballots.

Early voting clerk may begin mailing early voting ballots to applicants as soon as ballots are available, but we strongly recommend that ballots be mailed no later than the 45th day before the election, if possible.  (Sec. 86.004).  Reminder:  the early voting clerk must mail a ballot not later than the 7th day after the later of the date the early voting clerk has accepted a voter’s application for a ballot by mail or the date the ballots become available for mailing.  However, if the 7th day falls earlier than the 45th day before election day, the voter’s mail ballot must be mailed no later than the 38th day before election day.  

Monday September 23, 2013 (43rd day before election day)

5:00 p.m. – Last day to file for a place on the ballot in a special election to fill a vacancy, if the special election is ordered on or after September 1, 2013, but on or before Monday, September 9, 2013, the 57th day before election day.  (Sec. 201.054(a)(2)).  (The deadline is extended to the next regular business day which is Monday, September 23, 2013 due to the 45th day falling on a Saturday.)  (Sec. 1.006).

NOTE ON NEW LAW:  Section 201.054(a)(2), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session, will take effect on September 1, 2013.  See entry at Tuesday, August 27, 2013.  For a special election to fill a vacancy ordered after the 70th day before election day (that is, on or after August 28, 2013) but before September 1, 2013 (that is, on the dates of August 28, 29, 30, and 31, 2013), the candidate filing deadline would be under the previous law.  Thus the filing deadline for special elections  ordered on these dates would be 5:00 p.m. of the 31st day before election day.  (Sec. 201.054(a)(2), prior to being amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session).  See entry at Monday, October 7, 2013.

Saturday, September 28, 2013 (5th day after 43rd day filing deadline)

5:00 p.m. – Last day for a candidate to withdraw in an election for which the filing deadline is the 45th day before election day (special election). If a candidate withdraws or is declared ineligible by this date, his or her name is omitted from the ballot.  (Secs. 145.092(a) and 145.094(a)(2)).  Please note this deadline is not extended under Section 1.006.  (Sec. 145.092(e)).

NOTE ON NEW LAW:  Senate Bill 904, 2013 Legislative Session, will take effect on September 1, 2013.  It amends Section 145.092(a) of the Texas Election Code to change the candidate withdrawal deadline from the third day after the filing deadline to the fifth day after the filing deadline. 

Monday, September 30, 2013 (36th day before election day)

Deadline for the Secretary of State to mail each county judge a copy of the governor’s proclamation ordering the state constitutional amendment election.  (Sec. 3.003(c)).

Sunday, October 6, 2013 (30th day before election day)

Last day for the county clerk to post a full copy of all amendments to be voted on at the state constitutional amendment election.  (Art. XVII, Sec. 1, Texas Constitution).

First day of period during which notice of the constitutional amendment election and other elections must be published in a newspaper of general circulation if method of giving notice is not specified by a law outside the Texas Election Code, and this method of giving notice is selected.  Cities and School Districts are required to publish their notice.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(1)).  See Note 9 prior to Calendar of Events for Notice requirements and other Notice Information.

Notice of Change of Polling Place Location:  For elections ordered by the governor or county judge only, if the location of the polling place changes after notice has been given under Section 4.003, and the county election officer maintains a website to inform voters about elections, the notice of the change must be posted on the website.  The notice on the website must be given not later than the earlier of 24 hours after the location was changed or 72 hours before the polls open on election day.  (Sec. 43.061).  If the county election officer is conducting a legislative vacancy election, the candidates listed on the ballot are entitled to receive notice directly from the county judge.

Notice of Previous Polling Place:  If a different polling place is being used than at the previous election held by the same authority, notice must be posted at the entrance of the previous polling place informing voters of the current polling place location, if possible.  (Sec. 43.062).

Monday, October 7, 2013 (29th day before election day)

Last day to register to vote or make a change of address to be effective for election day.  (Secs. 13.143, 15.025).

NOTE:  An FPCA also serves as an application for permanent registration under Texas law; originals should be forwarded to the county voter registrar, after making a copy for the early voting clerk’s use (mailing ballots, etc.) and records, unless the voter marked “indefinitely” (older form) or “do not intend to return” (newer form) in which case, it will not serve as a permanent registration.  (Sec. 101.055; 1 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 81.40).

