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Election Advisory No. 2020-25

To: County Election Officials and County Chairs
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: August 28, 2020
RE: Ballot Preparation and Sample Ballots for November 3, 2020 General Election

The county election officer is the authority responsible for preparing the official ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election for State and County Officers. This memo contains instructions on how to prepare your ballot. Additionally, the Sample Ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election (PDF) for State and County officers that is posted on our website is also available to assist you in your preparation.

Names of Candidates for the Ballot

  1. Major Party Nominees (Republican Party and Democratic Party): You will find the list of major party candidates posted on our website. You will have to select your county from the drop-down menu to see the major party candidates that are running for federal, state, district, county or precinct offices in your county.

  2. NOTE: The list should include any replacement nominees or nominees due to a vacancy that occurred after December 4, 2019. (Sections 145.036 and 202.006)

  3. Minor Party Nominees (Libertarian Party and Green Party) for Federal, State and District Offices: You will find the list of minor party candidates running for federal, state and district offices posted on our website. You will have to select your county from the drop-down menu to see the minor party candidates that are running for federal, state, or district offices in your county.
  4. Minor Party Nominees (Libertarian Party and Green Party) for County and Precinct Offices: Minor parties in each county certify their candidates directly to the county election officer. The minor party candidates for county and precinct offices will not be listed on your county’s individual certification unless they were entered by the county election officer.
  5. Independent Candidates for Federal, State and District Offices: You will find the list of Independent candidates running for federal, state and district offices posted on our website. You will have to select your county from the drop-down menu to see the Independent candidates that are running for federal, state, or district offices in your county.
  6. Independent Candidates for County and Precinct Offices: The county judge should certify to you, not later than August 28, 2020, the names of independent candidates for county and precinct offices, if any. The independent candidates for county and precinct offices will not be listed on your county’s individual certification unless they were entered by the county election officer.

Names of Write-in Candidates for List of Declared Write-In Candidates

  1. Write-In Candidates for Federal, State and District Offices: You will find the certified list of write-in candidates for federal, state or district office attached to this email as a PDF.
  2. Write-In Candidates for County and Precinct Offices: The county judge should certify to you, not later than August 28, 2020, the names of write-in candidates for county and precinct offices, if any.

Ballot Preparation Instructions

Our office suggests that you have the official ballot prepared, tested, and ready for use on or before Saturday, September 19, 2020 to comply with the deadline set by the Federal MOVE Act for voters outside the United States who have requested ballots by mail. If the official ballot is not ready to mail out on or before September 19, 2020, then you must prepare emergency paper ballots. The emergency ballots must be mailed to voters outside the United States who have requested mail ballots on or before September 19, 2020. You cannot delay the sending out of ballots to voters outside the United States. Not having the official ballot ready is not a reason to miss this deadline.

The order of statewide, district, county, and precinct offices on the ballot and the order of parties on the ballot are governed by Sections 52.091 and 52.092 of the Code. In accordance with Section 52.094(a) of the Code, if there is more than one independent candidate for an office, there must be a ballot drawing. Other issues concerning the form of the ballot are governed by Subchapter C of Chapter 52 of the Code. You will find a copy of the sample ballot posted on our website.

If you are using an electronic voting system, you will not be able to follow the party column format as it appears on the sample ballot. Instead, you must list the party affiliation (or Independent) to the right of each candidate’s name. You may abbreviate the party affiliation (or Independent) as indicated on the ballot certification or print the party name (or Independent). If an abbreviation is used, the meaning of the abbreviation must be stated. (See memo regarding the printing of the legend.) If you print the name of the party, be sure to use Republican, Democratic (not Democrat), Libertarian and Green.

Please note that county chairs and precinct chairs do not appear on the General Election ballot.

Information specific to preparing your ballots with write-in candidates, printing the required legend instructions for party abbreviations, and procedures for uncontested candidates declared elected has been issued in Advisory 2020-26.

If you have any questions regarding this memorandum or the information enclosed, please call the Elections Division Elections Division at (800)252-2216

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