ELECTION CODE


TITLE 10. POLITICAL PARTIES


SUBTITLE B. PARTIES NOMINATING BY PRIMARY ELECTION


CHAPTER 171. ORGANIZATION


SUBCHAPTER A. STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Sec. 171.001. STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED. A state executive committee is established as provided by this subchapter for each political party holding a primary election in this state.

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

Sec. 171.002. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION. (a) The state executive committee consists of two members from each state senatorial district. One of each district's members must be a man and the other a woman.

(b) In addition to the members representing the senatorial districts, the committee has a chair and a vice chair, one of whom must be a man and the other a woman. Except as otherwise provided by party rule, the chair and vice chair are considered members of the committee.

(c) The chair, vice chair, and members representing the senatorial districts are elected at the party's biennial state convention. However, the chair, vice chair, and members may be elected for four-year terms at the state convention held in gubernatorial election years. Each holds office until a successor is elected and assumes office.

(d) The members elected to represent a particular senatorial district must be those recommended by the convention delegates representing that senatorial district.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 112, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.003. FILLING VACANCY. (a) The state executive committee shall fill by appointment any vacancy on the committee, including a vacancy in the office of chair or vice chair.

(b) A majority of the committee's membership constitutes a quorum for the purpose of filling a vacancy. To be elected, a person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members voting.

(c) To be eligible to serve as a replacement to fill a vacancy in a membership representing a senatorial district, a person must reside in the district.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 113, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.004. PROXY. (a) To participate in a state executive committee meeting as a proxy for a member representing a senatorial district, a person must reside in that district.

(b) A person may not hold more than one proxy at any meeting.

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

SUBCHAPTER B. COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Sec. 171.021. COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED. For each county in which a primary election is held, a county executive committee is established as provided by this subchapter for the political party holding the primary.

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

Sec. 171.022. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION. (a) A county executive committee consists of:

(1) a county chair, who is the presiding officer, elected at the general primary election by majority vote of the qualified voters of the county who vote in the primary on that office or appointed by the county executive committee as provided by this subchapter; and

(2) a precinct chair from each county election precinct, elected at the general primary by majority vote of the qualified voters of the precinct who vote in the primary on that office, subject to Section 171.0221, or appointed by the county executive committee as provided by this subchapter.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (d), if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, a runoff to determine the office is conducted in the same manner as a runoff primary election to determine a nomination for public office. The candidates to be in a runoff are determined in the same manner as candidates in a runoff for a nomination.

(c) Each committee member serves for a term of two years beginning the 20th day after runoff primary election day.

(d) The state executive committee by rule may provide for the election of the county chair or precinct chairs of a particular county by plurality vote.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 63, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 499, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 114, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.0221. ELECTION NOT HELD FOR OFFICE OF PRECINCT CHAIR. (a) If only one candidate's name is to be placed on the ballot for the office of precinct chair and no candidate's name is to be placed on the list of write-in candidates for that office, the election for that office is not held, and the unopposed candidate, if otherwise eligible, shall be declared elected to the office at the time of the local canvass.

(b) The county chair shall prepare a document that shall be posted that states: "Pursuant to Section 171.0221, Election Code, (insert name of unopposed candidate for precinct chair), if otherwise eligible, shall be declared elected to the office of precinct chair at the time of the local canvass." The county chair or entity contracted to hold the election shall distribute copies of the document to the presiding judge of the election precinct with the other election supplies. An election officer shall post the document in one or more locations in the polling place where it can be read by persons waiting to vote.

(c) The county chair shall post the name of a candidate declared elected under Subsection (a) at a public place in the election precinct.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 499, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1054 (H.B. 3102), Sec. 10, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 171.023. RESIDENCE OF PRECINCT CHAIR. (a) To be eligible to be a candidate for or to serve as a precinct chair, a person must reside in the election precinct in addition to satisfying the other applicable eligibility requirements.

(b) A change in a county election precinct boundary creates a vacancy in the office of precinct chair if more than one precinct chair resides in the changed precinct or if none resides there.