5:00 pm – Last day to file for a place on the ballot in a special election to fill a vacancy, IF the special election was ordered after the 70th day before election day (that is, on or after, August 28, 2013) and before September 1, 2013.  See entries under Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – Saturday, August 31, 2013 and Monday, September 23, 2013.  (Sec. 201.054(a)(2), prior to being amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session).

Recommended last day for early voting clerk to order supplemental and registration correction lists, if applicable, or order revised original list from the county voter registrar for early voting by personal appearance.  (Secs. 18.001 & 18.003).

Recommended date for early voting clerk to issue order calling for appointment of signature verification committee.  (Sec. 87.027). 

If the signature verification committee will start meeting on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, early voting clerk must post copy of the order calling for appointment of the signature verification committee on or before this date.  The notice must remain posted continuously for at least 10 days before the first day the committee meets.  (Sec. 87.027).

Friday, October 11, 2013 (25th day before election day)

Recommended date for the county election board (or governing body of political subdivision, as appropriate) to appoint a signature verification committee (if one is ordered by the early voting clerk).  See also entry under Monday, October 7, 2013.  (Secs. 51.002, 87.027).

Saturday, October 12, 2013 (5th day after 31st day filing deadline)

5:00 p.m. – Last day for a candidate to withdraw in an election for which the filing deadline is the 31st day before election day (special election).  See entry at Monday, October 7, 2013.  If a candidate withdraws or is declared ineligible by this date, his or her name is omitted from the ballot.  (Secs. 145.092(a) and 145.094(a)(2)).  Please note this deadline is not extended under Section 1.006.  (Sec. 145.092(e)).

NOTE ON NEW LAW:  Senate Bill 904, 2013 Legislative Session, will take effect on September 1, 2013.  It amends Section 145.092(a) of the Texas Election Code to change the candidate withdrawal deadline from the third day after the filing deadline to the fifth day after the filing deadline.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 (21st day before election day)

Last day to post notice of election on bulletin board used for posting notices of meetings of governing body.  (Sec. 4.003(b)).

Last day to post notice of election in each election precinct if method of giving notice is not specified by a law outside the Texas Election Code and notice is given by this method in lieu of publication.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(2)).  Cities and School Districts must publish their notice in the newspaper.  See entry under Sunday, October 6, 2013.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 (20th day before election day)

Last day for a person to apply for a full ballot by mail using an FPCA, if the person is not a registered voter but meets the requirements under Title 2 of the Texas Election Code.  (Secs. 101.052(e) & 101.055(a)).  (If the voter marks the FPCA form indicating “indefinitely” (older form) or “do not intend to return” (newer form), the voter receives a federal-only ballot.  In a local (non-federal) election, this means there is no ballot to send the voter.)

Last day to publish notice of L&A test if test is to be conducted on October 18, 2013.  (Sec. 129.023).

First day that the signature verification committee, if one is appointed, may begin operating.  (Sec. 87.027).

Thursday, October 17, 2013 – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (19th day before election day – 7th day before election day)

A person submitting an FPCA during this period who is not registered to vote is not entitled to receive a ballot for any non-federal election held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.  See entry below under Monday, October 21, 2013 (FPCA without a postmark).  (Secs. 101.052(g) & 114.004(c)).  In a local (non-federal) election, this means there is no ballot to send the voter. 

NOTE:  Section 84.007(c), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session, changed the deadline for filing an application for ballot by mail to the 9th day before election day.  However, the deadline for filing an FPCA remains as prescribed in Sections 101.052(g) and 114.004(c) of the Texas Election Code.

NOTE:  Be sure to check the list of registered voters for permanent registration status.  Also, state law authorizes an FPCA to also serve as an application for permanent registration; therefore, the person might be permanently-registered based on a prior FPCA.  Even if the FPCA arrives too late for a particular election, the early voting clerk will still need to forward the original FPCA to the county voter registrar, after making a copy for your early voting clerk’s use (mailing ballots, etc.) and records unless the voter marked “indefinitely” (older form) or “do not intend to return” (newer form), in which case, it will not serve as a permanent registration.  (Sec. 101.055; 1 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 81.40).

