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Early Voting by Personal Appearance 26 th Annual Election Law Seminar Cities, Schools and Other Political Subdivisions.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Voting by Personal Appearance 26 th Annual Election Law Seminar Cities, Schools and Other Political Subdivisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Voting by Personal Appearance 26 th Annual Election Law Seminar Cities, Schools and Other Political Subdivisions

2 Overview Election Clerks Early Voting Period Main Early Voting Polling Place Polling Place Procedure Poll Watchers Early Voting Roster Reporting Note: Unless otherwise indicated all statutory references are to the Texas Election Code

3 ELECTION CLERKS

4 Early Voting Clerk City Election – – City Secretary – is the early voting clerk for an election ordered by an authority of a city. Election of Other Political Subdivision – – Appointed early voting clerk – by the authority ordering the election [§ ]

5 Sticky Situations Election Services Contract: Joint Election Agreement [§ ]

6 Deputy Early Voting Clerk Appointed to assist the EV Clerk Same authority as the EV Clerk Subject to EV Clerk’s supervision

7 Deputy Early Voting Clerk Permanent Deputy Early Voting Clerk Temporary Deputy Early Voting Clerk

8 Appointment Procedure Permanent EV Deputy – Eligibility: – not required to be qualified voter of the county

9 Appointment Procedure Temporary EV Deputy Clerk - Eligibility Reqs: – meet requirements for service as presiding election judge (§ ), except: not required to be qualified voter of any particular territory, other than: – County – if appointed by county clerk; or – City – if appointed by city secretary; if EV clerk candidate, employee status does not make appointee ineligible; not required to be qualified voter if employed by county or city, but must be a qualified voter of any territory [§ (b)]

10 Student Election Clerk NEW LAW: Senate Bill 553 (2013) – Eligibility ineligible to serve as election clerk under § (c) meets requirements under § (b) – Compensation same manner as other early voting clerks – Maximum # of student clerks not more than 4 student early voting clerks at an early voting polling place [§§ , ]

11 EARLY VOTING PERIOD

12 Early Voting Period General Rule: – starts 17 days before Election day and ends the 4 th day before Election Day – Exception: May Uniform Date, Primary Runoff, Special Runoff and delayed start May Uniform Date – starts 12 days before Election Day and ends the 4th day before Election Day [§ (a)]

13 Early Voting Period May 2015 Election: Monday, April 27, 2015 (12 th day before election day) thru Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (4 th day before election day) [§ ]

14 Dates & Times Dependent upon who the EV Clerk is: – City Secretary – County Elections Officer – Other Officials [§ (a)]

15 City Secretary - dates & times Where: main early voting polling place When: weekdays during early voting period Time: the hours that the secretary’s main business office is regularly open for business [§ (a)]

16 County Elections Officer – dates and times Where: main early voting polling place When: weekdays during early voting period Time: the hours that the county election officer’s main business office is regularly open for business [§ (a)]

17 Other Officials – dates and times Where: main early voting polling place When: weekdays during early voting period Time: at least 8 hours regularly open for business unless less than 1,000 registered voters [§ (a)]

18 Extended Hours - Weekdays Election ordered by a city Where: main early voting location When & Time: - if – – one weekday for 12 hours IF: » EV Period – less than six weekdays; or – two weekdays for 12 hours IF: » EV Period – 6 or more weekdays

19 Extended Hours - Weekends County Election Officer or City Secretary may order by written order at the main early voting location Determine the extended hours on Saturday & Sunday [§ ]

20 Extended Hours - Weekends Other Early Voting Clerk official – – The authority ordering an election may order early voting at the main early voting location

21 Early Voting - Weekends Voter Petition for Weekend Voting: – 15 registered voters – must order Saturday or Sunday early voting – may request day (Saturday or Sunday) but not date or hours [§ § , ]

22 MAIN EARLY VOTING POLLING PLACE

23 Main Early Voting Polling Location Location dependent on who early voting clerk is – City Secretary – must be in a building hosts the main business office select any room [§§ (b)]

24 Main Early Voting Polling Location Location dependent on who early voting clerk is – County Elections Officer (2 Rules) [§§ (b)]

