Law:Title 5. Election Supplies (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 51. Election Supplies

Subchapter A. Procuring, Allocating, And Distributing Election Supplies

Section  51.001.  Election Supplies.

In this chapter, "election supplies" means the equipment, ballots, forms, lists of registered voters, and other materials necessary to conduct an election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.002.  County Election Board.

(a) A county election board is established in each county for the general election for state and county officers, a special election for an officer regularly elected at the general election, and any other election ordered by a county authority or held at county expense.

(b)  For the general election for state and county officers and for a special election for an officer regularly elected at the general election, the county election board consists of the county judge, county clerk, voter registrar, sheriff, and county chair of each political party required to nominate candidates by primary election. For other elections, the board consists of the county judge, county clerk, voter registrar, and sheriff.

(c)  The county clerk is the chair of the county election board.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 44, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.003.  Procuring And Allocating Supplies.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the following authority shall procure the election supplies necessary to conduct an election and shall determine the quantity of the various types of supplies to be provided to each precinct polling place and early voting polling place:

(1)  for an election ordered by the governor or a county authority, the county clerk, subject to the approval of the county election board;

(2)  for a primary election, the county chair of the political party holding the primary, subject to the approval of the party's county executive committee;

(3)  for an election ordered by a city authority, the city secretary; and

(4)  for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county or city, the secretary of the subdivision's governing body or, if the governing body has no secretary, the governing body's presiding officer.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.45; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 45, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.004.  Distributing Supplies.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, the authority responsible for procuring the election supplies for an election shall distribute the supplies for the election.

(b)  The appropriate supplies shall be distributed to each presiding election judge not later than one hour before the polls are required to be open for voting and to the early voting clerk before the beginning of early voting.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.46; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  51.005.  Number Of Ballots.

(a) The authority responsible for procuring the election supplies for an election shall provide for each election precinct a number of ballots equal to at least the percentage of voters who voted in that precinct in the most recent corresponding election plus 25 percent of that number, except that the number of ballots provided may not exceed the total number of registered voters in the precinct.

(b)  In computing a number of registered voters under this section, voters whose names appear on the list of registered voters with the notation "S", or a similar notation, shall be excluded.

(c)  The secretary of state shall prescribe procedures for determining the number of provisional ballots to be provided.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 797, Sec. 37, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1078, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107, Sec. 1.12, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  51.006.  Preparing Ballots For Distribution.

The authority responsible for distributing election supplies shall package and seal each set of ballots before their distribution and shall mark the package with the number of ballots enclosed and the range of the ballot serial numbers. If the authority is the early voting clerk, the ballots allocated for early voting need not be packaged and sealed.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.47; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  51.007.  Record Of Ballot Distribution.

(a) As soon as practicable after the ballots are packaged for distribution, the authority responsible for distributing election supplies shall prepare a record of the number of ballots and the range of serial numbers on the ballots to be distributed to each presiding judge and the early voting clerk.

(b)  The authority shall preserve the record for the period for preserving the precinct election records.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.48; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  51.008.  Supplementing Distributed Ballots.

(a) The authority responsible for distributing election supplies shall retain a reserve of ballots to supplement the distributed ballots and on election day may reallocate previously distributed ballots among the polling places.

(b)  The authority shall enter on the record of ballot distribution the number of ballots reserved and the number of ballots distributed from the reserve to each polling place. The range of serial numbers on the ballots shall be included in the record.

(c)  If distributed ballots are reallocated, the authority shall indicate the reallocation on the record of ballot distribution and shall issue a receipt to each presiding election judge showing the number of ballots and the range of serial numbers on the ballots taken from the judge's polling place for redistribution. Each presiding judge shall indicate on the ballot register any reallocation of ballots affecting that polling place.

(d)  The authority shall retain the undistributed reserve for the period for preserving the precinct election records.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.009.  Sheriff To Deliver Supplies.