Overseas (non-military) voters marking the FPCA as “indefinitely” (older form) or “do not intend to return” (newer form) receive a federal ballot only regardless of the date filed.  (See Chapter 114).  In a local (non-federal) election, this means there is no ballot to send the voter.

Friday, October 18, 2013 (18th day before election day)

Last day to conduct public L&A test of a voting system that uses DRE voting machines (or an electronic voting system which is subject to L&A testing under advisories issued by the Secretary of State) used in early voting.  We highly recommend that this test be done on an earlier date to allow time for corrections to programming, if necessary.  (See Note 10 prior to Calendar of Events.)  The test shall be conducted not later than 48 hours before voting begins on such voting systems, assuming that the voting system will first be used for early voting in person.  (Sec. 129.023).

Monday, October 21, 2013 (15th day before election day)

First day to vote early in person.

NOTE:  The early voting period for general elections held on the November uniform election date in odd-numbered years begins 17 days prior to election day, but because this day falls on a weekend (Saturday, October 19, 2013), it is extended to the next regular business day (Monday) under Section 85.001(c). (Sec. 85.001).

Hours:  Your minimum requirements for voting hours vary by political subdivision.  For details, see Chapter 85, Texas Election Code.  Many entities also coordinate their hours for a joint election agreement; however, a joint election agreement does not waive any duties for counties (certain populations) or cities (all populations) to hold early voting for two 12-hour days. 

If an FPCA is received by this date without a postmark to prove mailing date, the early voting clerk will accept the FPCA and mail the applicant a full ballot even if the applicant is not a permanently registered voter but meets the requirements under Title 2 of the Texas Election Code.  (Sec. 101.052).

Last day to notify election judges of duty to hold election (Writ of Election).  Notice must be given by the 15th day before the election day or the 7th day after the day the election is ordered, whichever is later.  The Writ of Election must be given to each presiding judge and include:

  1. The judge’s duty to hold the election;
  2. The type and date of election;
  3. The polling place location at which the judge will serve;
  4. The polling place hours; and
  5. The maximum number of clerks the judge may appoint.  (Sec. 4.007).

Joint elections:  If conducting early voting by personal appearance jointly, we recommend a unified schedule covering all requirements; i.e., no entity’s requirements should be neglected or subtracted as a result of a joint agreement.

Note to Independent School Districts:  Despite the change in state law that allows an ISD to be closed on school holidays during the mandatory office hours period, you are required to be open during the entire early voting period, except on legal state and national holidays.  (See listing under Section 1.006 BI Company’s Texas Election Laws 2012-2013 Edition.)

Note for Cities:  Cities must choose two weekdays to be open for 12 hours during the regular early voting period.  The city council must choose the two weekdays.  (Sec. 85.005(d)).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 (13th day before election day)

Counties and Cities Only:  Last day to post notice on bulletin board for posting notice of meetings for the commissioners court and city council if early voting will be conducted on Saturday, October 26, 2013.  (Sec. 85.007).  Notice must be posted at least 72 hours before early voting begins on a Saturday or Sunday.

Note for all Political Subdivisions, except Counties and Cities:  Voting on ANY Saturday or Sunday ordered by the governing body on its own motion (i.e., not petitioned for by 15 registered voters) must be included in the order and notice of election.  (Secs. 85.006 & 85.007(a)).  If the County Clerk or City Secretary on her own motion by written order orders early voting on Saturday or Sunday OR if the County Clerk, City Secretary, or governing body of a political subdivision orders Saturday or Sunday voting after being petitioned to do so by at least 15 registered voters, such voting need not be included in the regular order or notice of the election.  (Secs. 85.006(b), (d) and 85.007(b), (c)).

