Law:Title 10. Political Parties. Subtitle B. Parties Nominating By Primary Election from Chapter 173. Primary Election Financing (Texas)

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Subtitle B. Parties Nominating By Primary Election

Contents

Chapter 173. Primary Election Financing

Subchapter A. Primary Election Expenses Generally

Section  173.001.  State Funds For Primary Authorized.

(a) Subject to legislative appropriation, state funds may be spent as provided by this chapter to pay expenses incurred by a political party in connection with a primary election.

(b)  Expenses incurred in connection with a convention of a political party or other party activity that is not necessary for the holding of a primary election may not be paid with state funds.

(c)  The secretary of state may spend state funds appropriated for primary finance to pay salaries and other necessary expenses in connection with the administration of primary elections.

(d)  If the amount of the funds appropriated for the financing of primary elections is insufficient to satisfy the requests for those funds made under this code, the secretary of state may distribute the amount of the appropriation on a pro rata basis. Each party executive committee is entitled to a proportionate share of that amount according to that committee's percentage of the total amount requested.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  173.002.  State Not Liable For Primary Expenses.

The state is not liable for the failure of a political party to pay expenses the party incurs in holding a primary election.

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



Section  173.003.  Expenses Incurred By County.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the county shall pay all the expenses incurred in connection with early voting in a primary election, except expenses relating to the printing of early voting ballots, and any other expenses incurred by a county authority in connection with a primary election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 45, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.65; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  173.004.  State Compensation Of County Chair And Secretary Of County Executive Committee.

(a) The total amount paid with state funds in a particular primary election year for the combined compensation of a county chair and the secretary, if any, of the county executive committee presided over by the chair may not be:

(1)  less than $300; or

(2)  more than the lesser of

(A)  $8,000; or

(B)  five percent of the total expenses incurred by the political party in holding primary elections in the county that year, exclusive of the combined annual compensation of the county chair and secretary.

(b)  The status of a county executive committee's secretary as a committee member does not affect the applicability of this section.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 155, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.005.  State Compensation For Training Election Judges.

The maximum hourly rate payable with state funds in a particular primary election year to election judges serving in a primary election for attending training programs is the same as the maximum rate prescribed by this code for compensation for attending a training program for election judges appointed to serve in elections ordered by the governor or a county authority.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1316, Sec. 38, 44, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  173.006.  Authority To Reduce Primary Costs.

The secretary of state may adopt rules consistent with this code that reduce the cost of primary elections or facilitate the holding of primary elections within the amount appropriated by the legislature for that purpose.

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



Section  173.007.  Limiting State Compensation For Polling Places.

(a) The secretary of state may limit the number of primary election polling places for which operating expenses are payable with state funds.

(b)  Rules adopted under this section must provide for state compensation for a sufficient number of polling places in each county to adequately serve its voters, taking into account the area, geographic features, estimated voter turnout, and other relevant factors, but in no case may state compensation be limited to fewer than one polling place for each commissioners precinct.

(c)  Rules adopted under this section do not limit a political party's authority under this code to consolidate election precincts for a primary election.

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



Section  173.008.  Limiting State Compensation For Election Personnel.

(a) The secretary of state may limit the number of election clerks in a primary election whose service is payable with state funds.

(b)  The secretary of state may limit the total state compensation payable to persons employed to assist a county chair in connection with a primary election.

(c)  Rules adopted under this section must provide for state compensation for sufficient personnel to properly hold the primary, taking into account the number of registered voters, number of votes cast in previous primary elections, method of voting, and other relevant factors, but in no case may state compensation be limited to fewer than two clerks for each election precinct.

(d)  State funds may be paid in excess of the limits prescribed under this section if the secretary of state determines good cause exists for the additional state compensation.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 156, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.009.  Deadline For Adopting Rules.

A rule adopted by the secretary of state under this subchapter does not apply to a primary election held less than 45 days after the date the rule is adopted.

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



Section  173.010.  Furnishing Rules.

During November preceding each primary election year, the secretary of state shall deliver to the state chair and each county chair of each political party holding a primary election a current set of the rules adopted under this subchapter. If a rule or amendment of a rule is adopted after delivery of the set, the secretary shall deliver a copy of the rule or amendment not later than the 10th day after the date of its adoption.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1986, 69th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 14, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 157, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.011.  Financing Of Joint Primary Elections Generally.

(a) This section applies to the financing of joint primary elections notwithstanding and in addition to other applicable provisions of this code.