25 General Election for State & County Officers; Primary Election; Special Election Ordered by the Governor; or Countywide Election Held At The County’s Expense Main Early Voting Polling Location – – in a building that houses the main business office of the county clerk – can select any room in the building [§§ , (b)] =

26 Less-Than Countywide Election Ordered By County Authority At County’s Expense or Election Ordered by County Authority Not County’s Expense Main Early Voting Polling Location – – early voting clerk must designate location – polling place must be in the territory covered by the election – polling place may be in the building that houses county clerk’s main business office, whether or not in the territory [§§ , (c)] =

27 Main Early Voting Polling Location Location dependent on who early voting clerk is – Other Early Voting Clerk official – authority who appoints clerk, designates location must be in the territory covered by the election [§§ (d)]

28 Note: Impracticable Location Determined by Commissioners Court Select a different location that is: (1) within the same city; and (2) located as near as practicable to the business office. [§ (b)]

29 Note: Election Contracts REMEMBER county clerk may be serving as early voting clerk, therefore: – main polling location may be at county office building [Ch. 271, generally]

30 Note: Fee for Use of Building IF building is normally open on each day of early voting – may not be charged for use of public building as a polling place IF not normally open – you may be charged only as reimbursement for actual expenses [§ (a)]

31 Note: Accessibility Remember – like an election day polling place, early voting location must be accessible [§ (c), Ch. 469, Tex. Gov’t. Code]

32 Branch Early Voting Are they required? How many locations? What are the hours?

33 Notice of Election Must state: – location of main early voting location; – date early voting in person begins (if, other than prescribed date); – regular dates & hours early voting in person will be conducted; – dates and times of Saturday and Sunday voting if ordered.

34 Notice of Election Saturday or Sunday – 72 hours before start of early voting – post notice of dates and hours

35 Early Voting - Notice Branch Early Voting Polling Place – Note: although not required to list locations, dates and hours, our office recommendation is to do so.

36 POLLING PLACE PROCEDURE

37 Polling Place Procedures - Ballots Early Voting Clerk’s initials – – on the back of each ballot to be used at the early voting location [§ ]

38 Polling Place Procedures Official List of Registered Voters – must note on the OLRV that voter voted early Provisional Voter Poll List Early Voting Rosters – by mail – in person – sticky situations – public information

39 Ballot Box Security Double-locked (two locks with two different keys) and wire sealed – Early Voting clerk keeps key to one lock – Key to second lock – goes to person who gets the keys to ballot boxes used on Election Day (county elections – usually the sheriff) Must not be unlocked until after delivery to early voting ballot board. [§§ , , ]

40 Ballot Box Security Overnight – must be kept in a safe place – Voting machine must be secured at close of each day’s early voting Recommended – ballot box & voting machine be sealed with wire hasp seal each night & record kept of such seals [§§ , ]

41 Ballot Box Security End of Early-Voting-In-Person – Ballot boxes and voting machines Sealed with hasp seals Transported to main early voting location (if somewhere other than early voting clerk’s office); and Secured in early voting clerk’s office or other secure location

42 Assistance to Voter Procedures the same as those on election day – except that only one election official instead of two may assist

43 Assistance to Voter NEW LAW (SB 910): procedure amended to provide that curbside voting conducted pursuant to § – – Regular voting procedures modified to extent necessary to conduct voting; Modifications include: taking battery-powered DRE for the voter to vote in lieu of paper ballot [§§ , ]

44 Electioneering Person may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure or political party within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which the polling place is located – Electioneering – posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature [§§ , (a), ]

45 Electioneering NEW LAW (HB 259): Entity that owns or controls a public building – may not at any time during EV prohibit electioneering outside 100 ft. area – may enact reasonable regulations regarding time, place and manner [§ (b)]

46 Bystanders & Loitering Bystanders excluded from polling place Loitering prohibited within 100 feet of the outside door

47 POLL WATCHERS

48 Appointment Certificate “Badge” NEW LAW (SB160) Number of appointments Hours of service [Ch. 33]

49 REPORTING

50 Reporting to Canvassing Authority Early voting clerk delivers report of: – Total number of early voting votes for each candidate and measure by election precinct


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