(c) For the purpose of determining whether a precinct chair is a resident of a particular county election precinct, a change in a precinct boundary is not effective until February 1 following the adoption of the order making the change, except as provided by Subsection (d).

(d) If a change in a precinct boundary made by an order adopted on or after February 1 of a primary election year is scheduled to become effective before general primary election day, the change is effective on the date the order is adopted for the purpose specified by Subsection (c).

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 115, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 5.12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 171.0231. WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR COUNTY CHAIR OR PRECINCT CHAIR. (a) A write-in vote for the office of county chair or precinct chair may not be counted unless the name written in appears on the list of write-in candidates.

(b) To be entitled to a place on the list of write-in candidates, a candidate must make a declaration of write-in candidacy.

(c) A declaration of write-in candidacy must be filed with the authority with whom an application for a place on the ballot is required to be filed for the office.

(d) A declaration of write-in candidacy must be filed not later than 6 p.m. of the fifth day after the date of the filing deadline for the general primary election.

(e) With the appropriate modifications and to the extent practicable, Subchapter B, Chapter 146, applies to write-in voting for the office of county chair or precinct chair.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 729, Sec. 3.

(g) The secretary of state shall prescribe any procedures necessary to implement this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 499, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 729, Sec. 1 to 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1318 (S.B. 100), Sec. 30, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 171.024. FILLING VACANCY. (a) The county executive committee shall fill by appointment any vacancy on the committee. The state executive committee may by rule adopt procedures for filling vacancies.

(b) A majority of the committee's membership must participate in filling a vacancy in the office of county chair. To be elected, a person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members voting.

(c) Each party shall adopt rules to determine a percentage of committee membership that constitutes a quorum for purposes of filling a vacancy in the office of precinct chair. To be elected, a person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members voting.

(d) A vacancy may not be filled before the beginning of the term of office in which the vacancy occurs.

(e) After a vacancy is filled, the county chair shall promptly deliver written or electronic notice of the replacement member's name and address to the state chair and to the county clerk.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 116, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1054 (H.B. 3102), Sec. 11, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262 (H.B. 630), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 6.002, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 171.025. PROCEDURE FOR FILLING VACANCY IN OFFICE OF COUNTY CHAIR. (a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of county chair, the secretary of the county executive committee shall call a meeting for the purpose of filling the vacancy. If a committee member files with the secretary a written request for a meeting to fill a vacancy, the secretary shall call the meeting to convene not later than the 20th day after the date the secretary receives the request.

(b) If the committee does not have a secretary or if after receiving a written request under Subsection (a) the secretary fails to call the meeting, the state chair, on written request of a member of the county executive committee filed with the state chair, shall call the meeting to convene not later than the 20th day after the date the chair receives the request.

(c) The authority calling the meeting shall notify each committee member in advance of the meeting of its time, place, and purpose.

(d) The authority calling the meeting shall designate a committee member as temporary chair, who shall call the meeting to order and preside until the vacancy is filled.

(e) In a county with a population of less than 5,000, a vacancy in the office of county chair may be filled by appointment by the state chair of a person who is not a resident of the county if:

(1) the person resides in a county in this state with a population of less than 5,000 that is adjacent to the county in which the vacancy occurs; and

(2) the secretary of state approves the appointment of the person under procedures prescribed by the secretary of state.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 117, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262 (H.B. 630), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 171.0251. TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT OF COMMITTEE MEMBER IN MILITARY. (a) In this section, "armed forces of the United States" means the United States Army, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Coast Guard, any reserve or auxiliary component of any of those services, or the National Guard.

(b) A member of the county executive committee who enters active duty in the armed forces of the United States as a result of being called to duty, drafted, or activated does not vacate the office held, but the committee member may appoint a replacement to serve as a temporary acting officer if the committee member will be unable to fulfill the member's duties, due to the member's obligations to the armed forces of the United States.

(c) The temporary acting officer appointed as provided by Subsection (b) must be:

(1) a member of the same political party as the committee member being temporarily replaced; and

(2) qualified for office under Section 161.005.

