Election Outlook: Last day to register to vote for the May 27, 2014 Primary Runoff Election is Monday, April 28, 2014 | Voter information
Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Election Advisory No. 2012-15

November 6, 2012 Election Law Calendar

The uniform election date in November of even-numbered years, by statute, is the general election date for federal, state, and county officers. However, many local political subdivisions also have their regular general election for members of their governing bodies in November of even-numbered years, or they may order special elections for this date to vote on propositions or to fill vacancies. Therefore, this calendar is required to meet the needs of many diverse governmental bodies. If there are questions about the applicability of something in this calendar to your specific election, do not hesitate to call the Elections Division of the Office of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683).

Campaign Information

Under Title 15 of the Election Code, candidates must file campaign contribution and expenditure reports. For further information and all questions about such disclosure filings, campaign finance, and political advertising, please contact the Texas Ethics Commission at 201 E. 14th, 10th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701 (or call 512-463-5800 or visit their website).

Submissions to the U.S. Department of Justice

The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that any change in any “standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting” be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for preclearance.  Changes in election precincts, polling places, and various other actions require preclearance.  Under Section 5, any change in a voting practice or procedure is legally unenforceable until the DOJ (or a federal court in the District of Columbia) determines that the change does not have the purpose, or will not have the effect, of discriminating against racial or language minority group members.

If the governing authority of a political subdivision conducting an election has not already reviewed actions since the last election to see if any changes must be submitted for preclearance, this should be done as soon as possible.  The Elections Division recommends that submissions be made to DOJ at least 90 days before the date of the election.  If changes need to be made at the last minute, DOJ may be able to give the submission expedited consideration.  Federal rules for submissions under Section 5, Voting Rights Act, are contained in 28 C.F.R. §§ 51.20-51.28.

Our office can provide general advice on information to be included in a submission, but offers no preclearance “form”.  For more specific advice on submissions, we suggest contacting the attorney for your political subdivision. 

The DOJ has 60 days in which to interpose an objection to a submitted change affecting voting; they also have the authority to request additional information which could start the 60-day review period over again.

Send your submissions to the following address:

For All U.S. Postal Service Mail: For All Overnight Express Services:
Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
Room 7254-NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
Room 7254-NWB
Department of Justice
1800 G Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

The envelope and first page of any submission must be clearly marked as follows: SUBMISSION UNDER SECTION 5, VOTING RIGHTS ACT.

DOJ also accepts preclearance submissions online. For more information about how to submit your election changes online, please visit the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Voting Section homepage.

The DOJ toll-free number is: (800) 253-3931 or call direct (202) 307-2767.  DOJ’s fax numbers are: (202) 307-3961 and (202) 616-9514.

Statutory References

Unless otherwise indicated, all references are to the Texas Election Code.

Unless otherwise indicated, “county election officer” refers to the county clerk, elections administrator or tax assessor collector as appropriate to the county in question.

Required Use of County Polling Places

Political subdivisions (except districts created under Article III, Section 52, Texas Constitution or Article XVI, Section 59, Texas Constitution and located in a county with a population of more than 3.3 million or a county adjacent to such county) holding an election on the November uniform election date must use county election precincts.  (Sec. 42.002).

Notice of Candidate Filing Periods

The authority with whom an application for a place on the ballot is filed must post a notice of the filing period dates in a building in which the authority maintains an office. The notice must be posted not later than the 30th day before the first day to file. (Sec. 141.040). If you order a special election to fill a vacancy, the order must include the filing deadline; we recommend posting the notice of the filing period as soon as practicable after a special election is ordered. The form may be found on our website. NEW LAW: For political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, post the notice the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file the application (if the Election Code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application). (Sec. 141.040, House Bill 2817 (2011)).

Joint Election Requirement for School Districts

School districts conducting trustee elections must have joint polling places on election day with either a city holding an election on the uniform election day (located wholly or partly within the school district’s boundaries), or with the county on the November uniform election day in even-numbered years.  For purposes of this calendar, we will continue to use separate subheads for Cities and School Districts when their rules are different.  However, many entities will be working out joint election agreements.  (Sec. 11.0581, Education Code; Sec. 271.002).

Joint Elections Generally

Many entities will have joint elections for the November 6, 2012 election.  Note that the entries in this calendar are generally written in terms of elections held individually rather than jointly.  For example, cities are advised about conducting two 12-hour days for early voting.  However, we have long advised different entities who conduct early voting together to coordinate their early voting hours, which may result in entities other than cities also holding early voting on two twelve-hour days.  On the other hand, depending on the plan, different entities may choose to do different things separately, i.e., not holding early voting together. Not all joint election plans are alike.  With a few exceptions, we do not discuss the impact of coordinating rules for a joint election, as we think this would make the calendar longer and confusing.  We encourage joint election partners to read through the entire calendar, taking note of the rules affecting the partner entities and to address the differences within the agreement itself.  If you have questions about how different rules apply to a particular joint election plan, please contact our office by phone or email.

Notice of Elections

Except as provided below, notice of an election must be given by any one or more of the following methods:

  1. By posting a notice in a public place in each election precinct in which the election is to be held on or before the 21st day before the election, Tuesday, October 16, 2012.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(2)).
  2. By publishing the notice in a newspaper in the territory covered by the election at least once between the 30th day and the 10th day before the election, Sunday, October 7, 2012— Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Secs. 1.006; 4.003(a)(1)).*
  3. By mailing a copy of the notice to each registered voter of the territory covered by the election, not later than the 10th day before election day, Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Secs. 1.006; 4.003(a)(3)).*

    * Since the 10th day falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day, which is Monday, October 29, 2012.

This notice must include:

  1. The type and date of the election;
  2. The location of each polling place;
  3. The hours the polls will be open;
  4. The location of the main early voting polling place;
  5. The regular dates and hours for early voting by personal appearance;
  6. The dates and hours of any Saturday or Sunday early voting, if any; and
  7. The early voting clerk’s mailing address.

Notice for Counties, School Districts, and Cities

Counties, school districts, and cities are required to publish their notice in a newspaper in accordance with Section 4.003(a)(1) (See B, above) and may also give any additional notice.  (Sec. 4.003(c)).  Counties, school districts, and cities must also post notice on the governmental bulletin board used for posting notice of public meetings, no later than Tuesday, October 16, 2012.  (Sec. 4.003(b)).

Notice for Political Subdivisions other than Counties, School Districts, and Cities:

Political subdivisions other than counties, school districts, and cities, may have specific statutory election notice requirements either in their enabling acts or in the Code governing them (such as the Water Code).  In the absence of specific statutory requirements, such political subdivisions must post a copy of the notice on or before the 21st day before the election (i.e., Tuesday, October 16, 2012) on the bulletin board used for posting notices of the meetings of the governing body of the political subdivision.  (Sec. 4.003(b)).

Notice for Home Rule Charter Cities:

Home-rule cities MUST also give notice as provided in their charters.

Notice for All Political Subdivisions, Except Counties:

The governing body of a political subdivision must deliver notice of the election to the county election officer and voter registrar of each county in which the political subdivision is located not later than the 60th day before election day, Friday, September 7, 2012.  (Sec. 4.008(a)).  In the case of the governing body of a school district ordering a tax rollback election, notice of such election must be delivered to the county election officer of each county in which the school district is located not later than the 30th day before election day.  (Sec. 4.008(b)).

