ELECTION CODE


TITLE 1. INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS


CHAPTER 2. VOTE REQUIRED FOR ELECTION TO OFFICE


SUBCHAPTER A. ELECTION BY PLURALITY


Sec. 2.001. PLURALITY VOTE REQUIRED. Except as otherwise provided by law, to be elected to a public office, a candidate must receive more votes than any other candidate for the office.

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

Sec. 2.002. TIE VOTE. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (f), (g), or (i), in an election requiring a plurality vote, if two or more candidates for the same office tie for the number of votes required to be elected, a second election to fill the office shall be held.

(b) Not later than the fifth day after the date the automatic recount required by Subsection (i) is completed or the final canvass following the automatic recount is completed, if applicable, the authority responsible for ordering the first election shall order the second election. The second election shall be held not earlier than the 20th day or later than the 30th day after the date the automatic recount required by Subsection (i) is completed or the final canvass following the automatic recount is completed, if applicable.

(c) The names of the tying candidates only shall be printed on the ballot for the second election. Write-in votes are not permitted. If either of the candidates is a party nominee, the title of the office shall be listed on the ballot in a vertical column with the name of each candidate listed below the office title with each candidate's political party alignment next to the name.

(d) The order of the candidates' names on the ballot shall be determined by a drawing in accordance with Section 52.094.

(e) Notice of the second election shall be given in accordance with Chapter 4 except that a notice under Section 4.003(a)(2) or (b) must be posted not later than the 15th day before election day.

(f) The tying candidates may agree to cast lots to resolve the tie. The agreement must be filed with the authority responsible for ordering the election. That authority or, if the authority is a body, the body's presiding officer, shall supervise the casting of lots.

(g) A tying candidate may resolve the tie by filing with the authority described by Subsection (f) a written statement of withdrawal signed and acknowledged by the candidate. On receipt of the statement of withdrawal, the remaining candidate is the winner, and a second election or casting of lots is not held.

(h) This section does not apply to elective offices of the executive department specified by Article IV, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution.

(i) If the tie vote is not resolved under Subsection (f) or (g), an automatic recount shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 216 before the second election is held. If the recount resolves the tie, the second election is not held.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 851, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER B. RUNOFF ELECTION


Sec. 2.021. RUNOFF ELECTION REQUIRED. If no candidate for a particular office receives the vote necessary to be elected in an election requiring a majority vote, a runoff election for that office is required.

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

Sec. 2.022. CONFLICTS WITH OTHER LAW. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a law outside this subchapter supersedes this subchapter to the extent of any conflict.

(b) Sections 2.023 and 2.028 supersede a law outside this subchapter to the extent of any conflict.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 652, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 2.023. RUNOFF CANDIDATES. (a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), the candidates in a runoff election are the candidates who receive the highest and second highest number of votes in the main election or who tie for the highest number of votes.

(b) If more than two candidates tie for the highest number of votes in the main election, an automatic recount shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 216. If the recount does not resolve the tie, the tied candidates shall cast lots to determine which two are to be the runoff candidates.

(c) If two or more candidates tie for the second highest number of votes in the main election, an automatic recount shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 216. If the recount does not resolve the tie, the tied candidates shall cast lots to determine which one is to be the second candidate in the runoff election.

(d) The presiding officer of the final canvassing authority for the election shall supervise the casting of lots under this section.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 652, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 2.024. ORDERING RUNOFF. Not later than the fifth day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed, the authority responsible for ordering the main election shall order the runoff election.

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

Sec. 2.025. RUNOFF ELECTION DAY. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (d) or as otherwise provided by this code, a runoff election shall be held not earlier than the 20th or later than the 45th day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed.

(b) A runoff election date later than the period prescribed by Subsection (a) may be prescribed by a home-rule city charter.

(c) This section supersedes a law outside this subchapter to the extent of a conflict notwithstanding Section 2.022.

(d) A runoff election for a special election to fill a vacancy in Congress or a special election to fill a vacancy in the legislature to which Section 101.104 applies shall be held not earlier than the 70th day or later than the 77th day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 60, Sec. 2, eff. Oct. 20, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 389, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1316, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1318 (S.B. 100), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 2.026. NOTICE OF RUNOFF. Notice of a runoff election shall be given in accordance with Chapter 4 except that a notice under Section 4.003(a)(2) or (b) must be posted not later than the 15th day before election day.

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

Sec. 2.027. CERTIFICATION OF RUNOFF CANDIDATES. The presiding officer of the final canvassing authority shall certify in writing for placement on a runoff election ballot the names of the runoff candidates and shall deliver the certification to the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared.

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

Sec. 2.028. TIE VOTE IN RUNOFF. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), if the candidates in a runoff election tie, an automatic recount shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 216. If the recount does not resolve the tie, the tied candidates shall cast lots to determine the winner.

(b) The presiding officer of the final canvassing authority shall supervise the casting of lots under this section.

(c) A tying candidate may resolve the tie by filing with the presiding officer of the final canvassing authority a written statement of withdrawal signed and acknowledged by the candidate. On receipt of the statement of withdrawal, the remaining candidate is the winner, and a casting of lots is not held.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 652, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER C. ELECTION OF UNOPPOSED CANDIDATE


Sec. 2.051. APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a) Except as provided by Sections 2.055 and 2.056, this subchapter applies only to an election for officers of a political subdivision other than a county in which write-in votes may be counted only for names appearing on a list of write-in candidates and in which each candidate for an office that is to appear on the ballot is unopposed, except as provided by Subsection (b). For purposes of this section, a special election of a political subdivision is considered to be a separate election with a separate ballot from:

(1) a general election for officers of the political subdivision held at the same time as the special election; or

(2) another special election of the political subdivision held at the same time as the special election.