Thursday, October 24, 2013 (12th day before election day; day before the last day to apply for a ballot by mail)

If a defective application to vote early by mail is received on or before this date, the early voting clerk must mail the applicant a new application with explanation of defects and instructions for submitting the new application.  For defective applications received after this date and before the end of early voting by personal appearance, the early voting clerk must mail only the notice of defect and a statement that the voter is not entitled to vote early by mail unless he or she submits a sufficient application by the deadline.  (Sec. 86.008). 

Counties and Cities Only:  Last day to post notice on bulletin board for posting notice of meetings of the commissioners court and city council, if early voting will be conducted on Sunday, October 27, 2013.  (Sec. 85.007).  Notice must be posted at least 72 hours before early voting begins on a Saturday or Sunday.  See entry at Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

A voter who becomes sick or disabled on or after this date may vote a late ballot if the sickness or disability prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place without the likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring his or her health.  (Sec. 102.001).

NOTE:  Section 84.007(c), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session, changed the deadline for filing an application for ballot by mail to the 9th day before election day.  Because the date that the sickness or physical condition originates is keyed to the “day before the last day for submitting an application for ballot by mail,” the date the sickness or physical condition originates has now become the 12th day before this election.  See entry at Friday, October 25, 2013.

Friday, October 25, 2013 (11th day before election day)

Last day for early voting clerk to receive application for a ballot to be voted by mail.  (Sec. 84.007(c), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session).  All applications to vote by mail must be received by the early voting clerk before the close of regular business or 12 noon, whichever is later.  Applications to vote by mail must be submitted by mail, common or contract carrier, or fax (if a fax machine is available in the office of the early voting clerk).  (The deadline is extended to the preceding regular business day which is Friday, October 25, 2013 due to the 9th day falling on a Sunday.)

NOTE ON NEW LAW:  Section 84.007(c) (as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session) provides that an application for ballot by mail must be submitted no later than the ninth day (rather than the seventh day) before election day, unless the ninth day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which case it moves to the preceding regular business day.

Monday, October 28, 2013 (8th day before election day)

Last day of period during which notice of election must be published if method of giving notice is not specified by a law outside the Texas Election Code and this method of giving notice is selected.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(1)).  Since the deadline  (10th day before election day) falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.  (Sec. 1.006).

Last day to mail a copy of the notice of election to each registered voter of the territory that is covered by the election and is in the jurisdiction of the authority responsible for giving the notice if method of giving notice is not specified by a law outside the Texas Election Code and this method of giving notice is selected.  (Secs. 1.006, 4.003(a)(3)).

First day that counties with a population of 100,000 or more (or local subdivisions conducting a joint election with such a county) may convene their early voting ballot board and deliver by mail ballots to begin processing and qualifying mail ballots; however, the mail ballots may not be counted until (i) the polls open on election day, or (ii) in an election conducted by an authority of a county with a population of 100,000 or more or conducted jointly with such a county, the end of the period for early voting in person.  (Secs. 87.0222, 87.0241).  The early voting clerk shall continuously post notice for 24 hours preceding each delivery of voting materials that is to be made before the time for opening the polls on election day.  (Sec. 87.0222).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (7th day before election day)

Last day to receive an FPCA from a voter.  If the voter is not registered in the county, the voter is eligible for a ballot containing federal offices only.  In a local (non-federal) election, this means there is no ballot to send the voter.   (Secs. 101.052(g) & 114.004(c)).

NOTE:  Section 84.007(c), as amended by Senate Bill 910, 2013 Legislative Session, changed the deadline for filing an application for ballot by mail to the 9th day before election day.  However, the deadline for filing an FPCA remains as prescribed in Sections 101.052(g) and 114.004(c) of the Texas Election Code.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 (4th business day before election day; 6th day before election day)

5:00 p.m. – Requests for election inspectors for November 5, 2013 elections must be received by the Secretary of State on or before this date.  (Sec. 34.001).

Last day to publish notice of the date, hour, and place of the first public test of automatic tabulating equipment if test is to be conducted on Friday, November 1, 2013.  (Sec 127.096).

Thursday, October 31, 2013 (5th day before election day; day before the last day to vote early in person)

A voter who has a death in the immediate family (related within 2nd degree by consanguinity or affinity) that occurs on or after this day may vote a late ballot starting, Saturday, November 2, 2013 (the day after early voting in person ends).  (Secs. 103.001 & 103.003).

