Law:Title 16. Miscellaneous Provisions (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 271. Joint Elections

Section  271.001.  Applicability Of Other Parts Of Code.

The other titles of this code apply to a joint election except provisions that are inconsistent with this chapter or that cannot feasibly be applied to a joint election.

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



Section  271.002.  Joint Elections Authorized. (a)

If the elections ordered by the authorities of two or more political subdivisions are to be held on the same day in all or part of the same county, the governing bodies of the political subdivisions may enter into an agreement to hold the elections jointly in the election precincts that can be served by common polling places, subject to Section 271.003.

(b)  If an election ordered by the governor and the elections ordered by the authorities of one or more political subdivisions are to be held on the same day in all or part of the same county, the commissioners court of a county in which the election ordered by the governor is to be held and the governing bodies of the other political subdivisions may enter into an agreement to hold the elections jointly in the election precincts that can be served by common polling places, subject to Section 271.003.

(c)  If another law requires two or more political subdivisions to hold a joint election, the governing body of any other political subdivision holding an election on the same day in all or part of the same county in which the joint election is to be held may enter into an agreement to participate in the joint election with the governing bodies of the political subdivisions holding the joint election.

(d)  The terms of a joint election agreement must be stated in an order, resolution, or other official action adopted by the governing body of each participating political subdivision.

(e)  The document containing the joint election agreement shall be preserved for the period for preserving the precinct election records.

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

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  271.003.  Location Of Common Polling Place.

(a) A regular county polling place may be used for a common polling place in a joint election.

(b)  The voters of a particular election precinct or political subdivision may be served in a joint election by a common polling place located outside the boundary of the election precinct or political subdivision if the location can adequately and conveniently serve the affected voters and will facilitate the orderly conduct of the election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1350, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  271.004.  Allocation Of Election Expenses.

The expenses of a joint election are allocated as provided by the joint election agreement.

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



Section  271.005.  Election Officers.

(a) An election officer for a joint election may be appointed to serve more than one of the participating political subdivisions.

(b)  A person who is eligible to serve as an election officer in an election of any participating political subdivision is eligible to serve in the same office in a joint election.

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



Section  271.006.  Early Voting.

(a) The governing bodies of the political subdivisions participating in a joint election shall decide whether to conduct their early voting jointly. The governing bodies that decide to conduct joint early voting shall appoint one of their early voting clerks as the early voting clerk for the joint early voting.

(b)  The joint early voting shall be conducted at the early voting polling place or places at which and during the hours, including any extended or weekend hours, that the early voting clerk regularly conducts early voting for the clerk's political subdivision.

(c)  The regular early voting clerk for each political subdivision participating in the joint early voting shall receive applications for early voting ballots to be voted by mail in accordance with Title 7. The remaining procedures for conducting the political subdivision's early voting by mail shall be completed by the regular early voting clerk or by the early voting clerk for the joint early voting, at the discretion of the governing body of each political subdivision participating in the joint early voting.

(d)  If a governing body decides not to participate in the joint early voting, the early voting for that political subdivision shall be conducted in accordance with Title 7, except that the early voting may be conducted at common polling places.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.72; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 43, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 77, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



Section  271.007.  Ballot.

A single ballot containing all the offices or propositions stating measures to be voted on at a particular polling place may be used in a joint election. A voter may not be permitted to select a ballot containing an office or proposition stating a measure on which the voter is ineligible to vote.

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



Section  271.0071.  Multiple Methods Of Voting Allowed. The Res

trictions on multiple methods of voting at the same polling place or in early voting prescribed by Sections 123.005-123.007 do not apply to a joint election as if the joint election were a single election but rather apply independently to the election of each participating political subdivision in the joint election.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 72, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  271.008.  Ballot Boxes.

(a) One set of ballot boxes may be used at a common polling place in a joint election for the deposit of all the ballots for each of the participating political subdivisions.

(b)  If the voted ballots for more than one political subdivision participating in a joint election are deposited in a single ballot box after they are counted, the custodian of the key to the ballot box for voted ballots for elections ordered by an authority of any one of the participating political subdivisions may be appointed as the custodian of the key to that box.