(b)  Any surplus remaining in a county primary fund shall be remitted to the secretary of state immediately after the final payment from the fund of the necessary expenses for holding the primary elections for that year, but not later than July 1 following the applicable primary election. The surplus in the primary fund shall be remitted regardless of whether state funds were requested by the chair.

(c)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules, consistent with this chapter to the extent practicable, that are necessary for the fair and efficient financing of joint primary elections.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 63, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1316, Sec. 39, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter B. Primary Fund

Section  173.031.  County Primary Fund.

(a) A county primary fund is created for each county executive committee of a political party holding a primary election.

(b)  The county primary fund consists of:

(1)  the filing fees required to be deposited in the fund under Subchapter C;

(2)  the state funds paid to the county chair under Subchapter D;

(3)  the contributions to the county executive committee for the purpose of defraying primary election expenses; and

(4)  the income earned by the fund.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 158, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.032.  State Primary Fund.

(a) A state primary fund is created for the state executive committee of each political party holding a primary election.

(b)  The state primary fund consists of:

(1)  the filing fees required to be deposited in the fund under Subchapter C;

(2)  the state funds paid to the state chair under Subchapter D;

(3)  the contributions to the state executive committee for the purpose of defraying primary election expenses; and

(4)  the income earned by the fund.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 159, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.033.  Use Of Primary Fund.

(a) The county primary fund shall be used to pay expenses incurred by the county chair or county executive committee in connection with a primary election.

(b)  The state primary fund shall be used to pay expenses incurred by the state chair or state executive committee in connection with a primary election.

(c)  A primary fund may not be used for any other purpose.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 160, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.034.  Managing Primary Fund.

(a) The county executive committee shall manage the county primary fund.

(b)  The state executive committee shall manage the state primary fund.

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



Section  173.035.  Audit By Secretary Of State.

(a) The secretary of state may have a primary fund audited at any time.

(b)  The expenses of an audit under this section shall be paid from funds appropriated for the administration of primary elections.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Renumbered from Election Code Sec. 173.036 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(d), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  173.036.  State Funds For Audit Requested By Party.

(a) The secretary of state may approve an expenditure of state funds for an audit of the state primary fund on request of the state chair or a county primary fund on request of a county chair.

(b)  On receipt of written certification of the amount approved by the secretary of state for an audit, the comptroller of public accounts shall issue a warrant for that amount payable to the state or county chair making the request.

(c)  An audit conducted with state funds approved under this section is subject to the conditions imposed by the secretary of state.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Renumbered from Election Code Sec. 173.037 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(d), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 161, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter C. Disposition Of Filing Fees

Section  173.061.  Fee Paid To County Chair.

The county chair shall deposit in the county primary fund each filing fee accompanying an application for a place on the ballot filed with the county chair.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 162, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.062.  Fee Paid To State Chair Allocated Among County Committees.

(a) The state chair shall allocate the filing fee for a district office accompanying an application for a place on the ballot filed with the state chair during the regular filing period among the county executive committees serving the counties comprising the district.

(b)  Each committee's allocation is equal to the quotient obtained by dividing the amount of the filing fee by the number of counties wholly or partly in the district.

(c)  The state chair shall deliver each committee's allocation to the county chair not later than the 10th day after the date of the regular filing deadline.

(d)  On receipt of the allocation, the county chair shall deposit it in the county primary fund.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 163, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.063.  Fee Retained By State Chair.

The state chair shall deposit in the state primary fund each filing fee accompanying an application for a place on the ballot filed with the state chair:

(1)  for a statewide office; or

(2)  for a district office if the application is filed after the regular filing deadline.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 164, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.064.  Report Of Fees By State Chair.

(a) The state chair shall prepare a report of the filing fees accompanying applications for a place on the ballot filed with the state chair during the regular filing period.

(b)  The report must include, for each office for which an application is filed, the total number of applications and the total amount of filing fees paid.

(c)  The state chair shall deliver the report to the secretary of state not later than the 10th day after the date of the regular filing deadline.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 165, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter D. State Financing

Section  173.081.  Statement Of Estimated Primary Expenses.

(a) Regardless of whether state funds are requested for paying primary expenses, a written statement of estimated expenses to be incurred in connection with a primary election shall be submitted to the secretary of state by:

(1)  the county chair, for expenses of the county chair or county executive committee; or

(2)  the state chair, for expenses of the state chair or state executive committee.