For the constitutional amendment election, early voting must be conducted for 12 hours on this day in counties with populations of 100,000 or more according to the 2010 Census.  Early voting must be conducted for 12 hours on this day in counties with populations under 100,000 if the early voting clerk receives a petition not later than Monday, October 28, 2013.  (Secs. 85.005(c), 85.067).

Friday, November 1, 2013 (4th day before election day)

Last day to vote early by personal appearance.  (Sec. 85.001(a)).

For the constitutional amendment election, early voting must be conducted for 12 hours on this day in counties with populations of 100,000 or more according to the 2010 Census.  Early voting must be conducted for 12 hours on this day in counties with populations under 100,000 if the early voting clerk receives a petition not later than Monday, October 28, 2013.  (Sec. 85.005(c)).

Recommended date to conduct first public test of automatic tabulating equipment, if not done already.  Test must be conducted at least 48 hours before tabulating begins.  (Secs. 127.093).  We highly recommend that this test be done on an earlier date to allow time for corrections to programming, if necessary.  (See Note 10 prior to Calendar of Events.)  the notice of the test must be published at least 48 hours before the test.  (Secs. 127.093 & 127.096).

Saturday, November 2, 2013 (3rd day before election day)

First day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot because of a death in the immediate family that occurred on or after Thursday, October 31, 2013, and will require absence from the county on election day.  (Secs. 103.001 & 103.003(b)).

First day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot because of sickness or disability that arose on or after Thursday, October 24, 2013.  (Secs. 102.001 & 102.003).

First day that counties with a population of 100,000 or more may convene their early voting ballot board and begin counting ballots; however, the results may not be announced until after the polls close.  All other counties and political subdivisions may convene their early voting ballot board for processing the ballots only, and cannot begin counting the ballots until election day.  The early voting clerk shall continuously post notice for 24 hours preceding each delivery of voting materials that is to be made before the time for opening the polls on election day.  (Secs. 87.0221, 87.0222, 87.023, 87.024, 87.0241).

Last day to publish notice of the public L&A test of a voting system that uses DRE voting machines (or an electronic voting system which is subject to L&A testing under advisories issued by the Secretary of State) used for the first time on election day, if test will be held on Monday, November 4, 2013.  The last date to perform this test is Monday, November 4, 2013.  Notice of the public L&A test must be published at least 48 hours before the test begins.  (Secs. 129.001, 129.023).

Monday, November 4, 2013 (day before election day)

Last day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot by personal appearance due to death in immediate family.  (Sec. 103.003(b)).

Last day to deliver precinct early voting lists to election judges.  (Sec. 87.122).

Last day to conduct public L&A test of a voting system that uses DRE voting machines (or an electronic voting system which is subject to L&A testing under advisories issued by the Secretary of State) used for the first time on election day.  We highly recommend that this test be done on an earlier date to allow time for corrections to programming, if necessary.  (See Note 10 prior to Calendar of Events.)  The test shall be conducted not later than 48 hours before voting begins on such voting systems, assuming that the voting system will first be used on election day and has not been used for early voting in person.  (Secs. 1.006, 129.023).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 – Election Day

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Polls open.  (Sec. 41.031).
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. - County voter registrar's office is open.  (Sec. 12.004(c)).
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. -

Early voting clerk's office is open for early voting activities.  (Sec. 83.011).

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Sick and disabled persons may vote at the main early voting polling place if voting machines are used at regular polling place(s) on election day and the voter has a sickness or condition the prevents the voter from voting in the regular manner without personal assistance or likelihood of injury.  (Secs. 104.001, 104.003).
5:00 p.m. -

Deadline for receiving applications for late ballots to be voted by persons who became sick or disabled on or after Thursday, October 24, 2013.  (Sec. 102.003(b)).

7:00 p.m. - Deadline for receiving early voting ballots by mail and late ballots cast by voters who became sick or disabled on or after Thursday, October 24, 2013.  (Secs. 86.007(a) & 102.006(c)).