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



Section  271.009.  Combining Election Forms And Records.

The forms used and records maintained at a common polling place in a joint election may be combined in any manner convenient and adequate to record and report the results of the election for each of the participating political subdivisions.

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



Section  271.010.  Custodian Of Election Records.

The general custodian of election records for elections ordered by an authority of any one of the political subdivisions participating in a joint election may be appointed as the general custodian of election records for the joint election if:

(1)  the election records for a common polling place are combined; or

(2)  the ballots for more than one of the participating political subdivisions are deposited by the voters in a single ballot box.

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



Section  271.011.  Canvass.

(a) The authority responsible for canvassing the precinct returns for the elections of one of the political subdivisions participating in a joint election may be designated to canvass the returns for one or more of the other participating political subdivisions.

(b)  If elections are jointly canvassed, the presiding officer of the joint canvassing authority shall deliver the appropriate part of the tabulation of the precinct results to each of the presiding officers of the canvassing authorities designated by law for the elections of the participating political subdivisions. Each tabulation shall then be processed in the same manner as for an election not canvassed jointly.

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



Section  271.012.  Certificate Of Election.

The presiding officer of the canvassing authority that regularly serves a particular political subdivision shall issue certificates of election to candidates elected at the joint election to offices of the political subdivision.

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



Section  271.013.  Compensation Of Judges And Clerks.

(a) Except as provided by this section, compensation for election officers serving at a common polling place in a joint election is the same as that paid to election officers serving at a regular polling place.

(b)  If the election records, keys, and supplies for a common polling place are to be delivered to different places for two or more participating political subdivisions:

(1)  compensation may be paid in the amount prescribed by this code for delivery, multiplied by the number of participating political subdivisions for which delivery is made to different locations; and

(2)  compensation may be paid to one election officer appointed to make the delivery or allocated evenly among the election officers who make the delivery.

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



Section  271.014.  Conflicts With Other Law.

A law outside this code pertaining to a joint election supersedes this chapter to the extent of any conflict.

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

Chapter 272. Bilingual Requirements

Section  272.001.  Bilingual Election Materials Required.

Bilingual election materials printed in English and Spanish shall be used in elections in this state as provided by this chapter.

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



Section  272.002.  Election Precincts In Which Bilingual Materials Used.

Except as provided by Section 272.003, bilingual election materials shall be used in each election precinct situated wholly or partly in a county in which five percent or more of the inhabitants are persons of Spanish origin or descent according to the most recent federal decennial census that may be officially recognized or acted upon by the state or political subdivisions.

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



Section  272.003.  Exempt Election Precincts.

(a) An election precinct to which Section 272.002 applies may be exempted from the bilingual requirement as provided by this section if official census information or other information indicates that persons of Spanish origin or descent comprise less than five percent of the precinct's inhabitants.

(b)  To exempt an election precinct from the bilingual requirement, the presiding officer of the governing body of the political subdivision responsible for the expenses of an election, with the approval of the governing body, must file with the authority responsible for procuring the election supplies for the political subdivision's elections:

(1)  a written certification by the presiding officer that the precinct qualifies for the exemption;

(2)  a written summary of the official census information or other information relied on to support the exemption;

(3)  a map or maps indicating the precinct's boundary and the boundaries of the census enumeration areas referred to in the summary; and

(4)  an authenticated copy of the resolution or other official action showing the governing body's approval of the exemption.

(c)  An exemption is effective on the 30th day after the date the certification and other materials required by Subsection (b) are filed.

(d)  In a primary election, each county election precinct that has been exempted under this section is exempt. If an election precinct that qualifies for exemption is not certified as exempt before the 60th day before primary election day, the secretary of state may exempt the precinct for the primary election by filing the certification and other materials as provided by Subsection (b).

(e)  A precinct exempted under this section remains exempt until:

(1)  the precinct becomes subject to Section 272.002 as a result of a subsequent federal decennial census; or

(2)  the effective date of a change in the precinct's boundary.

