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Memorandum

To: Interested Parties
From: Ann McGeehan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Date: June 24, 1999
RE: House Bill 400, 1999, omnibus district court bill


This memorandum summarizes the year 2000 election-related changes in House Bill 400, which creates certain countywide district courts. The changes are subject to preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice, pursuant to the Voting Rights Act. For more information, please contact our office, the Office of Court Administration, or the Texas Legislature. The Sections refer to the Texas Government Code provisions affected.

SUMMARY OF EFFECTS OF HB 400 ON 2000 ELECTIONS

I. JUDICIAL DISTRICTS ON THE 2000 PRIMARY AND NOVEMBER BALLOTS.

A. Courts created effective September 1, 1999:

The above offices will appear on the primary and general election ballot in 2000. Persons elected to office in November 2000 will begin their first full term January 1, 2001. The governor may make an appointment when the offices are effective on September 1, 1999.

B. Courts created effective October 1, 1999:

The above offices will appear on the primary and general election ballot in 2000. Persons elected to office in November 2000 will begin their first full term January 1, 2001. The governor may make an appointment when the offices are effective on October 1, 1999.

C. Courts created effective January 1, 2001, but which are effective for purposes of the 2000 primary and November election ballot:

The initial vacancies in the above three courts will appear on the 2000 primary and November ballots for the first full term commencing on January 1, 2001, the same date as the effective date.

II. JUDICIAL DISTRICTS ON THE 2000 PRIMARY AND NOVEMBER BALLOTS; DIFFERENT FILING PERIOD.

Courts created effective January 1, 2000:

The above offices will appear on the primary and general election ballots in 2000. However, because of the January 1, 2000 creation date, a candidate will not be able to file until January 1, 2000. The same extended deadlines used for vacancies occurring close to the primary filing deadline will be used, January 14, 2000. Persons elected to office in November 2000 will begin their first full term January 1, 2001. The governor may make an appointment when the offices are effective on January 1, 2000.

III. JUDICIAL DISTRICTS ON THE 2000 NOVEMBER BALLOT; NO PRIMARY.

Courts created effective September 1, 2000:

The above offices will appear on the general election ballot in 2000. The offices are effective September 1, 2000, the 67th day before general election day, November 7, 2000. Procedures for filling vacancies are used to fill the new office. If a vacancy occurs September 1, 2000, which is too late for the primary ballot, and on or before the 65th day before election day, the office goes on the November ballot. The deadline for the applicable party committees to name nominees, or for independents to file, is September 8, 2000. Other candidates will use revised filing deadlines, except write-ins, who will be subject to regular filing deadlines. Persons elected to office in November 2000 will begin their first full term January 1, 2001. The governor may make an appointment when the offices are effective on September 1, 2000.

IV. JUDICIAL DISTRICTS NOT ON 2000 PRIMARY OR NOVEMBER BALLOTS.

Courts created effective December 1, 2000:

The above office will not appear on the 2000 primary or November ballots. The governor may make an appointment when the office is effective on December 1, 2000.

REFERENCES: House Bill 400 (1999); see especially section 26; Texas Election Code chs. 201, 202; see especially secs. 201.027, 202.002, 202.003(a), 202.004, 202.005, 202.006, 202.007, 145.036 (Vernon 1986 & Supp. 1999).