Note on Receipt of Mail Ballots:  All marked early voting ballots sent by mail from inside the United States must arrive before the time the polls are required to close on election day.  If the early voting clerk cannot determine whether a ballot arrived before the deadline, the ballot is considered to have arrived at the time the place at which the carrier envelopes are deposited was last inspected for removal of returned ballots.  (Sec. 86.007(a)).  The early voting clerk must check the mailbox for early voting mail ballots at least once after the time for regular mail delivery.  (Sec. 86.007(b)).  A marked ballot that is not timely returned may not be counted unless the ballot may be counted late, pursuant to Section 86.007(d), which applies to ballots mailed from outside of the United States.

Note on Delivery of Early Voting by Personal Appearance and Mail Ballots: The early voting clerk delivers the voted ballots, the key to the double-locked ballot box, etc., to the early voting ballot board at the time or times specified by the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board, during the hours on election day that the polls are open or as soon after the polls close as practicable.  (Sec. 87.022).  The custodian of the key to the second lock of the double-locked early voting ballot box delivers his or her key to the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board on request of the presiding judge.  (Secs. 85.032(d) & 87.025).  The custodian is the sheriff for county elections; the chief of police or city marshal for city elections; and the constable of the justice precinct in which the political subdivision’s main office is located (or the sheriff, if there is no constable), for other political subdivision elections.  (Sec. 66.060).

Note on Delivery of Early Voting Ballots to Early Voting Ballot Board Before Election Day:  Early voting ballots may be delivered to the early voting ballot board at any time after early voting by personal appearance ends.  Mail ballots may be qualified and processed (signatures verified, carrier envelopes opened, and the secrecy envelope containing the ballot placed in a secure location), but they may not be counted until election day.  (Secs. 87.0221, 87.023, 87.024 & 87.0241).

Exception: counties with a population of 100,000 or more or entities contracting or having joint elections with counties with a population of 100,000 or more may process the mail ballots (i.e., qualify, and accept or reject, but not count) as early as the 8th day before election day; in such an election, votes may be counted no earlier than the end of the period for early voting by personal appearance; the results may not be released until the polls close on election day.  (Secs. 87.0221, 87.0222, 87.023, 87.024, 87.0241(b) & 87.042).  If ballots are to be delivered before election day, that is after the end of the early-voting-in-person period but before the polls open on election day, the early voting clerk must post notice at least 24 hours before each delivery at the main early voting polling place.  (Secs. 87.023(b), 87.024(b) & 87.0221(b)).

Note on Manual Examination of Ballots Before Processing on Automatic Counting Equipment:  The central counting station manager shall direct the manual examination of all electronic voting system ballots to ascertain whether the ballots can be processed in the usual manner or if the ballots need to be duplicated to clearly reflect the voter’s intent.  (Sec. 127.125).

Note on Testing Tabulating Equipment:  The second test of automatic tabulating equipment used for counting ballots at a central counting station must be conducted immediately before the counting of ballots with equipment begins.  The third test must be conducted immediately after the counting is completed.  (Secs. 127.093, 127.097 & 127.098).

Note on Precinct Election Returns:  Precinct election returns are delivered to the appropriate authorities after completion.  (Secs. 66.053(a), 127.065, 127.066 & 127.067).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (1st business day after election day)

The general custodian of election records must deliver the ballot box(es) or transfer case(es) containing the provisional ballots, along with the Summary of Provisional Ballots and the List of Provisional Voters to the county voter registrar by this day.  The general custodian of election records makes this delivery to the county voter registrar during the county voter registrar office’s regular business hours.  (Secs. 65.052, 65.053; 1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 – 81.174). 

Note for Political Subdivisions Located in More than One County:  A political subdivision will have to make delivery of the provisional ballots and forms to the county voter registrar in each county in which the political subdivision is located.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 – 81.174).