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



Section  272.004.  Use Of Bilingual Materials For Early Voting.

Bilingual election materials shall be used for early voting in each election in which bilingual election materials are used.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.73; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 44, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.



Section  272.005.  Required Bilingual Materials.

(a) The instruction posters must be printed in English and Spanish on separate posters or on the same poster with the Spanish text next to the English text. If separate posters are used, they must be posted side by side.

(b)  Except as provided by Section 272.006, ballots must be printed with all ballot instructions, office titles, column headings, proposition headings, and propositions appearing in English and Spanish.

(c)  Except as provided by Section 272.006, the following materials must contain a Spanish translation beneath the English text:

(1)  the official affidavit forms and other official forms that voters are required to sign in connection with voting;

(2)  the official application forms for early voting ballots;

(3)  written instructions furnished to early voting voters; and

(4)  the balloting materials furnished to voters in connection with early voting by mail.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.74; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 45, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107, Sec. 2.18, eff. January 1, 2006.



Section  272.006.  Separate Translation Authorized.

(a) In an election precinct in which use of bilingual election materials is required, bilingual printing of the ballot is not required if a Spanish translation of the ballot is posted in each voting station and a statement in Spanish is placed on the ballot informing the voter that the translation is posted in the station.

(b)  If a separate translation of the ballot is made under Subsection (a), the translation must be furnished to each voter to whom an early voting ballot to be voted by mail is provided.

(c)  An item specified by Section 272.005(c) is not required to contain a Spanish translation if:

(1)  for an item used in connection with voting at a polling place:

(A)  a separate translation of the item is made available to the voter on request; and

(B)  the item contains a statement in Spanish informing the voter of the availability of the translation; or

(2)  for an item used in connection with early voting by mail, a separate translation of the item is furnished with the item to the voter.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.75; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 46, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107, Sec. 2.19, eff. January 1, 2006.



Section  272.007.  Authority Preparing Translation. (a)

Except as otherwise provided by this section, the secretary of state shall prepare the Spanish translation for the bilingual election materials required by Sections 272.005 and 272.006.

(b)  The secretary of state shall prepare the Spanish translation of the ballot propositions for proposed constitutional amendments and other measures submitted by the legislature if the legislature does not provide a translation.

(c)  The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared for an election other than a primary election or an election ordered by the governor shall prepare the Spanish translation of the contents of the ballot.

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

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107, Sec. 2.20, eff. January 1, 2006.



Section  272.008.  Optional Use Of Bilingual Materials.

(a) The governing body of the political subdivision responsible for the expenses of an election may require the use of bilingual election materials in one or more election precincts.

(b)  If bilingual materials are required to be used under this section, an authenticated copy of the resolution or other official action showing the governing body's decision shall be filed with the authority responsible for procuring the election supplies for the political subdivision's elections.

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



Section  272.009.  Bilingual Election Clerks.

(a) The presiding judge of an election precinct subject to Section 272.002 shall make reasonable efforts to appoint a sufficient number of election clerks who are fluent in both English and Spanish to serve the needs of the Spanish-speaking voters of the precinct.

(b)  If the number of election clerks appointed under Subsection (a) is insufficient to serve the needs of the Spanish-speaking voters in the election, the authority appointing election judges for the election shall appoint at least one clerk who is fluent in both English and Spanish to serve at a central location to provide assistance for Spanish-speaking voters.  On a primary election day, the county chairs of each party holding a primary shall each appoint one clerk under this subsection.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107, Sec. 1.24, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  272.010.  Voter Registration Application Form.

(a) The secretary of state shall prescribe a voter registration application form that is printed in Spanish or shall include a Spanish translation beneath the text of the English-language registration application form prescribed by the secretary.

(b)  The voter registrar for each county containing an election precinct subject to Section 272.002 shall maintain a supply of the form required by Subsection (a) and shall keep a notice in Spanish posted at the place in the registrar's office where voter registration is conducted stating that application forms in Spanish are available.

(c)  The form required by Subsection (a) may be used in any county in this state.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 253, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


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