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Election Advisory No. 2020-21

To: County Election Officials and County Chairs of Political Parties
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: July 14, 2020
RE: Canvass and Recount Deadlines for the July 14, 2020 Primary Runoff Elections

Canvass Dates

The county chair or the county chair’s designee and, if available, at least one member of the county executive committee must conduct the local canvass on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at the hour specified by the county chair. If a designee will conduct the canvass on behalf of the county chair, then that designee must be a member of the county executive committee, or if no member of the county executive committee is available, then the designee must be a resident of the county served by the committee who is affiliated with the same political party. Tex. Elec. Code § 172.116.

The notice of the canvass must 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. This notice should be posted no later than Monday, July 20, 2020 in order to meet the posting requirements. Tex. Elec. Code § 172.116.

The certification of the final local canvass must be submitted through the TEAM system. Detailed information and procedures for the certification of the local canvass will be provided to county officials. The final local canvass is concluded when the county chair digitally certifies the canvass report on the Secretary of State’s website. The state chair must canvass the county election returns no later than Saturday, August 1, 2020 for all races. Tex. Elec. Code § 172.120.

The county election officials may begin entering county data into TEAM following the submission of all election night returns (ENR). Our office will notify county election officials when canvassing is open for data entry. Reporting of county data may begin as early as Wednesday, July 15, 2020 if there are no outstanding provisional ballots or ballots by mail. Otherwise, the county election officials should plan on beginning this process no later than Monday, July 20, 2020. All county data entry should be entered no later than Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Recount Filing Deadlines

The deadline for requesting a recount is 5:00 p.m. of the 2nd day after the final canvass is actually conducted. Tex. Elec. Code § 212.028. For all county and precinct races, (1) the final canvass is the local canvass; and (2) the filing authority is the county chair (presiding officer of the final canvass). For all district (including single-county districts) and statewide races, (1) the final canvass is the state canvass; and (2) the filing authority is the state party chair (presiding officer of the final canvass).

County and Precinct Races:

Local Canvass Filing Deadline
Thursday, July 23, 2020 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 27, 2020

(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 PM of the second day after the final canvass. The state canvass must be conducted by Saturday, August 1, 2020. Tex. Elec. Code § 172.120.

Contact the state executive committee for more information about when their scheduled canvass will be taking place.

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. Tex. Elec. Code § 212.026.

Reminder on Tie Votes and Automatic Recounts

If the candidates in a runoff election tie, a tying candidate may resolve the tie by filing with the presiding officer of the final canvassing authority a written statement of withdrawal signed and acknowledged by the candidate. Tex. Elec. Code §2.028. On receipt of the statement of withdrawal, the remaining candidate is the winner. If there is no signed and acknowledged withdrawal delivered to the presiding officer of the final canvassing authority, then an automatic recount shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 216. If the recount does not resolve the tie, the tied candidates shall cast lots to determine the winner. (Please note that Section 2.023 applied to the March 3, 2020 primary; Section 2.028 applies to the July 14, 2020 primary runoff. The sequence of events is slightly different in each section.)

For additional information on recounts, such as petition requirements and deposit calculations, please see the recount outline and forms posted on our website.

If you need additional assistance, you may contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683).