NOTE:  If the county voter registrar wants to take possession of the provisional ballots and forms on election night (Tuesday, November 5, 2013), the county voter registrar must inform the custodian of the election records and post a notice on election night of the transfer no later than 24 hours before election day.  However, under this type of delivery, the county voter registrar must go to the custodian of election records office and pick up the provisional ballots and forms.  Also, note that the county voter registrar may take possession of provisional ballots prior to election night if ballots are kept separate and may be provided without unlawful entry into ballot box.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 – 81.174).

Friday, November 8, 2013 (3rd day after the election day)

For districts using electronic voting systems, a partial manual count of ballots in three precincts or one percent of precincts, whichever is greater, must be started no later than 72 hours after the polls close on election day, unless requirement has been waived by the Secretary of State or unless the voting system uses DRE voting machines.  (Sec. 127.201(a), (g)).  The count must be completed not later than the 21st day after election day.  Results of partial manual count must be mailed to Secretary of State not later than the 3rd day after the manual count is completed.  (Sec. 127.201(e)). 

Sunday, November 10, 2013 (5th day after election day)

Last day to post notice of governing authority’s meeting to canvass returns of election if canvass is to take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (8th day after election).  This notice must be posted at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the meeting.  (Secs. 551.002, 551.041, 551.043, Texas Government Code).

Monday, November 11, 2013 (6th day after election day) - Veterans Day – State and Federal Holiday

First day that newly elected officers of a type A general-law city may qualify and assume the duties of their offices.  (Sec. 22.006, Texas Local Government Code). 

NOTE:  If a recount petition has been filed and a winning candidate’s race is involved in the recount, the certificate of election cannot be issued for that race until the recount has been completed.  (Secs. 67.016 and 212.0331).

NOTE:  Because this is a “first day” it is not affected by the Veterans Day holiday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 (7th day after election day)

Deadline for provisional voter to (1) present acceptable identification to county voter registrar or (2) execute an affidavit relating to natural disaster or religious objection in presence of county voter registrar.  (Secs. 65.054(b) & 65.0541(a)).  (The deadline is extended to the next regular business day which is Tuesday, November 12, 2013 due to the 6th day falling on a legal holiday, Veterans Day.)  (Sec. 1.006).

Deadline for the county voter registrar to complete the review of provisional ballots.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 – 81.174).  (The deadline is extended to the next regular business day which is Tuesday, November 12, 2013 due to the 6th day falling on a legal holiday, Veterans Day.)  (Sec. 1.006).

Deadline for custodian of election records or presiding judge of the early voting ballot board to retrieve provisional ballots from county voter registrar.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 - 81.174).  (The deadline is extended to the next regular business day which is Tuesday, November 12, 2013 due to the 6th day falling on a legal holiday, Veterans Day.)  (Sec. 1.006).

Last day to receive ballots from voters casting ballots from outside of the United States who placed their ballots in delivery before 7:00 p.m. on election day.  (Sec. 86.007 (d)(3)).  Ballots from voters outside of the United States should arrive not later than the 5th day after the election; however, because the 5th day falls on a Sunday, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day which is Tuesday, November 12, 2013 due to Veterans Day, a federal holiday on Monday, November 11, 2013.  (Sec. 86.007).

Last day for early voting ballot board to convene to qualify and count any late ballots that were submitted from outside the United States and received by November 12, 2013.  (Sec. 87.125).

Last day for early voting ballot board to convene to qualify and count any provisional ballots that have been reviewed by the county voter registrar.  (Sec. 65.051(a)).

The early voting ballot board must convene any time after the last mail delivery on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 to count late ballots received from outside the United States.  (Secs. 86.007(d)(3), 87.125).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (8th day after election day)

First day of the period to conduct the official local canvass of returns by governing authority of the political subdivision.  (Sec. 67.003). 

NOTE:  If a recount petition has been filed and a winning candidate’s race is involved in the recount, the certificate of election cannot be issued for that race until the recount has been completed.  (Secs. 67.016, 212.0331).

NOTE:  Officially-canvassed returns for the state constitutional amendment election must be delivered by the county election officer to the Secretary of State within 24 hours of the canvass.  (Sec. 67.007(d)). 

First day that newly-elected officers may qualify and assume the duties of their offices.  Please note that the canvass must have been completed before an officer can assume office.  (Sec. 67.016). 