Extended Early Voting Hours

Note for Cities:

Cities must choose two weekdays to conduct extended early voting for 12 hours during the regular early voting period. The city council must choose the two weekdays.  (Sec. 85.005(d)).  The city secretary may also order early voting on a Saturday or Sunday, and determine the hours for such Saturday or Sunday early voting.  (Sec. 85.006(b), (c)).  Notice of Saturday or Sunday early voting must be posted for at least 72 hours immediately preceding the first hour that voting will be conducted.  (Sec. 85.007(b)).  The city secretary must have early voting on a Saturday or Sunday, if a written request is received from at least 15 registered voters of the city in time to comply with the posting requirement.  (Sec. 85.006(d)).

Note for Counties:

The county election officer may also order early voting on a Saturday or Sunday, and determine the hours for such Saturday or Sunday early voting.  (Sec. 85.006(b), (c)).  Notice of Saturday or Sunday early voting must be posted for at least 72 hours immediately preceding the first hour that voting will be conducted.  (Sec. 85.007(b)).

Note for Political Subdivisions, Except Counties and Cities:

The authority ordering an election may order early voting at the main early voting location to be conducted on one or more Saturdays or Sundays and at times of its discretion during the early voting period.  If at least 15 registered voters of the territory submit a written request, the authority must order early voting at the main early voting location to be conducted on at least one Saturday if a Saturday is requested and on least one Sunday if a Sunday is requested.  The request must be submitted in time to be included in the order and notice of election.  (Secs. 85.006; 85.007).

Note for Counties with Population of 100,000 or more:

Early voting in a general election for state and county officers must be conducted at the main early voting location: (1) for at least 12 hours on each weekday of the last week of the early voting period, (2) for at least 12 hours on the last Saturday of the early voting period, and (3) for at least 5 hours on the last Sunday of the early voting period.  (Secs. 85.005(c); 85.006(e)).

Note for Counties with Population of less than 100,000:

Early voting in a general election for state and county officers must be conducted at the main early voting location (1) for at least 12 hours on each weekday of the last week of the early voting period, (2) for at least 12 hours on the last Saturday of the early voting period, and (3) for at least 5 hours on the last Sunday of the early voting period, if the early voting clerk receives a written request submitted by at least 15 registered voters of the county.  (Secs. 85.005(c); 85.006(e)).  The request for extended weekday hours must be received before the fifth day before the start of early voting (Sec. 85.005(c)), and the request for Saturday and Sunday hours must be received in time for the early voting clerk to comply with the 72-hour before the start of early voting posting requirement.  (Sec. 85.006(e)).

Notice of Polling Place Change

Notice of Change of Polling Place Location:

For elections ordered by the governor or county judge only, if the location of the polling place changes after notice has been given under Section 4.003, and the county elections officer maintains a website to inform voters about elections, the notice of the change must be posted on the website.  The notice on the website must be given not later than the earlier of 24 hours after the location was changed or 72 hours before the polls open on election day.  (Sec. 43.061).  If the county elections officer is conducting a legislative vacancy election, the candidates listed on the ballot are entitled to receive notice directly from the county judge.

Notice of Previous Polling Place:

If a different polling place is being used from the previous election held by the same authority, notice must be posted at the entrance of the previous polling place informing voters of the current polling place location, if possible.  (Sec. 43.062).

Testing Tabulating and Electronic Voting Equipment

Testing Tabulating Equipment Used at Central Counting:

The automatic tabulating equipment used for counting ballots at a central counting station must be tested three times for each election.  We recommend you test the equipment as soon as possible; however, the first test must be conducted at least 48 hours before the automatic tabulating equipment is used to count ballots voted in the election.  The second test shall be conducted immediately before the counting of ballots with the equipment begins.  The third test must be conducted immediately after the counting of ballots with the equipment is completed.  Please note that the custodian of the automatic tabulating equipment must publish notice of the date, hour, and place of the first test in a newspaper at least 48 hours before the date of the test.  The automatic tabulating equipment may not be used to count ballots voted in the election until a test is successful.

For more information on testing tabulating equipment used at central counting, please see Chapter 127, Subchapter D of the Election Code and Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03.

See Chapter 129, Subchapter B of the Election Code and Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03 for other types of testing such as functionality tests, logic and accuracy tests, tests for central accumulators, etc.  Also see Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory Nos. 2011-17, 2011-18, and 2011-19 pertaining to voting system equipment access, security and preservation, and chain of custody.

Calendar of Events

Thursday, May 10, 2012 (180th day before election day)

First day to accept applications for state write-in ballots for the November 6, 2012 election.  (Sec. 105.002).

Friday, June 21, 2012 (30th day before Sunday, July 21, 2012, “first day to file”)

Cities and School Districts (including junior colleges):  Post notice of the filing period dates in a building in which the authority maintains an office.  The notice must be posted not later than the 30th day before the first day to file.  (Sec. 141.040).  For political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, post the notice the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file the application (if the Election Code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application).  You may post the notice earlier if you wish. (Sec. 141.040, House Bill 2817 (2011)).

Friday, June 29, 2012 (federal court-ordered deadline)

5:00 p.m. — Regular filing deadline for independent candidate’s application for place on ballot and petition for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 142.006).

Saturday, June 30, 2012

In a county with a population of over 500,000, deadline for party chairs to submit to county commissioners court list of eligible persons for precinct presiding election and alternate presiding judges for appointments, as well as for presiding and alternate presiding judges of central counting station for appointments for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Secs. 32.002(a)(1), (c); 127.005(e)).

Deadline for party chairs to submit to county election officer the list of eligible persons to serve as election officers for the main and any branch early voting location for the November General Election for state and county officers.   (Sec. 85.009).

Recommended date that party chairs in a county with a population of over 500,000 submit to the county election board a list of names of eligible persons to serve on the early voting ballot board for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 87.002(c), (d)).  NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.

Note:  A signature verification committee may be appointed at a later date.  (Sec. 87.027).

Political Subdivisions Other than Counties: See entry under August 28, 2012 for recommended date to appoint your presiding election judges.

July 2012 Term

In a county with a population of over 500,000, county commissioners court makes appointments for presiding election and alternate presiding judges, as well as for presiding and alternate presiding judges of central counting station, from lists submitted by party chairs.  (Secs. 32.002(a)(1), (c); 127.005(e)).  Notice of Appointment must be given not later than 20 days after the appointment was made.  (Sec. 32.009).

Note: A signature verification committee may be appointed at a later date.  (Sec. 87.027).

Recommended date that commissioners court (in a county with a population of over 500,000) appoint central counting station manager, tabulation supervisor, and assistants to the tabulation supervisor if it has established a central counting station. (Secs. 127.001; 127.002; 127.003; 127.004). NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 – Monday, October 1, 2012

Recommended time frame for the county election board in a county with a population of over 500,000 to appoint the members to the early voting ballot board for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 87.002(c), (d)).  Section 87.002(c) of the Election Code does not provide a deadline for the county election board to make such appointments.  NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.  October 1 is the recommended deadline because of various notice requirements.  See Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-13.

Saturday, July 21, 2012 (30th day before Monday, August 20, 2012)

First day to file a declaration of write-in candidacy and accompanying filing fee or petition in lieu of filing fee with the county judge or Secretary of State, as applicable, for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Secs. 146.0231; 146.0232; 146.025(a); 172.024; 172.025).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cities and School Districts (including junior colleges):  First day to file an application for a place on the ballot. (Secs. 1.006, 143.007, Election Code; 11.055, 130.082(g), Education Code).  Note: the 30th day before the filing deadline falls on a Sunday, but since the first day to file is not a deadline, Section 1.006 does not apply, and the first day to file does not move to the next business day.  Your office is not required to be open on Saturday or Sunday.