(a) The sheriff shall deliver the election supplies that a county clerk is responsible for distributing, on request of the clerk, to each presiding judge who has not obtained them from the clerk.

(b)  This section does not require the sheriff to deliver an item that cannot be transported in a regular passenger vehicle.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.010.  Failure To Distribute Or Deliver Supplies.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is responsible for distributing election supplies for an election and intentionally fails to distribute any of the supplies by the deadline prescribed by Section 51.004(b).

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person is entrusted with the delivery of election supplies for use at polling places and intentionally fails to deliver any of the supplies within the time specified by the person who entrusted the delivery to the person.

(c)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 46, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.011.  Obstructing Distribution Of Supplies.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally obstructs the distribution of election supplies for an election.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.013.  Identification Of Printers For Primary Election Or General Election For State And County Officers.

(a) Each person who prints ballots or other election supplies for a primary election or the general election for state and county officers shall file a statement with the secretary of state as provided by this section.

(b)  The statement must be filed not later than the 60th day before the date of the applicable election.

(c)  The statement must include:

(1)  the name, business address, and business telephone number of the printer;

(2)  the name and telephone number of any agent or employee of the printer who is designated to receive inquiries or issue information about the printing of ballots or other election supplies; and

(3)  the name and address of each client for whom the ballots or other supplies are printed, the voting methods for which the materials are printed for the client, and a description of the materials printed for the client.

(d)  The secretary of state shall prescribe the form for the statement required by this section.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter B. Election Equipment

Section  51.031.  Approval Of Ballot And Voting Booths.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the secretary of state must approve the composition and design of ballot boxes and voting booths before the equipment may be used in elections.

(b)  A person desiring approval of a ballot box or a voting booth for use in this state must submit a written request for approval to the secretary of state.

(c)  After examining the specifications or a model of a ballot box or voting booth submitted for approval, the secretary of state by written order shall approve the equipment for use in elections if the secretary determines that the equipment's composition and design are suitable for the intended use.

(d)  The secretary of state shall attach the approval order to the approval request and retain it permanently on file.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.032.  Voting Booths.

(a) Voting booths that provide privacy for voters while marking their ballots shall be provided at each polling place.

(b)  The entrance of the voting booth may be open or it may have a door or curtain that a voter may close while occupying the booth.

(c)  A voting booth may be used without approval of the secretary of state if the booth complies with the standards prescribed by the secretary of state or if the booth:

(1)  is rectangular, with at least three sides of opaque material beginning not more than three feet from the floor and extending to a height of at least six feet from the floor;

(2)  has inside dimensions at least 22 inches wide and 30 inches deep; and

(3)  has a shelf for writing.

(d)  The voting booth standards prescribed by the secretary of state must assure that privacy for voters while marking their ballots is provided and that the voting booth's composition and design are suitable for the intended use.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  51.033.  Number And Use Of Ballot Boxes.

(a) Four ballot boxes shall be used at each polling place in an election and shall be marked as follows:

(1)  "Ballot Box No. 1 for Election Precinct No. ________";

(2)  "Ballot Box No. 2 for Election Precinct No. ________";

(3)  "Ballot Box No. 3 for Election Precinct No. ________"; and

(4)  "Ballot Box No. 4 for Election Precinct No. ________".

(b)  If an election precinct is designated by name instead of number, the name of the precinct shall be marked on the box.

(c)  Ballot boxes no. 1 and no. 2 are used for the deposit of voters' marked ballots.

(d)  Ballot box no. 3 is used for delivering the voted ballots to their custodian after they are counted and for storing the voted ballots during the preservation period.

(e)  Ballot box no. 4 is used for delivering defectively printed, spoiled, and unused ballots to their custodian after the election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.034.  Specifications For Ballot Boxes.

(a) Each ballot box must be made of a sturdy material and suitably designed for its intended use. Each box must have a lock and key.