(b)  The statement must:

(1)  contain an itemized estimate, prepared by the authority submitting the statement, of the primary expenses to be incurred and a statement by the authority of whether state funds are requested; and

(2)  be sworn to by the authority submitting the statement.

(c)  A statement for a general primary election must also:

(1)  state the amount of:

(A)  the primary candidates' filing fees required to be deposited in the county primary fund if the statement is submitted by a county chair, or in the state primary fund if the statement is submitted by the state chair, that have been received by the authority submitting the statement; and

(B)  the contributions to the county executive committee if the statement is submitted by a county chair, or to the state executive committee if the statement is submitted by the state chair, that:

(i)  are for the purpose of defraying primary election expenses; and

(ii)  have not been included in a report filed under Section 173.084 for a previous primary election year; and

(2)  be submitted not later than the 45th day before general primary election day.

(d)  The information required by Subsection (c)(1) must be current as of the 10th day after the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate's application for a place on the primary ballot.

(e)  A statement for a runoff primary election must be submitted not later than the 10th day after general primary election day.

(f)  A statement submitted by a county chair must also include a notice of the county election precincts to be consolidated for the election, if any.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(e), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 114, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 166, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.082.  Review Of Statement; Approval; Notice.

(a) On receipt of a statement of estimated primary election expenses, the secretary of state shall review the statement to determine which items of estimated expense and the amounts of those items to approve.

(b)  The secretary of state shall approve an item of estimated expense if the secretary determines that it is reasonably necessary for the proper holding of the primary election. If the secretary determines that the entire estimated amount of the item is not reasonably necessary, the secretary shall approve the item in the reduced amount that the secretary determines is appropriate.

(c)  The secretary of state shall promptly notify the authority submitting the statement of each item of estimated expense not approved or approved in a reduced amount.

(d)  An item or part of an item of estimated primary election expense that is not approved by the secretary of state may not be paid with primary funds.

(e)  Expenses incurred in connection with an application for a place on the ballot for the office of precinct chair filed before the 30th day before the date of the regular filing deadline may not be paid with state funds.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(e), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 167, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.083.  State Payment Of Estimated Primary Expenses.

(a) The amount of estimated primary election expenses payable with state funds under this section is equal to:

(1)  for a general primary election, the difference obtained by subtracting the sum of the filing fees and contributions reported in the statement of estimated primary election expenses from the total amount of estimated general primary expenses approved by the secretary of state under Section 173.082; and

(2)  for a runoff primary election, the total amount of estimated runoff primary expenses approved by the secretary.

(b)  State payment of the estimated primary election expenses shall be made in installments as follows:

(1)  the initial installment for the expenses of a general primary is equal to three-fourths, or three-fifths if the secretary of state determines that figure to be more efficient, of the amount of estimated general primary expenses payable with state funds;

(2)  the initial installment for the expenses of a runoff primary is equal to three-fourths, or three-fifths if the secretary of state determines that figure to be more efficient, of the amount of estimated runoff primary expenses payable with state funds; and

(3)  the final installment is equal to the difference obtained by subtracting the total of the installments paid under Subdivisions (1) and (2) from the total of the actual general and runoff primary election expenses payable with state funds.

(c)  After determining the amount of estimated primary expenses to approve under Section 173.082 for a general or runoff primary, the secretary of state shall calculate the amount of the installment payable under Subsection (b)(1) or (2), as applicable. The secretary shall then prepare and deliver to the comptroller of public accounts a certified statement indicating the amount of the installment, the total amount of estimated general or runoff primary expenses payable with state funds, and the name of the county or state chair who submitted the statement of estimated primary election expenses.

(d)  The final installment may not be paid until a report is filed in compliance with Section 173.084 and, in the case of a county chair, a report is also filed in compliance with Section 172.124. On the filing of the report, the secretary of state shall calculate the amount of the final installment and prepare and deliver to the comptroller of public accounts a certified statement indicating that amount and the appropriate county or state chair's name.

(e)  On receipt of a certified statement under Subsection (c) or (d), the comptroller of public accounts shall issue a warrant in the certified amount of the installment payable to the county or state chair identified by the statement.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(f), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 114, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 168, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.0831.  State Payment Of Start-up Primary Funds.

(a) Not later than the 30th day before the beginning date of the regular filing period for public offices in the general primary election, a county chair may submit to the secretary of state a written statement of estimated primary election expenses.