Political subdivisions that do not have a “first day” to file, post the notice of the filing period the 30th day before the last day on which a candidate may file the application (if the Election Code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application).  You may post the notice earlier if you wish. (Sec. 141.040, House Bill 2817 (2011)).

All Other Political Subdivisions:
There is no “first day” to file.

Note:  The Elections Division is often asked how filing can begin if you have not yet ordered the general election.  You do not need to have ordered your general (regularly occurring) election in order for the filing period to begin.

Note to School Districts: At least part of the candidate filing period will occur during the summer break.  The Elections Division recommends that you take steps to have someone available for a few hours most days during the candidate filing period to accept filings, and that you post a schedule on your website and on the bulletin board where notices of school board meetings are posted of the days and times when someone will be available to accept filings.  The Elections Division strongly recommends having someone available at the place of business on the filing deadline, especially from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., if you are otherwise closed.  This guideline is based on the office-hour rule under Section 31.122, Election Code.    

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In a county with a population of 500,000 or less, deadline for party chairs to submit to county commissioners court list of eligible persons for precinct presiding election and alternate presiding judges for appointments, as well as for presiding and alternate presiding judges of central counting station for appointments for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Secs. 32.002(a)(2), (c); 127.005(e)).

Recommended date that party chairs in a county with a population of 500,000 or less submit to the county election board a list of names of eligible persons to serve on the early voting ballot board for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 87.002(c), (d)).  NOTE:  This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.

Note: A signature verification committee may be appointed at a later date.  (Sec. 87.027).

Recommended that county election officials and local political subdivisions should meet no later than this date to discuss conducting elections at the same polling locations pursuant to Sections 42.002 & 42.0621, and any applicable joint election issues needed to be agreed upon.  NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.

Monday, August 6, 2012 – Monday, October 1, 2012

Recommended time frame for the county election board in a county with a population of 500,000 or less to appoint the members to the early voting ballot board for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 87.002(c), (d)).  Section 87.002(c) of the Election Code does not provide a deadline for the county election board to make such appointments.  NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.  October 1 is the recommended deadline because of various notice requirements.  See Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-13.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 (90th day before election day)

Recommended last day to submit changes affecting voting to U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance for any November 6, 2012 election.

Last day for eligible political subdivisions to submit notice or application of undue burden status to the Secretary of State for exemption from accessible voting system requirement.  (Sec. 61.013).  Please remember that the exemption is not available to a political subdivision holding its election jointly with another election in which a federal office appears on the ballot.  For additional information, consult the Voting Accessibility Issue advisory on this topic.

August 2012 Term

In a county with a population of 500,000 or less, county commissioners court makes appointments for presiding election and alternate presiding judges, as well as for presiding and alternate presiding judges of central counting station, from lists submitted by party chairs.  (Secs. 32.002(a)(2), (c); 127.005(e)).  Notice of Appointment must be given not later than 20 days after the appointment was made.  (Sec. 32.009).

Note: A signature verification committee may be appointed at a later date.  (Sec. 87.027).

Recommended date that commissioners court (in a county with a population of 500,000 or less) appoint central counting station manager, tabulation supervisor, and assistants to the tabulation supervisor if it has established a central counting station. (Secs. 127.001; 127.002; 127.003; 127.004).  NOTE: This is not a deadline; just a recommendation.

Monday, August 20, 2012 (78th day before election day)

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  5:00 p.m. — Last day for candidate in a political subdivision (other than a county) to file application for a place on the ballot for a general election, except as otherwise provided by the Election Code. (Secs. 143.007(c), 144.005(d), Election Code; Sec.11.055(c), Education Code). See Candidacy Filing outline for more details.       

Certain Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  5:00 p.m. — Last day to file as a write-in candidate in an election for certain political subdivisions that are not counties and that do not follow the write-in deadline applicable to cities (see for example, entry at August 24th below)  (Secs. 144.006(b)).  Note:  most (non-county) local entities are under the 74th day rule applicable to cities; see entry at August 24, 2012.  Note:  For future reference, please note that this deadline is not the same for elections held on the May uniform election date or on the November uniform election date in an odd-numbered year. See Candidacy Filing outline for more details.       

5:00 p.m. — Last day of regular filing period for write-in candidate’s declaration of write-in candidacy for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 146.025(a)).

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties: Last day to order a special election to fill a vacancy (if authorized to fill vacancies by special election) to be held on the date of the November General Election for state and county officers.  An application may not be filed before the special election is ordered, and in addition to the information stated above, the order must state the filing deadline.  (Secs. 201.051(b); 201.054(c), (d)).

Last day to order an election on a measure to be held on the date of the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 3.005(c)).  The order must include (Sec. 3.006):

  1. The date of the election;
  2. The offices or measures to be voted on;
  3. The location of the main early voting polling place;
  4. The dates and hours for early voting (it is only recommended that this information be included in the order for counties and cities, but it is required to be included for all other entities) (Cities must include the two designated weekdays for which early voting will be held for 12 hours);
  5. The dates and hours for any Saturday and Sunday early voting (if applicable, it is only recommended that this information be included in the order for counties and cities, but it is required to be included for all other entities); and
  6. The early voting clerk’s official mailing address (it is only recommended that this information be included in the order for counties and cities, but it is required to be included in the order for all other entities).

Thursday, August 23, 2012 (75th day before election day)

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties: 5:00 p.m. — Last day to file an application for a place on the ballot in a special election to fill a vacancy for a special election to be held on the date of the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 201.054(a), (f)).  Note:  For future reference, please note that this deadline is not the same for elections held on the May uniform election date or on the November uniform election date in an odd-numbered year.  

Friday, August 24, 2012 (74th day before election day)

Most Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  5:00 p.m. — Last day to file as a write-in candidate in an election of a political subdivision (other than a county, governed by the write-in deadline applicable to cities).  (Sec. 146.054(b)).  This means this is the deadline for write-in candidates to file declarations of write-in candidacy for regular (full term) officers for city, school district, library district, junior college district, hospital district, common school districts, and Chapter 36, 49, and 63 Water Code districts. (Secs. 144.006, 146.054, 146.055, 146.083 Election Code; Secs. 11.056, 11.304, 130.0825, Education Code; Secs. 326.0431, 326.0432, Local Government Code; Section 285.131, Health and Safety Code; and Secs. 36.059, 49.101, 63.0945, Water Code).  Note:  For future reference, please note that this deadline is not the same for elections held on the May uniform election date or on the November uniform election date in an odd-numbered year. See Candidacy Filing outline for more details.    

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 ballot position 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 ballot position drawing shall mail written notice of the date, hour, and place of the drawing to candidates by this date if drawing is to be conducted on Monday, August 27, 2012.  (Sec. 52.094(d)).  Candidates who have not filed by this date should be given a copy of the notice at the time they file.

Note to Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  If you plan on holding your ballot position drawing on Monday, August 27, 2012, then your notice of such drawing should be posted today.  The notice must be posted for 72 hours immediately preceding the time of the drawing.  (Sec. 52.094(c)).

Last day on which death, declaration of ineligibility, or withdrawal of a party nominee for the November General Election for state and county officers causes an omission of the party nominee’s name from the ballot.  (Sec. 145.035). 

Last day on which death, declaration of ineligibility, or withdrawal of an independent candidate for the November General Election for state and county officers causes an omission of the candidate’s name from the ballot.  (Sec. 145.064).