(b)  Ballot boxes no. 1 and no. 2 must each have a slot in the top just large enough to receive a ballot. Ballot boxes no. 3 and no. 4 are not required to have a slot, but if a slot is provided, it may not be larger than that prescribed for boxes no. 1 and no. 2.

(c)  A ballot box may be used without approval of the secretary of state if the box:

(1)  is an enclosed, opaque container made of metal, wood, or other material;

(2)  is equipped with a hinged top, hasp, and padlock; and

(3)  complies with Subsection (b).

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  51.035.  Use Of County-owned Equipment For Primary Election.

(a) On request of the county chair of a political party holding a primary election, the county clerk shall furnish available county-owned ballot boxes and voting booths to the party for use in its primary election.

(b)  If there is not enough county-owned equipment to satisfy the requests made under Subsection (a), the commissioners court shall allocate the equipment among the political parties requesting it.

(c)  A fee may not be charged for use of equipment furnished under this section, but the political party shall reimburse the county for the actual expenses incurred by the county in transporting the equipment to and from the polling places if the county provides that service.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.036.  Custodian Of Equipment.

Except as otherwise provided by this code, the authority responsible for distributing election supplies for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision is the custodian of the election equipment owned by the political subdivision.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

Chapter 52. Ballot Form, Content, And Preparation

Subchapter A. Preparing The Ballot

Section  52.001.  Official Ballot.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the vote in an election is by official ballot.

(b)  If an official ballot is unavailable at a polling place, the presiding election judge shall provide a ballot designed in accordance with this chapter.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.002.  Authority Preparing Ballot.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the following authority shall have the official ballot prepared:

(1)  for an election ordered by the governor or a county authority, the county clerk;

(2)  for a primary election, the county chair of the political party holding the primary;

(3)  for an election ordered by a city authority, the city secretary; and

(4)  for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county or city, the secretary of the subdivision's governing body or, if the governing body has no secretary, the governing body's presiding officer.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.003.  Placing Candidate's Name On Ballot.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall have placed on the ballot the name of each candidate:

(1)  who has filed with the authority an application for a place on the ballot that complies with the requirements as to form, content, and procedure that the application must satisfy for the candidate's name to be placed on the ballot; or

(2)  whose entitlement to placement on the ballot has been lawfully certified to the authority.

(b)  A candidate's name shall be placed on the ballot in the form indicated on the candidate's application or, if the application was not filed with the authority, in the form certified to the authority.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided by law, in a runoff election, the authority shall have placed on the ballot the name of each candidate who is entitled to a place on the runoff ballot as indicated by the canvass for the main election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 49, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.004.  Failure To Place Candidate's Name On Ballot.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is responsible for having the official ballot prepared for an election and knowingly fails to place on the ballot the name of a candidate who is entitled to have the candidate's name placed on the ballot.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 50, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.005.  Ballot Content Determined According To Precinct.

The ballot for an election precinct may contain only those offices and propositions stating measures on which the qualified voters of the precinct are entitled to vote.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.006.  Correcting Ballot.

(a) To make a necessary correction on the ballot, the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared may:

(1)  prepare new ballots;

(2)  line out or otherwise obscure the language being corrected and enter in printed form the correct language next to the language being corrected, if necessary; or

(3)  prepare printed or blank correction stickers to be affixed to the ballots.

(b)  A correction sticker used under this section must be printed in the same type style and on the same color of paper as the ballot.

(c)  A correction sticker may be affixed to a ballot only by the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared or by an election officer serving a polling place.

(d)  A vote may not be counted for a name appearing on a correction sticker unless the sticker is prepared and affixed to the ballot as provided by this section.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.0061.  Notice Of Correction By Authority Responsible For Preparing Ballot.

(a) The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall deliver written notice to the secretary of state not later than 24 hours after the authority's determination to prepare new ballots to make a correction on the ballot.

(b)  The notice must include a statement of the nature of the correction to be made.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 289, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  52.0062.  Notice Of Correction By Certain Printers.