(b) In the case of an election in which any members of the political subdivision's governing body are elected from territorial units such as single-member districts, this subchapter applies to the election 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 at-large proposition or opposed at-large race is to appear on the ballot. This subchapter applies to an unopposed at-large race in such an election regardless of whether an opposed race is to appear on the ballot in a particular territorial unit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 667, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 17, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1061, Sec. 1; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1316, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107 (H.B. 2309), Sec. 1.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235 (S.B. 1970), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.052. CERTIFICATION OF UNOPPOSED STATUS. (a) The authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall certify in writing that a candidate is unopposed for election to an office if, were the election held, only the votes cast for that candidate in the election for that office may be counted.

(b) The certification shall be delivered to the governing body of the political subdivision as soon as possible after the filing deadlines for placement on the ballot and list of write-in candidates.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 667, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107 (H.B. 2309), Sec. 1.02, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 2.053. ACTION ON CERTIFICATION. (a) On receipt of the certification, the governing body of the political subdivision by order or ordinance may declare each unopposed candidate elected to the office. If no election is to be held on election day by the political subdivision, a copy of the order or ordinance shall be posted on election day at each polling place used or that would have been used in the election.

(b) If a declaration is made under Subsection (a), the election is not held.

(c) The ballots used at a separate election held at the same time as an election that would have been held if the candidates were not declared elected under this section shall include the offices and names of the candidates declared elected under this section listed separately after the measures or contested races in the separate election under the heading "Unopposed Candidates Declared Elected." The candidates shall be grouped in the same relative order prescribed for the ballot generally. No votes are cast in connection with the candidates.

(d) The secretary of state by rule may prescribe any additional procedures necessary to accommodate a particular voting system or ballot style and to facilitate the efficient and cost-effective implementation of this section.

(e) A certificate of election shall be issued to each candidate in the same manner and at the same time as provided for a candidate elected at the election. The candidate must qualify for the office in the same manner as provided for a candidate elected at the election.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 667, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1316, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235 (S.B. 1970), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.054. COERCION AGAINST CANDIDACY PROHIBITED. (a) In an election that may be subject to this subchapter, a person commits an offense if by intimidation or by means of coercion the person influences or attempts to influence a person to:

(1) not file an application for a place on the ballot or a declaration of write-in candidacy; or

(2) withdraw as a candidate.

(b) In this section, "coercion" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the intimidation or coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 667, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235 (S.B. 1970), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.055. SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL VACANCY IN LEGISLATURE. (a) The secretary of state shall declare an unopposed candidate elected to fill a vacancy in the legislature if:

(1) each candidate for an office that is to appear on the ballot is unopposed; and

(2) no proposition is to appear on the ballot.

(b) The declaration under Subsection (a) shall be made on the second day after:

(1) the last date an application for a place on the special election ballot may be filed; or

(2) the date of a withdrawal, death, or final judgment of ineligibility of a candidate that causes the remaining candidate to be unopposed.

(c) After a declaration is made under Subsection (a), the election is not held. A copy of the declaration shall be posted on election day at each polling place that would have been used in the election.

(d) At the same time a declaration is made under Subsection (a), the secretary of state shall issue a certificate of election to each candidate in the same manner as provided for a candidate elected at the election.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 17, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107 (H.B. 2309), Sec. 1.03, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 467 (H.B. 184), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 2.056. UNOPPOSED CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE OF STATE OR COUNTY GOVERNMENT. (a) In this section:

(1) "Certifying authority" means:

(A) the secretary of state, for a statewide or district office; or

(B) the county clerk, for a county or precinct office.

(2) "Office of the state or county government" means an office described by Section 52.092(a)(2) or (3).

(b) This section applies only to the general election for state and county officers.

(c) A certifying authority may declare a candidate elected to an office of the state or county government if, were the election held, only the votes cast for that candidate in the election for that office may be counted.

(d) If a declaration is made under Subsection (c):

(1) the election for that office is not held; and

(2) the name of the candidate is listed on the ballot as elected to the office as provided by this section.

(e) The offices and names of any candidates declared elected under this section shall be listed separately after the contested races in the election under the heading "Unopposed Candidates Declared Elected." The candidates shall be grouped according to their respective political party affiliations or status as independents in the same relative order prescribed for the ballot generally. No votes are cast in connection with the candidates.

(f) The secretary of state by rule may prescribe any additional procedures as necessary to accommodate a particular voting system or ballot style and to facilitate the efficient and cost-effective implementation of this section.

(g) The certifying authority shall issue a certificate of election to a candidate declared elected under this section in the same manner as provided for a candidate elected at the election.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1061, Sec. 2.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1107 (H.B. 2309), Sec. 1.04, eff. September 1, 2005.

SUBCHAPTER D. CANCELLATION OF ELECTIONS


Sec. 2.081. CANCELLATION OF MOOT MEASURE. (a) If an authority that orders an election on a measure determines that the action to be authorized by the voters may not be taken, regardless of the outcome of the election, the authority may declare the measure moot and remove the measure from the ballot.

(b) If a measure is declared moot under this section and is removed from the ballot, the authority holding the election shall post notice of the declaration during early voting by personal appearance and on election day, at each polling place that would have been used for the election on the measure.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235 (S.B. 1970), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 2.082. SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR CANCELLATION REQUIRED. An authority that orders an election may cancel the election only if the power to cancel the election is specifically provided by statute.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1235 (S.B. 1970), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.