Note: Withdrawal request submitted by mail must be received by appropriate authority by this date.  (Sec. 145.001(c)).  A withdrawal request must also be sworn.  (Sec. 145.001(b)).

If a vacancy occurs on or before this date in a state, district, or county office not regularly scheduled for election in 2012, due to death, resignation, or removal of the officeholder, the unexpired term of the office shall be placed on the November 6, 2012 election ballot.  (Sec. 202.002(a)).

Note: If a vacancy in a state, district, or county office occurs after the 74th day before a November General Election day, an election for an unexpired term may not be held at that general election.  The appointment to fill the vacancy continues until the next succeeding general election and until a successor has been elected and has qualified for the office.  Also, depending on the effective date of the vacancy, the office may also appear on the next succeeding primary election.  (Secs. 202.002(b); 202.004).

Monday, August 27, 2012 (71st day before election day)*

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  The Elections Division recommends that you hold your ballot position drawing no later than today to determine the order of candidates’ names on the ballot (Sec. 52.094) and that you certify today to the county elections officer the offices, propositions (in all necessary languages), and candidates’ names (including the order) as they are to appear on the ballot, if you are contracting to have the conduct your election or if you are conducting a joint election with the county.

Note:  Ballot position for the November General Election for state and county officers is determined by Sections 52.091 and 52.092, Election Code.

Political Subdivisions Other than Counties:  Last day on which death of candidate for city office or other political subdivision office, other than a candidate in the November General Election for state and county officers, causes omission of candidate’s name from ballot.  (Sec. 145.094(a)(1)). 

*Note:  Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, August 27, 2012, is a state holiday; however, the date of a death does not change.  (Sec. 1.006).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 (70th day before election day; extended from Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, August 27, 2012)

Note:  Because the 71st day before election day (August 27, 2012) is Lyndon Baines Johnson Day, a state holiday, the following deadlines move to the next regular business day.  (Sec. 1.006).

Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  5:00 p.m. — Last day for a candidate in an election of a political subdivision (other than a county) to be declared ineligible or withdraw and have the candidate’s name removed from the ballot.  (Secs. 145.092(f); 145.094(a)(4)).  

5:00 p.m. — Deadline for party chair to deliver replacement nominee or nominee to fill vacancy in an unexpired term to the appropriate officer.  (Secs. 145.037; 202.006).

5:00 p.m. — Last day to file as an independent candidate for the unexpired term for an office on the November General Election for state and county ballot. (Date set by SOS interpretation of the 3/1/2012 federal court order and Sec. 202.007).

Recommended date to order the lists of registered voters from the county voter registrar.  The list should include both the voters’ residences and mailing addresses in order to conduct early voting by mail.  (Sec. 18.006).

Recommended date to order election supplies.  (Sec. 51.003).

Recommended date to confirm telephone number for the county voter registrar’s office on election day.

Appointment of Election Officials-Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  Recommended date to appoint precinct and central counting station presiding and alternate judges, the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board, and if a central counting station has been established, a central counting station manager, tabulation supervisor, and, if necessary, assistants to the tabulation supervisor.  Currently, the Election Code does not establish a deadline for appointing election officials; there is only a notification deadline.  For further information concerning procedures for appointing judges and their alternates and central counting station personnel, see Sections 32.005, 32.008, 32.011, 87.002, 127.002, 127.003, 127.004, 127.005, and 127.006, Election Code.  Generally eligibility requirements are found in Subchapter C, Chapter 32.  In addition to appointing a judge and alternate judge for each election precinct pursuant to Sections 32.001 and 32.005, Election Code, the governing body must allow the judge to appoint no less than two clerks; however, the alternate judge must serve as one of the clerks as a matter of law.  The presiding judge then appoints an additional clerk(s), but not more than the maximum set by the governing body.  (Sec. 32.033).  Presiding judges and their alternates must be given notice of their appointments not later than the 20th day after the appointment is made.  (Sec. 32.009).  This notice may be combined with the writ of election pursuant to Section 32.009, Election Code, which is required in accordance with Section 4.007, Election Code to be delivered to each presiding judge not later than the 15th day before the election, Monday, October 22, 2012.  If the notices are combined, both must be delivered by the date required in the earlier notice.

Note:  If you are conducting a joint election with the county, please be advised that the Election Code places many requirements on the people who must be appointed by the county to work in the November General Election for state and county officers.  See Sections 32.002 and 32.034, Election Code.

Cancellation-Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  Recommended first day that an election may be cancelled IF all filing deadlines have passed, each candidate for an office listed on the ballot is unopposed (except as discussed below), and write-in votes may be counted only for names appearing on a list of write-in candidates.  A special election of a political subdivision is considered to be a separate election with a separate ballot from a general election for officers of the same political subdivision held at the same time as the special election.  Therefore, the fact that there may be a proposition on the ballot will not prevent a cancellation of an election for candidates who are unopposed.  (Sec. 2.052(a)).  However, if any members of the political subdivision’s governing body are elected from territorial units, such as single member districts, an election may be cancelled in a particular territorial unit if each candidate for an office that is to appear on the ballot in that territorial unit is unopposed and no opposed at-large race is to appear on the ballot.  An unopposed at-large race may be cancelled in an election regardless of whether an opposed race is to appear on the ballot in a particular territorial unit.  (Sec. 2.051(b)).  This recommendation assumes a regular filing deadline of Monday, August 20, 2012 and a write-in deadline of either the 78th day or 74th day before election day).   

Recommended first day that a special election to fill a vacancy may be cancelled IF all the filing deadlines have passed and each candidate whose name is to appear on the ballot is unopposed.  (Sec. 2.052).  Please note that this recommended date presumes a filing deadline in the special election of the 75th day before election day (and a write-in deadline of either the 78th day or the 74th day).  For additional information, consult advisory on Cancellation of Election.

Thursday, August 30, 2012 (68th day before election day)

Deadline for Secretary of State (federal, state and district offices) and county judge (countywide and precinct offices) to certify names of independent and declared write-in candidates to county election officer for placement on the November 6, 2012 ballot.  (Secs. 142.010; 146.029(c)).

Deadline for Secretary of State to certify to county election officer names of all party nominees for statewide and district offices for placement on November 6, 2012 ballot.  (Sec. 161.008).

Friday, August 31, 2012 (67th day before election day)

5:00 p.m. — Last day to withdraw as a write-in candidate for all candidates.  (Sec. 146.0301).  Note:  this is the deadline for write-in candidates in the General Election for State and County Officers; this deadline is applied to local political subdivisions in the absence of any other deadline.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 (62nd day before election day)

Proofing and Testing:  The Elections Division recommends that you proof and test your ballot programming as soon as possible and prior to the deadline to mail a ballot if the county will be using automatic tabulating equipment to count the mail ballots or if your mail ballots are printed from the same database used to program your precinct scanners and/or DREs.  It is important to allow adequate time to proof the ballot(s) and test the automatic tabulating equipment that will be used to count the mail ballots in the event an error is found and the ballot programming has to be corrected Remember that a notice of the first automated tabulation test or logic and accuracy test must be published no later than 48 hours before such testing.  New Recommendation:  The Elections Division also recommends that you provide candidates with copies of ballot proofs so that candidates may verify the correctness of their names and positions sought.

Friday, September 7, 2012 (60th day before election day)

First day to accept regular applications for early voting ballots by mail for any November 6, 2012 election.  (Sec. 84.007).  (Reminder: Federal Postcard Applications (“FPCA’s”) are valid for a period of two federal elections (if submitted before September 1, 2011, or one calendar year if submitted on or after September 1, 2011.)