(b)  Not later than the 10th day after the date the statement is received, the secretary of state shall have disbursed to the county chair start-up funds in an amount equal to 10 percent of the amount approved for and expended by the county chair and executive committee in the preceding general primary election.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 68, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 169, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.084.  Expense Report By Party.

(a) Regardless of whether state funds are requested for paying primary expenses, each county chair and state chair shall prepare a report that includes:

(1)  an itemized list of the actual expenses incurred in connection with the general and runoff primaries by the authority preparing the report and by the executive committee over which the authority presides;

(2)  the amount of the primary candidates' filing fees required to be deposited in the county primary fund if the report is by a county chair, or in the state primary fund if the report is by the state chair;

(3)  the amount of filing fees that have been refunded;

(4)  the amount of the contributions to the executive committee over which the authority preparing the report presides that:

(A)  are for the purpose of defraying primary election expenses; and

(B)  have not been included in a report filed under this section for a previous primary election year; and

(5)  the balance in the county primary fund if the report is by a county chair, or in the state primary fund if the report is by the state chair, that remains after deducting the primary election expenses actually incurred and the refunded filing fees.

(b)  The authority preparing the report shall file it with the secretary of state not later than the 30th day after runoff primary election day or not later than the 30th day after general primary election day if no runoff primary is held in the county, in the case of the county chair's report, or if no runoff primary is held for a statewide or district office, in the case of the state chair's report. The secretary for good cause may extend the filing deadline.

(c)  The report must be sworn to by the authority preparing it.

(d)  Any compensation claimed under Section 173.004 may be forfeited on the failure of a county chair to file a timely report.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(g), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 69, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 170, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.085.  State Payment Of Excess Primary Expenses.

(a) If the actual expenditure for an item of primary election expense exceeds the amount estimated for the item in the statement of estimated primary election expenses, the excess expense is payable with state funds as provided by this section.

(b)  To obtain state compensation for an excess expense, the county chair or state chair, as applicable, must include in the report required by Section 173.084:

(1)  an identification of the item for which the excess expense was incurred;

(2)  the amount of the excess; and

(3)  an explanation of the reason for exceeding the estimate.

(c)  The secretary of state shall approve the payment of the excess expense with state funds if the secretary determines that payment is justified by good cause. If the secretary determines that payment of the entire excess expense is not justified by good cause, the secretary shall approve the excess expense in the reduced amount that the secretary determines is appropriate.

(d)  The secretary of state shall promptly notify the authority filing the report of each item of excess expense not approved or approved in a reduced amount.

(e)  An item of excess primary election expense that is not approved by the secretary of state, or that part of an item that is not approved, may not be paid with state funds.

(f)  If the secretary of state approves an excess expense, the secretary shall include the approved amount in the certified statement prepared under Section 173.083(d).

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(h), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 171, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.0851.  Disposition Of Surplus In Primary Fund.

(a) Any surplus remaining in a primary fund shall be remitted to the secretary of state immediately after the final payment from the fund of the necessary expenses for holding the primary elections for that year, but not later than July 1 following the applicable primary election. The surplus in a primary fund shall be remitted regardless of whether state funds were requested by the chair.

(b)  Any surplus primary funds received by the secretary of state under this section shall be deposited in the state treasury and may be used only for the financing of primary elections.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(i), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 472, Sec. 46, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 172, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.086.  Challenge Of Disbursement Of State Funds.

(a) The authority who submitted a statement of estimated primary election expenses under this subchapter may challenge in a district court in Travis County the amount of state funds approved by the secretary of state for disbursement.

(b)  A petition stating the ground of the challenge must be filed with the court not later than the 20th day after the earlier of:

(1)  the date of receipt of the secretary of state's notice of disapproval or approval in a reduced amount of a primary election expense involved in the challenge; or

(2)  the date of receipt of the comptroller's warrant for payment of a primary election expense involved in the challenge.

(c)  If the court determines the challenged amount is less than the amount to which the petitioner is entitled by law, the court shall order payment in the proper amount.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(j), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  173.087.  Liability Of County Chair And County Executive Committee.

The county executive committee is not liable for the debts incurred by the committee or the county chair in connection with a primary election that are unpaid because the legislative appropriation is insufficient. The county chair or any other member of the county executive committee is not personally liable for those debts.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 173, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  173.088.  Availability Of Guidelines.

The secretary of state shall make available to each county and state chair, for use in preparing statements and reports under this chapter, any guidelines the secretary prescribes for determining the necessity of primary election expenses.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 12(k), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 174, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


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