(a) Each person required to file a statement under Section 51.013 shall deliver written notice to the secretary of state not later than 48 hours after the person receives a request to prepare new ballots to make a correction on the ballot for a primary election or the general election for state and county officers.

(b)  The notice must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person requesting the corrected ballots and a statement of the nature of the correction to be made.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 289, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  52.0063.  Unlawful Preparation Of Ballots.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly prepares or causes to be prepared new ballots to make a correction on the ballot without complying with Section 52.0061 or 52.0062, as applicable.

(b)  Except as authorized by Section 52.006, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly prepares or causes to be prepared for an election any ballot that contains the same number as a ballot that has been prepared for the election.

(c)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 289, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  52.0064.  Destruction Of Incorrect Ballots.

(a) If new ballots are prepared to make a correction on the ballot, the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall destroy the incorrect ballots in the presence of:

(1)  the sheriff, in an election ordered by the governor or a primary election; or

(2)  the authority responsible for ordering the election, in any other election.

(b)  The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall post in the authority's office a notice of the date, hour, and place of the destruction of the incorrect ballots. The notice must remain posted continuously for the 72 hours preceding the scheduled time of the destruction.

(c)  Any interested person is entitled to be present at the destruction of incorrect ballots.

(d)  The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall prepare a record of the incorrect ballots that are destroyed. The authority shall preserve the record for the period for preserving the precinct election records.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 289, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



Section  52.007.  Specimen Ballot.

(a) An official ballot for each ballot format used in each election shall be designated a specimen ballot.

(b)  The specimen ballot shall be made available for public inspection:

(1)  for an election other than a primary election, in the office of the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared; or

(2)  for a primary election, in the office of the county clerk.

(c)  The specimen ballot shall be made available for public inspection as soon as practicable after the official ballots have been prepared for the election and shall be preserved for the period for preserving the precinct election records.

(d)  The county chair of each political party holding a primary election shall deliver the ballots to be used as specimen ballots to the county clerk when the official ballots are received from the printer.

(e)  The authority in whose office the specimen ballot is kept shall mark each specimen ballot with "SPECIMEN" in a manner that will not prevent the reading of its contents. If more than one ballot format is used in the election, the authority shall indicate on the specimen ballot the election precincts in which each ballot format is used.

(f)  A specimen ballot may not be reproduced for distribution.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.008.  Sample Ballot.

(a) The authority responsible for procuring the election supplies shall have a supply of sample ballots printed.

(b)  A sample ballot may be printed only on yellow paper. "SAMPLE BALLOT" shall be printed in large letters at the top of each sample ballot.

(c)  Sample ballots shall be distributed for use in the election as directed by the authority responsible for procuring the election supplies.

(d)  A sample ballot may not be cast or counted in an election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 17, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.



Subchapter B. Name On Ballot

Section  52.031.  Form Of Name On Ballot.

(a) A candidate's name shall be printed on the ballot with the given name or initials first, followed by a nickname, if any, followed by the surname, in accordance with this section.

(b)  In combination with the surname, a candidate may use one or more of the following:

(1)  a given name;

(2)  a contraction or familiar form of a given name by which the candidate is known; or

(3)  an initial of a given name.

(c)  A nickname of one unhyphenated word of not more than 10 letters by which the candidate has been commonly known for at least three years preceding the election may be used in combination with a candidate's name. A nickname that constitutes a slogan or otherwise indicates a political, economic, social, or religious view or affiliation may not be used. A nickname may not be used unless the candidate executes and files with the application for a place on the ballot an affidavit indicating that the nickname complies with this subsection.

(d)  A suffix such as "Sr.," "Jr.," or "2nd" may be used in combination with a candidate's name.

(e)  A married woman or widow may use in combination with her surname, if the same as her husband's surname, the given name or initials of her husband with the prefix "Mrs."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.032.  Candidates With Same Or Similar Surnames.