Note for Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties:  Last day for the governing body of a political subdivision to deliver notice of the election to the county election officer and voter registrar of each county in which the political subdivision is wholly or partly located.  (Sec. 4.008).

Monday, September 17, 2012 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 (50th day before election day through 40th day after election day)

Mandatory office hours: Every county election officer, city secretary, or secretary of a governing body (or the person performing duties of a secretary) must keep the office open for election duties for at least 3 hours each day, during regular office hours, on regular business days.  (Sec. 31.122).

Note for Independent School Districts: A regular business day means a day on which the school district’s main business office is regularly open for business.  (Sec. 31.122(b)).  If a school holiday falls on a day during the early voting by personal appearance period that is not a federal or state holiday (see Sec. 1.006 for a complete listing), the independent school district is still required to be open to conduct early voting by personal appearance.

For Political Subdivisions Other Than Counties: Last day to notify election judges of their appointment if they were appointed, as recommended, on Tuesday, August 28, 2012.  (Sec. 32.009(b)).  Presiding and alternate judges must be notified of their appointment in writing, not later than the 20th day after the date the appointment is made.  The notice of the judge’s duty to conduct the election (writ of election) pursuant to Section 4.007 may be combined with the above notice, if the appointment is for a single election only.  If the notices are NOT combined, then the notice of the judge’s duty to conduct the election (writ of election) must be delivered not later than the 15th day before election day, Monday, October 22, 2012.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (48th day before election day)

Recommended date to conduct the first test of the automated tabulating equipment and for logic and accuracy test on precinct scanners and DREs.  (Secs. 127.093; 127.096; 129.022; 129.023). 

Saturday, September 22, 2012 (45th day before election day)

Deadline to Mail a Ballot to an Overseas Voter for the November General Election for State and County Officers: For voters requesting mail ballots with a standard application for ballot by mail or an FPCA who indicate that they are outside the United States, ballots must be mailed by this date or the 7th day after the clerk receives the application.  If the early voting clerk cannot meet this 45th-day deadline, the clerk must notify the Secretary of State within 24 hours.  (Sec. 86.004(b)).

After the initial mailing, all ballots must be mailed not later than the 7th day after the date the early voting clerk receives the voter’s application for a ballot by mail.  (Sec. 86.004).

Monday, September 24, 2012 (43rd day before election day)*

Last day for county chairs to supplement list of names for early voting officer list.  (Secs. 1.006; 85.009).

*Deadline is extended to the next regular business day.

Monday, October 1, 2012 (36th day before election day)

Deadline for the Secretary of State to mail each county judge a copy of the Governor’s proclamation ordering the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 3.003).

Deadline to submit a petition signed by 15 registered voters to the early voting clerk requesting that a signature verification committee be created.  (Sec. 87.027(a-1)).

Friday, October 5, 2012 (32nd day before election day)

Recommended date for each party chair with a nominee or aligned candidate on the ballot to submit a list of proposed members for the signature verification committee (if one is created) to the county election board.  Please note that a signature verification committee could be appointed at a later date.  (Secs. 51.002; 87.002; 87.027).

Sunday, October 7, 2012 (30th day before election day)

First day of period during which notice of the November General Election for state and county officers and other elections ordered by a county, city, or school district must be published in a newspaper of general circulation.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(1)).  This notice may be combined with the other notices your county is required to publish.

The notice must include:

  1. The type and date of the election;
  2. The location of each polling place;
  3. The hours the polls will be open;
  4. The location of the main early voting polling place;
  5. The regular dates and hours for early voting by personal appearance;
  6. The dates and hours of any Saturday or Sunday early voting, if any; and
  7. The early voting clerk’s mailing address.

See other requirements on Page 3 of introductory Notes.

In addition to the notice in the newspaper, notice may also be given as follows:

  1. By posting a notice in a public place in each election precinct in which the election is to be held on or before the 21st day before the election, Tuesday, October 16, 2012.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(2)).
  2. By mailing a copy of the notice to each registered voter of the territory covered by the election, not later than the 10th day before election day.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(3)).  Since the 10th day falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day, which is Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Sec. 1.006).

Notice of Change of Polling Place Location: For elections ordered by the governor or county judge only, if the location of the polling place changes after notice has been given under Section 4.003, and the county election officer maintains a website to inform voters about elections, the notice of the change must be posted on the website.  The notice on the website must be given not later than the earlier of 24 hours after the location was changed or 72 hours before the polls open on election day.  (Sec. 43.061).  If the county election officer is conducting a legislative vacancy election, the candidates listed on the ballot are entitled to receive notice directly from the county judge.

Notice of Previous Polling Place:  If a different polling place is being used than at the previous election held by the same authority, notice must be posted at the entrance of the previous polling place informing voters of the current polling place location, if possible.  (Sec. 43.062).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 (28th day before election day; first business day after Columbus Day)

Last day to register to vote for the Tuesday, November 6, 2012 election.  (Sec. 13.143).

Note: Per Section 13.143(e), if the 30th day before the election falls on a weekend or holiday, a voter application is considered timely if it is submitted to the voter registrar on or before the next regular business day.

Recommended last day for early voting clerk to order supplemental and registration correction lists, if applicable, or order revised original list from the voter registrar for early voting by personal appearance.  (Secs. 18.001; 18.003).

Last day for a voter to make a change of address that will be effective for the November 6, 2012 election.  A voter who submits a change of address after this date may still be eligible to return to his or her previous precinct to vote under “fail-safe” voting, if he or she still resides in the same county and the same local political subdivision, if applicable, conducting the election.  (Secs. 15.025; 63.0011).

Friday, October 12, 2012 (25th day before election day)

Deadline for Democratic and Republican County Chairs to submit to the precinct presiding judges for each election day precinct, a list containing at least two persons who are eligible to serve as election clerks, in order to secure appointment of clerks affiliated or aligned with their respective parties.  (Sec. 32.034(b)).  The “mailbox rule” applies to this deadline; therefore as long as the list is postmarked by this date, the list is considered timely.  Due to the close proximity to the election, you may want to encourage the chairs to submit the lists earlier.

Recommended date for the county elections board to appoint a signature verification committee (if one is ordered by the county election officer).  See also entry under Monday, October 1, 2012.  (Sec. 87.027).

Notice of the first test of automatic tabulating equipment and logic and accuracy test must be published by the custodian of the automatic tabulating equipment or the custodian of election records, as appropriate, if test will be conducted on the recommended date of Monday, October 15, 2012 (testing on equipment must be done at least 48 hours prior to the start of early voting period).  (Sec. 127.096).  Notice of 48 hours before the date of the test is required.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 (21st day before election day)

Last day to post notice of election on bulletin board used for posting notices of meetings of the commissioners court or appropriate governing body.  (Sec. 4.003(b)).

Last day to petition for temporary branch polling place(s) in a county with a population of 100,000 to 120,000.  (Secs. 85.062(d)(3); 85.067).

Deadline to file a petition to require the early voting clerk of a county with a population under 100,000 to conduct extended early voting at the main early voting polling place for 12 hours on each weekday of the last week of the early voting period (Monday, October 29, 2012 through Friday, November 2, 2012).  Notice of extended hours must be posted beginning no later than Wednesday, October 24, 2012 and continuing through Friday, November 2, 2012.  (Secs. 85.005(c); 85.067).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (20th day before election day)

First day to post notice of places, days, and hours for voting at branch early voting polling place.  The schedule may be amended after the beginning of early voting by personal appearance to include notice of additional branch locations, but any amendment must be made and posted not later than the fifth day before voting begins at the additional temporary branch.  (Secs. 85.062(d)(3); 85.067(c)).

