ELECTION CODE


TITLE 6. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS


CHAPTER 62. PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS


Sec. 62.001. OFFICERS TO ASSEMBLE. (a) On election day, the presiding judge and the election clerks the judge assigns to assist with preparing the polling place shall meet at the polling place in time to prepare it to receive the voters.

(b) If the polling place is left unattended at any time after the preparations for voting begin, the presiding judge shall take appropriate steps to provide for the security of the polling place. This subsection does not affect the security requirements for a polling place after the polls open.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 802, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 62.002. TIME FOR COMPLETING ARRANGEMENTS. Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the arrangements prescribed by this chapter shall be completed at a polling place before it is opened for voting.

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

Sec. 62.003. ELECTION OFFICERS: OATH AND IDENTIFICATION. (a) The presiding judge and the election clerks present at the polling place before the polls open shall repeat the following oath aloud:

"I swear (or affirm) that I will not in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce any voter to vote for or against any candidate or measure to be voted on, and that I will faithfully perform my duty as an officer of the election and guard the purity of the election."

(b) A clerk who arrives after the oath is made shall repeat the oath aloud before performing any duties as an election officer.

(c) Following administration of the oath, each election officer shall be issued a form of identification, prescribed by the secretary of state, to be displayed by the officer during the officer's hours of service at the polling place.

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

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 984 (H.B. 2110), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 984 (H.B. 2110), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 62.004. ARRANGING VOTING STATIONS. The voting stations shall be arranged so that:

(1) the voting area is in view of the election officers, watchers, and persons waiting to vote but is separated from the persons waiting to vote;

(2) access to the voting area through any entrance other than one designated by the presiding judge is prevented; and

(3) the voting area is adequately lighted.

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

Sec. 62.005. EXAMINING BALLOT BOXES. An election officer shall open and examine the ballot boxes and remove any contents from the boxes.

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

Sec. 62.006. PLACING BOX FOR DEPOSIT OF MARKED BALLOTS. The ballot box to be used by the voters to deposit marked ballots shall be locked. The ballot box and the box used for the deposit of provisional ballots shall be placed where they will be in plain view of the election officers, watchers, and persons waiting to vote.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1078, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 21, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Sec. 62.007. EXAMINING BALLOTS. (a) An election officer shall unseal the ballot package, remove the ballots, and examine them to determine whether they are properly numbered and printed.

(b) An unnumbered or otherwise defectively printed ballot shall be placed in ballot box no. 4.

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

Sec. 62.008. PRESIDING JUDGE TO SIGN BALLOTS. (a) The presiding judge's signature shall be placed on the back of each ballot to be used at the polling place.

(b) The judge shall sign each ballot or an election officer shall stamp a facsimile of the judge's signature on each ballot.

(c) The signing of ballots need not be completed before the polls open, but an unsigned ballot may not be made available for selection by the voters.

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

Sec. 62.009. DISARRANGING BALLOTS FOR VOTERS' SELECTION. (a) As needed for voting, an election officer shall disarrange a supply of the ballots so that they are in random numerical order.

(b) The disarranged ballots shall be placed face down on a table in a manner preventing an election officer or other person from ascertaining the number of a ballot selected by a voter.

(c) The provisional ballots shall be placed separately from the regular ballots.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1078, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 22, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Sec. 62.010. DISTANCE MARKER. (a) An election officer shall place one or more distance markers at the outer limits of the area within which electioneering is prohibited.

(b) A distance marker must contain the following language printed in large letters: "Distance Marker. No electioneering or loitering between this point and the entrance to the polling place."

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

This section was amended by the 85th Legislature. Pending publication of the current statutes, see H.B. 25, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, for amendments affecting this section.


Sec. 62.011. INSTRUCTION POSTER. (a) An election officer shall post an instruction poster:

(1) in each voting station; and

(2) in one or more other locations in the polling place where it can be read by persons waiting to vote.

(b) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form and content of the instruction poster. If it is not practical to fit all of the information required by this section on a single poster, the secretary of state may provide for the use of two or more posters to convey the information.

(c) The poster must include instructions applicable to the election on:

(1) marking and depositing the ballot;

(2) voting for a write-in candidate;

(3) casting a straight-party vote;

(4) casting a provisional ballot;

(5) until the expiration of Section 13.122(d), voting for the first time by a person who registered by mail; and

(6) securing an additional ballot if the voter's original ballot is spoiled.

(d) The poster must also include the following information:

(1) the date of the election and the hours during which the polling place is open;

(2) general information on voting rights under state and federal laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and the individuals to contact if a person believes these rights have been violated; and

(3) general information on state and federal laws that prohibit acts of fraud or misrepresentation.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 23, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Sec. 62.0111. NOTICE OF PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN DEVICES. (a) At the discretion of the presiding judge, notice of the prohibition of the use of certain devices under Section 61.014 may be posted at one or more locations in the polling place where it can be read by persons waiting to vote.