(a) If two or more candidates for the same office have the same or similar surnames, each of those candidates may have printed on the ballot a brief distinguishing description or title, not to exceed four words, following the candidate's name.

(b)  The description or title may only refer to the candidate's place of residence or present or former profession, occupation, or position. However, the description or title may not refer to a public office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  52.033.  Titles Prohibited.

Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, a title or designation of office, status, or position may not be used in conjunction with a candidate's name on the ballot.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.034.  Name On Ballot More Than Once.

A candidate's name may not appear more than once on the ballot except as a candidate for:

(1)  two or more offices that are permitted by law to be held by the same person; or

(2)  the office of president or vice-president of the United States and another office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Subchapter C. Form Of Ballot

Section  52.061.  Printing On Ballot.

(a) The ballot shall be printed in black ink on white or light-colored paper, but the ballot may not be the same color as sample ballots.

(b)  The type on the ballot may vary in size and style for the office titles, column headings, names of candidates, proposition headings, and propositions, but the type for each particular category must be uniform.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.062.  Numbering Of Ballots.

The ballots prepared by each authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number "1."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.063.  Designation Of Election And Date.

A designation of the nature of the election and the date of the election shall be printed at the top of the ballot.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.064.  Designation As Official Ballot.

"OFFICIAL BALLOT" shall be printed in large letters on the ballot immediately below the designation and date of the election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.065.  Arrangement Of Ballot With Party Nominee.

(a) For an election in which a candidate's name is to appear on the ballot as the nominee of a political party, the ballot shall be arranged in vertical columns separated by parallel lines, as provided by this section.

(b)  Each title of an office to be voted on shall be listed in the first column on the left of the ballot with "Candidates For:" printed at the top. The office titles shall be separated by parallel horizontal lines extending through each column on the ballot.

(c)  The name of each political party with a nominee on the ballot shall be printed at the top of the second and as many succeeding columns as necessary. The name of the nominee of each party for each office shall appear opposite the office in the appropriate party column. The party columns shall be of uniform width.

(d)  If the name of an independent candidate is to appear on the ballot, a column immediately following the party columns shall be provided, with "Independent" printed at the top. The name of each independent candidate shall appear in the column opposite the appropriate office title.

(e)  If write-in votes are permitted by law in the election, a column immediately following the other columns shall be provided for write-in votes, with "Write-in" printed at the top. Adequate space shall be provided in the column for write-in votes.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.066.  Arrangement Of Ballot With No Party Nominee.

(a) For an election in which no party nominee is to appear on the ballot, the ballot shall be arranged as provided by this section.

(b)  Each title of an office to be voted on shall be listed in a vertical column with the name of each candidate listed below the appropriate office title.

(c)  If write-in votes are permitted by law in the election, a space underscored by a broken or solid line shall be provided for a write-in vote below the names of the candidates for each office. If more than one candidate is to be elected to an office, write-in spaces shall be provided in a number equal to the number of candidates to be elected.

(d)  If the length of the ballot arranged as one column would exceed 18 inches, the office titles may be arranged in parallel vertical columns.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.067.  Nonaligned Candidate Designated As Independent.

In an election in which the candidates' political party alignments are to be printed on the ballot next to the candidates' names, "Independent" shall be printed on the ballot next to the name of each candidate who is not aligned with a political party.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.068.  Office Title To Appear On Ballot If No Candidate For Office.

(a) If no candidate's name is to appear on the ballot for a particular office to be voted on at an election in which write-in votes for the office are permitted by law, the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall have the office title printed on the ballot and shall provide a space for a write-in vote as required by this code. However, in an election in which write-in votes may be counted only for names appearing on a list of write-in candidates, if no candidate's name is to appear on the ballot or the list of write-in candidates for a particular office, the office title is not printed on the ballot.