(d) The temporary acting officer appointed as provided by Subsection (b) has all the powers, privileges, and duties of the office and is entitled to the same compensation, payable in the same manner and from the same source, as the member of the county executive committee who is temporarily replaced.

(e) The temporary acting officer appointed as provided by Subsection (b) shall perform the duties of the committee member until the earlier of:

(1) the date the active military service of the committee member who is temporarily replaced ends; or

(2) the date the term of office of the committee member who is temporarily replaced expires.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 654 (H.B. 3162), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Sec. 171.026. PROXY NOT ALLOWED. A person may not participate in a county executive committee meeting as a proxy.

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

Sec. 171.027. TEMPORARY COMMITTEE. (a) If a county executive committee for a political party does not exist in a county in which the party is holding a primary election, the party shall establish a temporary county executive committee as provided by this section.

(b) The state executive committee or the state chair shall appoint a temporary county chair. If the state chair appoints a temporary county chair, the state executive committee at the next regular meeting of the committee shall ratify the appointment of the temporary county chair or appoint another person as temporary county chair. A favorable vote of a majority of the members of the committee voting is required for ratification or an appointment.

(c) The temporary county chair shall call, for the purpose of electing the other members of a temporary county executive committee, a meeting of the voters of the county who consider themselves to be aligned with the party. The voters present at the meeting shall elect the other members of the committee.

(d) The eligibility requirements for serving as a member of a temporary county executive committee are the same as those for serving as a member of a regularly constituted county executive committee except that affiliation with the political party is not required.

(e) A temporary county executive committee may exercise the authority and shall perform the duties of a regularly constituted county executive committee.

(f) A county executive committee for a county served by a temporary committee shall be elected at the general primary election. The temporary committee members serve until the elected members assume office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 118, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 215 (H.B. 862), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 171.028. COUNTY CHAIR TRANSITION. (a) Not later than the 30th day after the date the term of office of a new county chair begins, the person formerly serving as the county chair shall transfer to the new county chair:

(1) local party bank accounts over which the former county chair has authority; and

(2) the following original records that are in the possession of the former county chair:

(A) precinct chair and county chair canvass results;

(B) candidate applications;

(C) paperwork related to the primary election; and

(D) other documents concerning party affairs.

(b) Before transferring records to a new county chair under Subsection (a), the person formerly serving as the county chair may make copies of those records.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person fails to transfer records as required by Subsection (a).

(d) An offense under Subsection (c) is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 173 (H.B. 1071), Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 825 (H.B. 2959), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 171.029. REMOVAL OF PRECINCT CHAIR OR COUNTY CHAIR FOR ABANDONMENT OF OFFICE. (a) A precinct or county chair who has failed to perform statutory duties provided by this code or failed to attend four or more consecutive meetings of the county executive committee may be removed for abandonment of office as provided by this section.

(b) If authorized by a resolution passed by the county executive committee, a county chair may send a notice to a precinct chair that states that the precinct chair is considered to have abandoned the office of precinct chair and the duties of the office. The notice must:

(1) state the reasons the county executive committee believes the precinct chair has abandoned the office;

(2) be sent by certified mail; and

(3) request a response from the precinct chair not later than the seventh day after the date the precinct chair receives the notice.

(c) If authorized by a resolution passed by the state executive committee, a state chair may send a notice to a county chair that states that the county chair is considered to have abandoned the office of county chair and the duties of the office. The notice must:

(1) state the reasons the state executive committee believes the county chair has abandoned the office;

(2) be sent by certified mail; and

(3) request a response from the county chair not later than the seventh day after the date the county chair receives the notice.

(d) A precinct or county chair must respond to a notice under Subsection (b) or (c) on or before the seventh day after the date the chair receives the notice and state whether the chair wishes to continue in office. A chair's failure to respond and affirmatively state that the chair wishes to remain in office results in a vacancy in the office of precinct or county chair, as applicable. The vacancy shall be filled as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 119 (S.B. 1072), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

SUBCHAPTER C. DISTRICT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Sec. 171.051. DISTRICT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED. For each district from which an officer of the federal or state government is elected, a district executive committee is established as provided by this subchapter for each political party holding a primary election.