(b) The secretary of state shall prescribe the wording of a notice posted under this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 697 (H.B. 1921), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.002(3), eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 62.0112. NOTICE OF VOTER COMPLAINT INFORMATION. (a) At one or more locations in the polling place easily visible to voters, the presiding judge shall post notice in a form prescribed by the secretary of state that informs voters of who to call or write to if a voter has a complaint about the conduct of the election.

(b) The title of the notice must read "Voter Complaint Information" and must be printed in at least 100-point Times New Roman font. The notice must:

(1) include the telephone number for the voting rights hotline established by the secretary of state under Section 31.0055;

(2) include any available telephone number dedicated to reporting complaints about the local election official that is administering the election; and

(3) include mailing addresses or Internet websites, as available, to which voters may direct complaints to the federal, state, or local governments about the conduct of elections.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 358 (H.B. 1256), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 62.0115. PUBLIC NOTICE OF VOTERS' RIGHTS. (a) The secretary of state shall adopt rules providing for publicizing voters' rights as prescribed by this section. The rules must require that a notice of those rights be publicized:

(1) by being posted by an election officer in a prominent location at each polling place;

(2) on the Internet website of the secretary of state;

(3) through material published by the secretary of state; or

(4) in another manner designed to give voters notice of their rights.

(b) Except as revised by the secretary of state under Subsection (d), the notice must state that a voter has the right to:

(1) vote a ballot and view written instructions on how to cast a ballot;

(2) vote in secret and free from intimidation;

(3) receive up to two additional ballots if the voter mismarks, damages, or otherwise spoils a ballot;

(4) request instructions on how to cast a ballot, but not to receive suggestions on how to vote;

(5) bring an interpreter to translate the ballot and any instructions from election officials;

(6) receive assistance in casting the ballot if the voter:

(A) has a physical disability that renders the voter unable to write or see; or

(B) cannot read the language in which the ballot is written;

(7) cast a ballot on executing an affidavit as provided by law, if the voter's eligibility to vote is questioned;

(8) report an existing or potential abuse of voting rights to the secretary of state or the local election official;

(9) except as provided by Section 85.066(b), Election Code, vote at any early voting location in the county in which the voter resides in an election held at county expense, a primary election, or a special election ordered by the governor; and

(10) file an administrative complaint with the secretary of state concerning a violation of federal or state voting procedures.

(c) The notice must also state:

(1) the information relating to the voting rights hotline required under Section 31.0055; and

(2) any other information that the secretary of state considers important for a voter to know.

(d) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form and content of the notice in accordance with this section. The secretary of state shall revise the content of the notice as necessary to ensure that the notice accurately reflects the law in effect at the time the notice is publicized.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 510 (H.B. 719), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 62.012. POSTING SAMPLE BALLOT. An election officer shall post a sample ballot in one or more locations in the polling place where it can be read by persons waiting to vote.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1315, Sec. 24, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Sec. 62.013. UNAUTHORIZED POSTING OF SIGNS PROHIBITED. (a) An election officer commits an offense if the officer knowingly posts at a polling place, including the area within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which the polling place is located, a sign, card, poster, or other similar material that:

(1) is not authorized or required by law; or

(2) is in a form or contains information that is not authorized or required by law.

(b) A person other than an election officer commits an offense if the person posts a sign, card, poster, or other similar material at a polling place, including the 100-foot area described by Subsection (a).

(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

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

Sec. 62.014. MODIFICATION OF LIST OF REGISTERED VOTERS. (a) If a registration correction list is provided for a polling place, an election officer shall make the changes to the list of registered voters that are necessary to make it conform to the registration correction list.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 560 , Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

(c) An election officer may make the changes to the list of registered voters required by this section at a location other than the polling place before it is opened for voting.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.49; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1349, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 560 (H.B. 2366), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 62.015. PLACING INDELIBLE MARKING INSTRUMENT IN STATION. (a) An indelible marking instrument shall be placed in each voting station.

(b) In this section, "indelible marking instrument" means an instrument that makes marks that cannot easily be removed or erased.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 5(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 62.016. NOTICE OF ACCEPTABLE IDENTIFICATION OUTSIDE POLLING PLACES. The presiding judge shall post in a prominent place on the outside of each polling location a list of the acceptable forms of identification. The list must be printed using a font that is at least 24-point. The notice required under this section must be posted separately from any other notice required by state or federal law.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 123 (S.B. 14), Sec. 8, eff. January 1, 2012.