Last day for a person to apply for a full ballot by mail using an FPCA, if the person is not a registered voter but meets the requirements under Title 2 of the Election Code.  (Sec. 101.004(e)).  (If the voter marks the FPCA form indicating indefinitely away (older form) or away without intent to return (newer form), the voter receives a federal-only ballot.)

Last day to publish notice of logic and accuracy test if test is to be conducted on October 19, 2012. (Sec. 129.023)

Thursday, October 18, 2012 – Tuesday, October 30, 2012 (19th day before election day - 7th day before election day)

A person submitting an FPCA during this period who is not registered to vote is not entitled to receive a ballot for any non-federal election held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.  See entry below under Monday, October 22, 2012 (FPCA without a postmark).  (Secs. 84.007; 101.004).  The early voting clerk is required to maintain this application since it may be used for other elections during the period ending the second federal election occurring after receipt of the FPCA (approximately 4 years).

Note: Be sure to check the list of registered voters for permanent registration status. Also, state law authorizes an FPCA to also serve as an application for permanent registration; therefore, the person might be permanently-registered based on a prior FPCA. Even if the FPCA arrives too late for a particular election, the early voting clerk will still need to forward the original FPCA to the county voter registrar, after making a copy for your early voting clerk’s use (mailing ballots, etc.) and records unless the voter marked indefinitely away (older form) or away without intent to return (newer form) in which case, it will not serve as a permanent registration. (Sec. 101.006; Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 81.40).

Friday, October 19, 2012 (18th day before election day)

Deadline for county elections board to appoint signature verification committee, if a valid petition requesting one to be created was presented to the early voting clerk by the deadline, Monday, October 1, 2012.  (Sec. 87.027)

Last day to conduct logic and accuracy test on an electronic voting system.  Sec 129.023; Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03)

Monday, October 22, 2012 (15th day before election day)

First day to vote early in person.*

Note:  Voting by limited ballot must be done during the early voting period.

*If the date for beginning the early voting period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state holiday, the early voting period begins on the next regular business day.  (Sec. 85.001(c)).

If an FPCA is received by this date without a postmark to prove mailing date, the early voting clerk will accept the FPCA and mail the applicant a full ballot even if the applicant is not a permanently registered voter but meets the requirements under Title 2 of the Election Code (unless the voter marks the FPCA form indicating the voter marked indefinitely away (older form) or away without intent to return (newer form), in which case the voter receives a federal-only ballot).  (Sec. 101.004(i)).

Last day to notify election judges of duty to hold election (Writ of Election).  Notice must be given by the 15th day before the election or the 7th day after the day the election is ordered, whichever is later. The Writ of Election must be given to each presiding judge and include:

  1. The judge’s duty to hold the election;
  2. The type and date of election;
  3. The polling place location at which the judge will serve;
  4. The polling place hours; and
  5. The maximum number of clerks the judge may appoint. (Sec. 4.007).

Note about branch early voting in the November General Election for state and county officers:  The commissioners court:

  1. in a county with a population of 400,000 or more, must establish one or more temporary polling places, other than the main early voting polling place, in each state representative district containing territory covered by the election.  The temporary polling place(s) must remain open the same days as the main early voting polling place, but the commissioners court determines the hours during which voting is to be conducted, unless a written request signed by 15 registered voters requesting the same number of hours as the main polling place is timely filed with the commissioners court;
  2. in a county with a population of 120,000 or more but less than 400,000, must establish one or more temporary polling places, other than the main early voting polling place, in each commissioners precinct containing territory covered by the election.  The temporary polling place(s) must remain open the same days as the main early voting polling place, but the commissioners court determines the hours during which voting is to be conducted, unless a written request signed by 15 registered voters requesting the same number of hours as the main polling place is timely filed with the commissioners court; or
  3. in a county with a population of 100,000 or more but less than 120,000, must establish one or more early voting polling places in each commissioners court precinct for which the commissioners court receives a timely filed written request by at least 15 registered voters of that precinct.  The temporary polling place(s) must remain open the same days as the main early voting polling place, but the commissioners court determines the hours during which voting is to be conducted, unless a written request signed by 15 registered voters requesting the same number of hours as the main polling place is timely filed with the commissioners court.  (Secs. 85.062; 85.064; 85.065).

Note: If a county has a population under 100,000, the location, days, and hours of temporary branch locations may be established only by the commissioners court.  No petition process is available.

Note: A temporary branch polling place that is “movable” may be established only with the approval of the county clerk.  If a movable temporary branch polling place is established on the request of a political party, each political party, whose nominee for governor in the most recent gubernatorial general election received more than 10 percent of the total number of votes received by all candidates for governor in the 2006 election, is entitled to the establishment of such a polling place.  The election officers serving a polling place covered by this subsection must be appointed from the list submitted by the county chairs to the early voting clerk.

Note: In a countywide election, the total number of permanent branch polling places and temporary branch polling places open for voting at the same time in a commissioners precinct may not exceed twice the number of permanent branch and temporary branch polling places open at that time in another commissioners precinct.  (Sec. 85.062(f)).

Note to Independent School Districts:  Despite the change in state law that allows an ISD to be closed on school holidays during the mandatory office hours period, you are required to be open during the entire early voting period except on legal state and national holidays; see note under Section 1.006 of the Texas Election Code for a listing of state and national holidays.

Note for Cities: Cities must now choose two weekdays to be open for 12 hours during the regular early voting period.  The city council must choose the two weekdays.  (Sec. 85.005(d)).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (13th day before election day)

Deadline to file a petition in the November General Election for state and county officers to require the early voting clerk of a county with a population of 100,000 or more to conduct extended early voting for 12 hours on each weekday of the last week at all required temporary branch locations (created under Section 85.062(d) of the Code) (Monday, October 29, 2012 through Friday, November 2, 2012).  Notice of extended hours must be posted beginning no later than Wednesday, October 24, 2012 and continuing through Friday, November 2, 2012.  (Secs. 85.067(c); 85.064(b)).

Deadline to file a petition in the November General Election for state and county officers to require the early voting clerk of a county with a population under 100,000 to conduct extended early voting for 12 hours on the last Saturday of the early voting period, October 27, 2012.  (Secs. 85.006(e); 85.007).

Recommended deadline to file a petition in the November General Election for state and county officers to require the early voting clerk of a county with a population under 100,000 to conduct extended early voting for 5 hours on Sunday, October 28, 2012.  (Sec. 85.006(e)).

Last day to post notice (on bulletin board for posting notice of meetings for the commissioners court) if early voting will be conducted in the November General Election for state and county officers on Saturday, October 27, 2012, if applicable.  Notice must be posted at least 72 hours before early voting begins on a Saturday or Sunday.  (Sec. 85.007).

Thursday, October 25, 2012 (12th day before election day)

If a defective application to vote early by mail is received on or before this date, the early voting clerk must mail the applicant a new application with explanation of defects and instructions for submitting the new application.  For defective applications received after this date and before the end of early voting by personal appearance, the early voting clerk must mail only the notice of defect and a statement that the voter is not entitled to vote early by mail unless he or she submits a sufficient application by the deadline.  (Sec. 86.008).

Last day to post notice (on bulletin board for posting notice of meetings of commissioners court) if early voting will be conducted in the November General Election for state and county officers on Sunday, October 28, 2012.  Notice must be posted at least 72 hours before early voting begins on a Saturday or Sunday.  (Sec. 85.007).