(b)  If the authority fails to have the office title printed on the ballot, a person may not be declared elected to the office because of write-in votes that are cast by writing in the office title and the person's name unless the total number of votes cast for all write-in candidates for that office is more than 50 percent of the total number of voters participating in the election who are eligible to vote for the office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 497, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 5.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  52.069.  Unexpired Term.

If an office to be filled for an unexpired term is to be voted on at a general or primary election, "unexpired term" shall be printed on the ballot following the office title.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.070.  Voting Square And Instruction For Candidates.

(a) A square for voting shall be printed to the left of each candidate's name on a ballot.

(b)  Immediately below "OFFICIAL BALLOT," the following instruction shall be printed: "Vote for the candidate of your choice in each race by placing an 'X' in the square beside the candidate's name."

(c)  Appropriate changes in the instruction shall be made if only one race appears on the ballot or if more than one candidate is to be elected in a race.

(d)  If more than one candidate is to be elected in any race on the ballot, "Vote for none, one, two, ... or ___" (in the numerical sequence appropriate for the number of candidates to be elected) shall be printed immediately below each office title appearing on the ballot.

(e)  A square shall be printed to the left of each line provided for write-in voting under Section 52.066(c), but failure to place a mark in the square does not affect the counting of a write-in vote.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 497, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.1, 1987.



Section  52.071.  Voting Square And Instruction For Straight-party Vote.

(a) On a ballot on which a party column appears, a square larger than the square prescribed by Section 52.070(a) shall be printed to the left of each political party's name.

(b)  The following instruction shall be added to the instruction required by Section 52.070(b): "You may cast a straight-party vote (that is, cast a vote for all the nominees of one party) by placing an 'X' in the square beside the name of the party of your choice. If you cast a straight-party vote for all the nominees of one party and also cast a vote for an opponent of one of that party's nominees, your vote for the opponent will be counted as well as your vote for all the other nominees of the party for which the straight-party vote was cast."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  52.072.  Propositions.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, the authority ordering the election shall prescribe the wording of a proposition that is to appear on the ballot.

(b)  A proposition shall be printed on the ballot in the form of a single statement and may appear on the ballot only once.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), in an election in which an office and a measure are to be voted on, each proposition stating a measure shall appear on the ballot after the listing of offices.

(d)  If an election of officers is contingent on the adoption of a proposition appearing on the same ballot, the proposition shall appear on the ballot before the listing of offices.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.073.  Voting Square And Instruction For Propositions.

(a) On a ballot on which a proposition is to appear, "FOR" and, below it, "AGAINST" shall be printed to the left of the proposition.

(b)  A brace or other suitable device shall be printed to indicate to which proposition each "FOR" and "AGAINST" applies.

(c)  A square for voting shall be printed to the left of each "FOR" and each "AGAINST."

(d)  Immediately above the propositions, the following instruction shall be printed: "Place an 'X' in the square beside the statement indicating the way you wish to vote."

(e)  The authority responsible for prescribing the wording of a proposition may substitute "YES" and "NO" on the ballot for "FOR" and "AGAINST" if the authority considers those words more appropriate.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.074.  Provisional Ballot For Certain Voters. The

authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall have a provisional ballot prepared in a form approved by the secretary of state for use by a voter who executes an affidavit in accordance with Section 63.011.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1078, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 18, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.



Subchapter D. Order Of Parties, Offices, Names, And Propositions On Ballot

Section  52.091.  Party Columns.

(a) Party columns shall be arranged on the ballot in the following order, beginning on the left:

(1)  columns of parties with nominees for statewide or district offices;

(2)  columns of parties without nominees for statewide or district offices.

(b)  Columns of parties specified by Subsection (a)(1) shall be arranged in descending order of the number of votes received statewide by each party's candidate for governor in the most recent gubernatorial general election, beginning on the left with the party whose candidate received the highest number of votes. Columns of parties that did not have a candidate for governor in the most recent gubernatorial general election shall appear after the columns of parties that had a candidate, and the order of their columns shall be determined by a drawing conducted by the secretary of state.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.092.  Offices Regularly Filled At General Election For State And County Officers.