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

Sec. 171.052. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: DISTRICT COTERMINOUS WITH COUNTY. The district executive committee for a district that is coterminous with a single county consists of the county executive committee, with the county chair serving as chair of the district committee.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 119, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.053. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: DISTRICT COMPRISING PART OF A COUNTY; FIRST MEETING. (a) The district executive committee for a district comprising only a part of a single county consists of the precinct chairs of the county election precincts in the district.

(b) The members of a district executive committee shall elect a chair at the committee's first meeting from among the committee membership.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), the county chair shall call the first meeting of the district executive committee to convene at any time after the precinct chairs take office. The county chair shall notify each committee member in advance of the meeting of its time, place, and purpose.

(d) If a vacancy exists in the office of chair of a senatorial district executive committee immediately before the date for conducting the regular drawing for a place on the general primary ballot, the committee shall convene on that date at the hour and place specified by the county chair to elect the district executive committee chair.

(e) Not later than the third day after the date the chair for a senatorial district executive committee is elected, the county chair shall deliver to the state chair written notice of the name and address of the person elected.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 120, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.054. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: DISTRICT SITUATED IN MORE THAN ONE COUNTY; FIRST MEETING. (a) The district executive committee for a district situated in more than one county consists of the members of each county executive committee who reside in the district.

(b) The state chair shall call a meeting of the district executive committee to convene either as a whole in one location or separately in each county in the district at any time after the precinct chairs take office to fill a vacancy in a nomination or to transact any other business by the committee. The state chair shall notify the members of the district executive committee in advance of the time, place, and purpose of any meeting or meetings.

(c) If a vacancy exists in the office of senatorial district chair for a county immediately before the date for conducting the regular drawing for a place on the general primary ballot, the appropriate county executive committee members shall convene on that date at the hour and place specified by the county chair to elect that officer.

(d) If the district executive committee is meeting as a whole in one location, the members of the committee shall elect a chair at the committee's first meeting from among the committee membership. If the district executive committee is meeting separately in each county, the members meeting in each county shall elect a chair at the committee's first meeting from among the committee membership in that county.

(e) For the purposes of filling a vacancy in a nomination, the state chair shall canvass the votes of the district executive committee when meeting separately in each county and make the certification required by Section 145.037.

(f) The state executive committee shall by rule determine the quorum requirements for a district executive committee to conduct business.

(g) The state executive committee may by rule require a specific deadline for filling vacancies on a district executive committee prior to that committee filling a vacancy in nomination for public office, but may not set the deadline for a date later than the date that the vacancy in nomination for public office must be filled. A rule adopted under this subsection may also include a requirement that a county executive committee publicly post on the committee's website the names and addresses of district executive committee members as of the deadline specified in the rule.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 121, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 814 (H.B. 3456), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

SUBCHAPTER D. PRECINCT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Sec. 171.071. PRECINCT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED. For each commissioners precinct and for each justice precinct, a precinct executive committee is established as provided by this subchapter for each political party holding a primary election.

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

Sec. 171.072. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: PRECINCT WITH THREE OR MORE ELECTION PRECINCTS; FIRST MEETING. (a) The precinct executive committee for a commissioners precinct or for a justice precinct containing three or more county election precincts consists of the precinct chair of each county election precinct in the commissioners or justice precinct, as applicable.

(b) The members of a precinct executive committee shall elect a chair at the committee's first meeting from among the committee membership.

(c) The county chair shall call the first meeting of the precinct executive committee and shall notify each committee member in advance of the meeting of its time, place, and purpose.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 122, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.073. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: PRECINCT WITH FEWER THAN THREE ELECTION PRECINCTS. The precinct executive committee for a commissioners precinct or for a justice precinct containing fewer than three county election precincts consists of the county executive committee, with the county chair serving as chair of the precinct committee.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 123, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.