If a political subdivision was able to CANCEL its election, this is the first day its elected officials can take the oath of office and be issued a certificate of election.  (Secs. 2.053(e), 67.003 & 67.016). 

Friday, November 15, 2013 (10th day after election day)

Last day for the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board to mail notices of rejected mail ballots to voters.  (Sec. 87.0431).

Monday, November 18, 2013 (13th day after election day)

Last day for official canvass of returns by governing authority of political subdivision.  Because the last day falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended.  (Secs. 1.006, 67.003). 

NOTE:  If a recount petition has been filed and a winning candidate’s race is involved in the recount, the certificate of election cannot be issued for that race until the recount has been completed.  (Secs. 67.016, 212.0331).

NOTE:  Officially-canvassed returns for the state constitutional amendment election must be delivered by the county election officer to the Secretary of State within 24 hours of the canvass.  (Sec. 67.007(d)). 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 (14th day after election day)

Deadline to deliver the state constitutional amendment election returns, if they were officially canvassed on Monday, November 18, 2013.  (Sec. 67.007(d)).  Returns must be delivered within 24 hours of the canvass.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 (15th day after election day)

First day that governor may conduct the state canvass of the state constitutional amendment election.  (Sec. 67.012).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (21st day after election day)

Last day to complete partial manual count. (Sec. 127.201(a)).

Monday, November 25, 2013 (10th day after the local canvass if held on the first day)

Last day for the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board to mail notices of the disposition of provisional ballots to provisional voters if the local canvass was held on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the first day of the canvass period.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 - 81.174).  Such notices must be delivered to provisional voters by the presiding judge no later than the 10th day after the local canvass.

Monday, December 2, 2013 (10th day after the local canvass if held on the last day)

Last day for the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board to mail notices of the disposition of provisional ballots to provisional voters if the local canvass was held on Monday, November 18, 2013, the last day of the canvass period.  (1 Tex. Admin. Code Secs. 81.172 - 81.174).  Such notices must be delivered to provisional voters by the presiding judge no later than the 10th day after the local canvass.  (Because the 10th day after the last day of the local canvass falls on Thursday, November 28, 2013, Thanksgiving Day, the deadline is extended to Monday, December 2, 2013.)  (Sec. 1.006).

Thursday, December 5, 2013 (30th day after election day)

Last day for governor to conduct the state canvass for the state constitutional amendment election.  (Sec. 67.012).

Last day to file electronic precinct-by-precinct returns with Secretary of State.  (Sec. 67.017).

Sunday, December 15, 2013 (40th day after election day)

Last day of the period for mandatory office hours.  See entry for Monday, September 16, 2013.  (Sec. 31.122).

Sunday, January 5, 2014 (61st day after election day)

First day that contents of ballot box(es) may be transferred from locked ballot box to separate container for the remainder of the preservation period.  (Sec. 66.058(b)).

Monday, May 5, 2014 (6 months after election day)

Contents of ballot box(es) may be destroyed if no contest or criminal investigation has arisen (Secs. 1.013 & 66.058), and if no open records request has been filed (Tex. Att'y Gen. ORD-505 (1988)).  In elections that do not contain a federal office, records must be kept for 6 months (instead of the 22 months applicable to federal election records) from election day.  (Sec. 66.058). 

Election results must be permanently maintained in the election register.  (Sec. 67.006).   

NOTE:  We recommend that the early voting clerk maintain an FPCA as an election record until at least 6 months after a non-federal election in which the FPCA generated a ballot.  The county voter registrar should maintain the original FPCA (except those marked indefinitely away, which are not forwarded to the registrar) for the preservation period for voter registration applications.

Thursday, November  5, 2015 (Two Years after November 2013 election day)

Note on Retention of Candidate Applications:  Candidate applications must be retained by the governing body for two years (24 months) after date of election.  (Sec. 141.036).

Note on Retention of Voter Registration List:  County voter registrar must maintain copy of each voter list prepared for each countywide election for 2 years (24 months) after election day.  (Sec. 18.011).