Elections

H.B. 195 (Farias/Van de Putte) – Campaign Reports:  requires the clerk of a city with a population of 500,000 or more to post on the city’s website reports of political expenditures and contributions that are filed with the clerk by the mayor or a member of the city council not later than the fifth business day after receipt of the report.  (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 259 (Simmons/Paxton) – Electioneering: prohibits a city that owns a building used as a polling place from restricting electioneering during early voting and on Election Day, including the posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature on the building’s premises outside the prescribed limits, but allows a city to enact reasonable regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of electioneering. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 396 (Thompson/Huffman) – Absentee Voting: would provide that: (1) a person may apply with a single federal postcard application for a ballot for any one or more elections in which the person is eligible to vote; (2) an application that does not identify the election for which a ballot is requested shall be treated as if it requests a ballot for each general or special election held by a county, city, or independent school district in the calendar year in which the application is received and in which the person is eligible to vote; and (3) if an application described in (2) above, indicates the person is eligible to vote in an election in which the early voting clerk who received the application does not conduct early voting, the clerk shall forward a copy of the application in a form prescribed by the secretary of state to each early voting clerk who conduct early voting for an election in which the person is eligible to vote. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 506 (Lozano/Hinojosa) – Elections: requires a city to designate any early voting polling place established by the county and located in the city as an early voting polling place for an election held on the November uniform election date if: (1) the city is not holding a joint election with a county; and (2) the city has not executed a contract with a county elections officer under which the city and the county share early voting polling places for the city. (Effective September 1, 2013.) 

H.B. 666 (R. Miller/Huffman) – Voting by Mail: provides that an early voting by mail application is considered to be an application for a ballot for each election in which the county clerk serves as early voting clerk if the application: (1) is submitted to the county clerk indicating the grounds of eligibility as age or disability; and (2) does not specify the election for which a ballot is requested. (Effective January 1, 2014.)

H.B. 983 (Elkins/Patrick) – Election Officers: provides that an election official or worker whose total compensation is less than $1,000 in a calendar year is not subject to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 985 (Elkins) – Elections: provides that, for an election held on the November uniform election date in even-numbered years, the local canvass may be set not later than the 14th day after the election day.  (Note:  For an election held on the May uniform election date, the local canvass must occur not later than the 11th day after election day.) (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 1129 (White/Van de Putte) – Email Ballots: this bill: (1) allows the secretary of state to implement a pilot program to allow members of the United States armed forces on active duty overseas and eligible for hostile fire pay to cast an early voting ballot by email until September 1, 2015; (2) provides that the secretary of state shall select a county to participate in the program that desires to participate in the program and is determined by the secretary of state to have the appropriate technological capabilities; and (3) provides that, no later than January 1, 2015, the secretary of state shall file a report with the legislature on the future use of the program. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2006 (Klick/Hancock) – Elections: provides that an employee of a city that adopts or owns a voting system is eligible for appointment as the counting station manager. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2110 (Kolkhorst/Campbell) – Election Officers: provides that: (1) a person is ineligible to serve as an election judge or clerk in an election if the person is employed by or related within the second degree to an officer in any precinct in which the office appears on the ballot; and (2) each election officer shall be issued a form of identification by the secretary of state to be displayed by the officer during the officer’s hours of service at the polling place. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2233 (Simmons/Estes) – Early Voting: provides that the early voting board may determine acceptance of a ballot by comparing signatures with any two or more signatures of the voter made within the preceding six years and on file with the voter registrar to confirm the signatures are of the same person. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2373 (Klick/Estes) – Elections: provides that a signature roster may be in the form of an electronic device approved by the secretary of state that is capable of capturing a voter’s signature next to the voter’s name on the device. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2465 (Farias/Ellis) – Voter Information: provides that any website maintained by the secretary of state that permits a person to determine his or her voter registration status shall indicate if the person is or may be on the suspense list. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2475 (R. Miller/Huffman) – Voter Assistance: provides that a person providing assistance to a voter must swear that he or she is not the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 160 (Huffman/R. Miller) – Poll Watchers:  provides that, upon accepting a watcher for service, the election officer shall provide the watcher with a form of identification, prescribed by the secretary of state, to be displayed by the watcher during the watcher’s hours of service at the polling place. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 553 (Uresti/Johnson) – Student Early Voting Clerks: allows: (1) a school district to adopt a policy excusing a student from attending school for service as a student early voting clerk in an election for a maximum of two days in a school year; (2) the early voting clerk to appoint not more than four student early voting clerks at an early voting polling place; and (3) the secretary of state to initiate or assist in the development of a statewide program promoting the use of student early voting clerks. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

VETOED S.B. 722 (Ellis/Johnson) – Interpreters:  allows the authority ordering an election to either use an interpreter selected by a voter or to select an interpreter for a voter, and provides that to be eligible to serve as an interpreter, a person:  (1) if selected by the voter, may be any person other than the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs; or (2) if appointed to serve as an interpreter by the authority ordering the election, must be a registered voter of the county in which the voter needing the interpreter resides or a registered voter of an adjacent county.  (Effective immediately.)

S.B. 904 (Van de Putte/Morrison) – Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act: this bill provides, among other things, that: (1) the secretary of state shall make a checklist or similar guidelines available for optional use by early voting clerks in processing an application and providing balloting materials to a military or overseas voter; (2) the deadline for a candidate to withdraw from an election is five days after the deadline for filing the candidate’s application for a place on the ballot; and (3) that the secretary of state may not adjust or modify election dates or procedures affected by the state implementation of the MOVE Act after December 31, 2016.  (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 910 (Duncan/Morrison) – Elections: this bill, among other things, provides that: (1) the delivery, submission, or filing of an election document may be transmitted by telephonic facsimile machine; (2) a voter registration application submitted by telephonic facsimile machine must be followed by a copy by mail that must be received by the registrar not later than the fourth business day after the received transmission; (3) information required to be filed for a voter’s death must be filed electronically with the secretary of state; (4) documents relating to a complaint submitted by the secretary of state to the attorney general are considered public when the secretary of state makes a determination that the complaint does not warrant an investigation; (5) the secretary of state may prescribe the form and content of a ballot for an election using a voting system, including an electronic voting system or a voting system that uses direct recording electronic voting machines, to conform to the formatting requirements of the system; (6) if a voter is early voting by personal appearance outside the early voting polling place and is physically unable to enter an early voting polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health, an election officer shall deliver a ballot to the voter at the polling place entrance or curb; (7) a candidate’s name shall be placed on the ballot if the candidate is declared ineligible after 5 p.m. on the third day after the deadline for filing the candidate’s application for place on the ballot; (8) except as otherwise provided by state law, a special election to fill a vacancy shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date occurring on or after the 45th day after the date the election is ordered; (9) a candidate’s application for a place on a special election ballot must be filed no later than the 45th day before election day if the election day is on or after the 57th day and before the 70th day after the date of the election is ordered. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

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No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part 
of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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