(a) For an election at which offices regularly filled at the general election for state and county officers are to appear on the ballot, the offices shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  offices of the federal government;

(2)  offices of the state government:

(A)  statewide offices;

(B)  district offices;

(3)  offices of the county government:

(A)  county offices;

(B)  precinct offices.

(b)  Offices of the federal government shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  president and vice-president of the United States;

(2)  United States senator;

(3)  United States representative.

(c)  Statewide offices of the state government shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  governor;

(2)  lieutenant governor;

(3)  attorney general;

(4)  comptroller of public accounts;

(5)  commissioner of the General Land Office;

(6)  commissioner of agriculture;

(7)  railroad commissioner;

(8)  chief justice, supreme court;

(9)  justice, supreme court;

(10)  presiding judge, court of criminal appeals;

(11)  judge, court of criminal appeals.

(d)  District offices of the state government shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  member, State Board of Education;

(2)  state senator;

(3)  state representative;

(4)  chief justice, court of appeals;

(5)  justice, court of appeals;

(6)  district judge;

(7)  criminal district judge;

(8)  family district judge;

(9)  district attorney;

(10)  criminal district attorney.

(e)  County offices shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  county judge;

(2)  judge, county court at law;

(3)  judge, county criminal court;

(4)  judge, county probate court;

(5)  county attorney;

(6)  district clerk;

(7)  district and county clerk;

(8)  county clerk;

(9)  sheriff;

(10)  sheriff and tax assessor-collector;

(11)  county tax assessor-collector;

(12)  county treasurer;

(13)  county school trustee (county with population of 3.3 million or more);

(14)  county surveyor.

(f)  Precinct offices shall be listed in the following order:

(1)  county commissioner;

(2)  justice of the peace;

(3)  constable.

(g)  If two or more offices having the same title except for a place number or other distinguishing number are to appear on the ballot, the number shall appear as part of the office title and the offices shall be listed in numerical order.

(h)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 693, Sec. 4.

(i)  The secretary of state shall designate the position of new offices on the ballot.

(j)  The office of judge of a multicounty statutory county court created under Subchapter D, Chapter 25, Government Code, is considered to be a county office for purposes of listing the office on the ballot and to be a district office for all other purposes under this code.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 15(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 746, Sec. 69, eff. Oct. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 6.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 693, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 37, Sec. 2, eff. May 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 5.32, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  52.093.  Offices Of Political Subdivision Other Than County.

Except as otherwise provided by law, for an election at which offices of a political subdivision other than a county are to be voted on, the authority ordering the election shall determine the order of the offices on the ballot.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.



Section  52.094.  Names Of Candidates.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, for an election at which the names of more than one candidate for the same office are to appear on the ballot in an independent column or are to appear on a general or special election ballot that does not contain a party nominee, the order of the candidates' names shall be determined by a drawing.

(b)  The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared for the election shall conduct the drawing.

(c)  The authority conducting the drawing shall post in the authority's office a notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing. The notice must remain posted continuously for 72 hours immediately preceding the scheduled time of the drawing, except that for a runoff election or an election held to resolve a tie vote, the notice must remain posted for 24 hours immediately preceding the scheduled time of the drawing.

(d)  For an election held at county expense or a city election, on receipt of a candidate's written request accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope, the authority conducting the drawing shall mail written notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing to the candidate. For an election held by any other political subdivision, the authority conducting the drawing shall mail written notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing to each candidate, at the address stated on the candidate's application for a place on the ballot, not later than the fourth day before the date of the drawing.

(e)  Each candidate affected by a drawing is entitled to be present or have a representative present at the drawing.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  52.095.  Propositions.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the authority ordering an election in which more than one measure is to be voted on shall determine the order in which the propositions are to appear on the ballot.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.


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