Saturday, October 27, 2012 (10th day before election day; last Saturday of early voting period)

In counties with populations of 100,000 or more, early voting must be conducted in the November General Election for state and county officers for at least 12 hours on last Saturday of the early voting period.  (Sec. 85.006(e)).

Sunday, October 28, 2012 (9th day before election day; last Sunday of early voting period)

In counties with populations of 100,000 or more, early voting must be conducted in the November General Election for state and county officers for at least 5 hours on last Sunday of the early voting period.  (Sec. 85.006(e)).

Monday, October 29, 2012 (8th day before election day)

Last day of period during which notice of the November General Election for state and county officers and other elections ordered by a county or a city or school district must be published in a newspaper of general circulation.  (Sec. 4.003(a)(1)).  Since the deadline falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.  (Sec. 1.006).

A voter who becomes sick or disabled on or after this date may vote a late ballot if the sickness or disability prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place without the likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring his or her health.  (Sec. 102.001).

First day that counties with a population of 100,000 or more or local political subdivisions conducting an election jointly with such a county may convene their early voting ballot board and begin processing the ballots by mail.  The early voting clerk must continuously post notice for 24 hours preceding each delivery of voting materials that is to be made before the time for opening the polls on election day.  (Sec. 87.0222).

Monday, October 29 – Friday, November 2, 2012 (last week of early voting by personal appearance)

In counties with a population of 100,000 or more, the early voting clerk must keep the main polling place open for 12 hours each day for the November General Election for state and county officers.  Early voting must be conducted at permanent branch locations for 12 hours each day.  Early voting must be conducted for 12 hours on each weekday of the last week at a required temporary branch locations (created under Section 85.062(d) of the Code) if a written request signed by 15 registered voters was filed by Wednesday, October 24, 2012.  Please note there is a 5-day notice posting requirement if the early voting clerk received petition requesting these extended hours.  (Secs. 85.005(c); 85.063; 85.064; 85.067).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 (7th day before election day)

Last day for early voting clerk to receive application for a ballot to be voted by mail.  (Sec. 84.007).  All applications to vote by mail must be received by the early voting clerk before the close of regular business or 12 noon, whichever is later.  Applications to vote by mail must be submitted by mail, common or contract carrier, or fax (if a fax machine is available in the office of the early voting clerk).

Last day to receive an FPCA from a voter.  FPCAs must be submitted by mail, common or contract carrier, fax, or attachment to an email. If the voter is not registered in the county, the voter is eligible for a ballot containing federal offices only.  (Secs. 84.007(c); 101.004; 114.004).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 (6th day and 4th business day before election day)

5:00 p.m. — Requests for election inspectors for Tuesday, November 6, 2012 elections must be received by the Secretary of State on or before this date.  (Sec. 34.001).

Friday, November 2, 2012 (4th day before election day)

Last day to vote early by personal appearance.  (Sec. 85.001(a)).

Saturday, November 3, 2012 (3rd day before election day)

First day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot because of a death in the immediate family that occurred on or after Thursday, November 1, 2012, and will require absence from the county on election day, November 6, 2012.  (Secs. 103.001; 103.003(b)).

First day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot because of sickness or disability that arose on or after Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Secs. 102.001; 102.003).

First day that counties with a population of 100,000 or more may convene their early voting ballot board and begin counting ballots; however, the results may not be announced until after the polls close.  All other counties and political subdivisions may convene their early voting ballot board for processing the ballots only, and cannot begin counting the ballots until election day.  (Secs. 87.0221; 87.023; 87.02; 87.0241).

Last day to publish notice of first automatic tabulating test if test is to be conducted on November 5, 2012. (Sec 127.096)

Monday, November 5, 2012 (day before election day)

Last day to submit an application for and vote a late ballot by personal appearance due to death in immediate family.  (Sec. 103.003(b)).

Last day to deliver precinct early voting lists to election judges.  (Sec. 87.122).

Last day by 7:00 P.M. (extended by Section 1.006, Election Code) to conduct first automatic tabulating test. (Sec. 127.093).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - Election Day

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.    —    Polls open.  (Sec. 41.031).

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.    —    Voter registrar's office is open.  (Sec. 12.004(c)).

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.    —    Early voting clerk's office is open for early voting activities.  (Sec. 83.011).

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.   —     Sick and disabled persons may vote at the main early voting polling place if electronic voting systems are used and the voter has a sickness or condition that prevents the voter from voting in the regular manner without personal assistance or likelihood of injury.  (Sec. 104.003).

5:00 p.m. —  Deadline for receiving applications for late ballots to be voted by persons who became sick or disabled on or after Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Sec. 102.003(b)).

7:00 p.m. —  Deadline for receiving early voting ballots by mail and late ballots cast by voters who became sick or disabled on or after Monday, October 29, 2012.  (Secs. 86.007(a), 102.006(c)).

Note on Manual Examination of Ballots Before Processing on Automatic Counting Equipment:The central counting station manager shall direct the manual examination of all electronic voting system ballots to ascertain whether the ballots can be processed in the usual manner or if the ballots need to be duplicated to clearly reflect the voter’s intent.  (Sec. 127.125).

Note on Receipt of Mail Ballots:  All marked early voting ballots sent by mail from inside the United States must arrive before the time the polls are required to close on election day.  If the early voting clerk cannot determine whether a ballot arrived before the deadline, the ballot is considered to have arrived at the time the place at which the carrier envelopes are deposited was last inspected for removal of returned ballots.  (Sec. 86.007(a)).  The early voting clerk must check the mailbox for early voting mail ballots at least once after the time for regular mail delivery.  (Sec. 86.007(b)).  A marked ballot that is not timely returned may not be counted unless the ballot may be counted late, pursuant to Section 86.007(d), which applies to ballots mailed from outside of the United States. (See entry under Monday, November 12, 2012).

Note on Delivery of Early Voting Ballots: The early voting clerk delivers the early voted ballots, the key to the double-locked ballot box, etc., to the early voting ballot board at the time or times specified by the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board, during the hours the polls are open or as soon after the polls close as practicable.  (Sec. 87.022).  The custodian of the key to the second lock of the double-locked early voting ballot box delivers his or her key to the presiding judge of the early voting ballot board on request of the presiding judge.  (Secs. 85.032(d); 87.025).  The custodian is generally the sheriff for county elections.  If the office of sheriff is on the ballot this election cycle, because of the filling of an unexpired term, the key shall be delivered to the county judge if he/she is not on the ballot or to a designated member of the commissioners court who is not on the ballot and who is the auditor appointed by the court if the county does not have a county auditor.

For Cities:  The custodian is the chief of police or city marshal, for an election ordered by a city authority.

For a Political Subdivision Other Than a City or County: The custodian is the constable of the justice precinct in which the office of the political subdivision's governing body is located, or if the office of constable is vacant, the sheriff of the county in which the governing body's office is located, for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county or city.  (Sec. 66.060).

Note on Processing and/or Counting of Early Voting Ballots Before Election Day: Early voting ballots may be delivered to the early voting ballot board at any time after early voting by personal appearance ends.  Ballots may be qualified and prepared for counting before election day, but they may not be counted until election day; however, counties with a population of 100,000 or more or entities contracting or having joint elections with counties with a population of 100,000 or more may process and count the ballots early, but the results may not be released until the polls close on election day.  (Secs. 87.023; 87.024; 87.0221; 87.0241(b)).  If ballots are to be delivered before election day, the early voting clerk must post notice at least 24 hours before each delivery at the main early voting polling place.  (Secs. 87.023(b); 87.024(b); 87.0221(b)).

