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Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Election Advisory No. 2018-13

To: County Clerks/Elections Administrators, State and County Chairs
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: March 7, 2018


Canvass and Recount Filing Deadlines for 2018 Primary Election

Canvass Dates

The county chair, and if available, at least one member of the county executive committee must conduct the local canvass on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the hour specified by the county chair. The notice of the canvass include the date, time and location of the canvass and must be posted on the county party website or on the commissioner’s court bulletin board if the party does not maintain a website. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 172.116. This notice should be posted no later than Monday, March 12, 2018 in order to meet the posting requirements. The final local canvass is concluded when the county chair digitally certifies the canvass report on the Secretary of State’s website. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 172.116(d). The state chair must canvass the county election returns no later than Sunday, March 18, 2018 for all races with three or more candidates. The state canvass for the remaining offices must be completed by Wednesday, March 28, 2018. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 172.120. See Election Advisory No. 2017-07.

The county election officials may begin entering county data into the website as early as Wednesday, March 7, 2018 if there are no outstanding provisional ballots or ballots by mail. Otherwise, the county election officials should plan on beginning this process by Monday, March 12, 2018. 

Recount Filing Deadlines – Two or Fewer Candidates in a Race

The deadline for requesting a recount when there are two or fewer candidates is 5:00 p.m. of the second day after the final canvass is actually conducted. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 212.028. For all county and precinct races, the final canvass is the local canvass. For all district (including single county districts) and federal and statewide races, the final canvass is the state canvass.

County and Precinct Races:

Local Canvas Filing Deadline
Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 19, 2018
(Extended by Section 1.006 to next business day)

Statewide and District Races:

The deadline to request a recount for a statewide or district office is 5:00 p.m. of the second day after the final canvass. The deadline for the state executive committee to conduct the state canvass for all races with three or more candidates is March 18, 2018. The state canvass for all other offices must be completed by Wednesday, March 28, 2018.  TEX. ELEC. CODE § 172.120. Contact the state executive committee for information about when their scheduled canvass is due to take place.  

Recount Filing Deadline – Three Candidates or More in a Race (Expedited)

Special expedited procedures apply for races in which a runoff could be required. Regardless of whether the race was statewide, district, county, or for a precinct level office, the deadline to file a recount request is 2:00 p.m. of the first day after the local canvass. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 212.083. The deadline for an expedited recount of state and district offices is determined by the date of the local canvass, not the state canvass.

Local Canvas Filing Deadline
Thursday, March 15, 2018 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2018

Filing Authority

The filing authority for a recount petition for a statewide or district office is the state chair, and for a county or precinct office, the filing authority is the county chair.

REMINDER ON TIE VOTES AND AUTOMATIC RECOUNTS: In a race requiring a majority vote, the candidates in a runoff are the “top two” candidates; either the two with the highest and second-highest number of votes, or the two who tie for the highest number of votes. The Code provides that an automatic recount will be conducted in other (rare) circumstances (for example, a three-way tie for highest vote, or a tie for the second-highest vote). § 2.023. Note that even though recounts can be requested by candidates based on unofficial returns, the automatic recount based on a tie should be based on the official canvassed returns. The county or state chair is responsible for requesting the recount, and the recount is conducted according to the same method of counting that was used on election night. §§ 216.003 & 216.004.

For additional information on recounts, such as petition requirements and deposit calculations, please see the recount outline and forms (PDF) posted on our website. You may also contact our office via telephone or email to request copies.

Please contact us at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683) if you have any questions.