The second test of automatic tabulating equipment used for counting ballots at a central counting station must be conducted immediately before the counting of ballots with equipment begins.  The third test must be conducted immediately after the counting is completed.  (Secs. 127.093; 127.097; 127.098).  The second and third tests are waived for DREs and precinct scanners. (Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2012-03).

Precinct election returns are delivered to the appropriate authorities after completion.  (Sec. 66.053(a)).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 (1st day and 1st business day after election day)

The general custodian of election records must deliver the ballot box(es) or transfer case(es) containing the provisional ballots, along with the Summary of Provisional Ballots and the List of Provisional Voters to the county voter registrar by this day.  (Secs. 65.052; 62.053; 1 T.A.C. Secs. 81.172(f)(1); 81.173(f)(1); 81.174(f)(1)).  Note: these TAC rules contain updates relating to SB 14, which has not yet received final federal approval. The general custodian of election records makes this delivery to the voter registrar during the voter registrar office’s regular business hours.

Note for Political Subdivisions Located in More than One County:  Your political subdivision will have to make delivery of the provisional ballots and forms to the voter registrar in each county in which you are located.

If the voter registrar wants to take possession of the provisional ballots and forms on election night (Tuesday, November 6, 2012), the voter registrar must inform the custodian of the election records and post a notice on election night of the transfer no later than 24 hours before election day.  However, under this type of delivery, the county voter registrar must go to the custodian of election records office and pick up the provisional ballots and forms.  (Secs. 65.052; 65.053; 1 T.A.C. Secs. 81.172(f)(2; 81.173(f)(2); 81.174(f)(2)). Note: these TAC rules contain updates relating to SB 14, which has not yet received final federal approval.

If a political subdivision was able to CANCEL its election, then this is the first day its elected officials can take the oath of office and be issued a certificate of election, except for elected officers of Type-A cities.  (Secs. 2.051; 67.016).

Friday, November 9, 2012 (3rd day and 3rd business day after election day)

Deadline for the county voter registrar to complete the review of provisional ballots.  (Sec. 65.052; 1 T.A.C. Secs. 81.172(g)(1), 81.173(g)(1), 81.174(g)(1)). Note: these TAC rules contain updates relating to SB 14, which has not yet received final federal approval.

Deadline for county election officer to retrieve provisional ballots from county voter registrar.  (Sec. 65.053; 1 T.A.C. Secs. 81.172(g)(7); 81.173(g)(7); 81.174(g)(7)). Note: these TAC rules contain updates relating to SB 14, which has not yet received final federal approval.

For districts using electronic voting systems, except for a voting system that uses DREs, last day to begin the manual recount of ballots in three precincts or one percent of precincts, whichever is greater, unless requirement has been waived.  The count shall be completed not later than the 21st day after election day.  (Sec. 127.201(a)).  Results of the manual count must be mailed to Secretary of State not later than the 3rd day after the count is completed.  (Sec. 127.201(e)).

Last day to post notice of governing authority’s meeting to canvass returns of election if canvass is to take place on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 (8th day after election).  This notice must be posted at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the meeting.  (Secs. 551.002; 551.041; 551.043, Gov’t Code).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 (7th day after election day)

Last day to receive ballots from voters casting ballots from outside of the United States. (Sec. 86.007(d)(3))*

Deadline for early voting ballot board to qualify any provisional ballots that have been reviewed by the voter registrar. (Sec. 65.051(a)).

The early voting ballot board must reconvene any time after the last mail delivery Tuesday, November 13, 2012, but no later than Tuesday, November 13, 2012* to count late ballots received from outside the United States. (Secs. 86.007(d)(3), 87.125).*

*The 5th day after election day falls on Sunday, November 11, 2012 (Veterans Day), and the deadline is extended to the next business day.  As Monday, November 12, 2012 is a federal postal holiday (Veterans Day Observed), the Secretary of State directs early voting clerks to treat ballots received from outside the United States as timely delivered if they are received by Tuesday, November 13, 2012.  The Secretary of State further directs that the early voting ballot board may meet on or before the 7th day after election day to process these ballots.  (Sec. 86.007(g)).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 (8th day after election day)

First day of the period to conduct the official local canvass of returns by governing authority of the political subdivision.  (Sec. 67.003).  Note: If a recount petition has been filed and a winning candidate’s race is involved in the recount, the certificate of election cannot be issued for that race until the recount has been completed.  (Secs. 67.016; 212.0331).

First day that newly-elected officers may qualify and assume the duties of their offices.  Please note that the canvass must have been completed before an officer can assume office.  (Sec. 67.016).  Note: this does not apply to candidates for full terms in the November General Election for federal, state, and county offices.

Monday, November 19, 2012 (13th day after election day)

Last day for official canvass of returns by governing authority of political subdivision.  (Sec. 67.003).  Note: If a recount petition has been filed and a winning candidate’s race is involved in the recount, the certificate of election cannot be issued for that race until the recount has been completed.  (Secs. 67.016; 212.0331).  (Since the last day falls on a Saturday, the deadline is extended.  (Sec. 1.006)).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 (15th day after election day)

First day that governor may conduct the state canvass of the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 67.012).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 (21st day after election day)

Last day to complete manual count.  (Sec. 127.201(a)).

Thursday, November 29, 2012 (10th day after last day of local canvass period)

Early voting ballot board shall mail notice of outcome of provisional ballot to voters no later than the 10th day after the actual canvass date. (1T.A.C. Secs. 81.172-81.174). Note: these TAC rules contain updates relating to SB 14, which has not yet received final federal approval.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 (30th day after election day)

Last day for the governor to conduct the state canvass for the November General Election for state and county officers.  (Sec. 67.012).

Last day to file electronic precinct by precinct returns with Secretary of State.  (Sec. 67.017).

Sunday, December 16, 2012 (40th day after election day)

Last day of the period for mandatory office hours.  See entry for Monday, September 17, 2012.  (Sec. 31.122).

Saturday, January 5, 2013 (60th day after election day)

Contents of ballot box(es) may be transferred from locked ballot box to separate container for the remainder of the 22-month preservation period.  See Tex. Sec’y of State Election Advisory No. 2006-08.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 (22 months after election day)

Contents of ballot box(es) may be destroyed if no contest or criminal investigation has arisen (Secs. 1.013; 66.058), and if no open records request has been filed (Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. ORD-505 (1988)).  Voter registrar may destroy lists of registered voters marked during early voting and on election day.  (Secs. 63.001(e); 66.0241; 66.051(d); 66.058).  Election results must be permanently maintained in the election register.  (Sec. 67.006).

Thursday, November 6, 2014 (Two Years after November 2012 election day)

Note on Retention of Candidate Application: Candidate applications must be retained by the governing body for two years (24 months) after date of election.  (Sec. 141.036).

Sunday, November 6, 2016 (Four Years after November 2012 election day)

New Note on Retention of Voter Registration List: Voter registrar must maintain copy of each voter list prepared for each countywide election for 2 years (24 months) after election day (4 years (48 months) in a presidential election).  (Sec. 18.011).

Important Note:

Retention of Federal Postcard Applications (“FPCA”): If you receive any FPCAs on or after October 28, 2008, the FPCA must be retained by the political subdivision since it may be used for future elections occurring prior to the expiration of two federal election cycles (approximately four years) after receipt of the FPCA.

Rev 9/25/2012