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  H.B. No. 1735
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to election officers and practices; increasing a criminal
  penalty; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 1, Election Code, is amended by adding
  Section 1.016 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1.016.  OATHS BY ELECTION OFFICERS. (a)  An oath or
  statement required by the Texas Constitution or this code prior to
  an election officer entering service may be administered and a
  certificate of the fact given by:
               (1)  the secretary of state, a member of the secretary
  of state's staff, or a state inspector appointed by the secretary;
               (2)  a county or municipal clerk or the clerk's
  deputies;
               (3)  a county tax assessor-collector or the county tax
  assessor-collector's deputies;
               (4)  a city secretary;
               (5)  a member of a county election commission or county
  election board;
               (6)  a county elections administrator or employee of a
  county elections administrator;
               (7)  the secretary of the governing body of a political
  subdivision other than a county or city or the authority performing
  the duties of a secretary under this code;
               (8)  a presiding election judge or alternate presiding
  judge who has already entered service; 
               (9)  an early voting clerk or a deputy early voting
  clerk who has already entered service;
               (10)  a member of an early voting ballot board or
  signature verification committee who has already entered service;
  or
               (11)  a presiding judge, manager, or tabulation
  supervisor of a central counting station who has already entered
  service.
         (b)  An oath, statement, or certificate described under
  Subsection (a) is valid for the duration of the election officer's
  term of office and shall be filed with election records for the
  election in which the election officer is serving.
         (c)  The secretary of state may prescribe a form of oath,
  statement, or certificate that incorporates any oaths or statements
  required by the Texas Constitution or this code for an election
  officer into a single oath or statement.
         SECTION 2.  Sections 31.092(b), (d), and (e), Election Code,
  are transferred to Section 31.093, Election Code, redesignated as
  Sections 31.093(c), (d), and (e), Election Code, respectively, and
  amended to read as follows:
         (c) [(b)]  On request of the county chair of a political
  party holding a primary election in the county, the [The] county
  election officer shall [may] contract with the county executive
  committee of the [a political] party [holding a primary election in
  the county] to perform election services, as provided by this
  subchapter, in the party's general primary election and [or] runoff
  primary election in accordance with a cost schedule agreed on by the
  contracting parties[, or both].
         (d)  In a contract required [authorized] by Subsection (c) 
  [(b)], the county election officer may not prevent the county chair
  or the chair's designee from supervising the conduct of the primary
  election, including the tabulation of results, as required by
  Chapter 172. A county election officer who violates this
  subsection commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is
  a Class B misdemeanor. 
         (e)  A [If a] county election officer [enters into a contract
  with a county executive committee under Subsection (b) to perform
  election services, the officer] must offer to contract on the same
  terms with the county executive committee of each political party
  holding a primary election in the county.
         SECTION 3.  Section 31.093(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  If requested to do so by a political subdivision [or
  political party], the county elections administrator shall enter
  into a contract to furnish the election services requested, in
  accordance with a cost schedule agreed on by the contracting
  parties.
         SECTION 4.  Section 32.002, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:
         (c-1)  For purposes of this subsection, the county chair
  shall provide a list of names of persons eligible for appointment as
  election judges.  Judges of countywide polling places established
  under Section 43.007 must be appointed from the list of names of
  persons submitted by the county chair in compliance with Subsection
  (c) except that in appointing a person from the list the
  commissioners court shall apportion the number of judges in direct
  proportion to the percentage of precincts located in each county
  commissioners precinct won by each party in the last gubernatorial
  election, the commissioners court is not required to make the
  appointments based on specific polling locations or precincts, a
  presiding judge or alternate presiding judge is not required to
  serve in a polling place located in the precinct in which the judge
  resides, and more than one presiding judge or alternate presiding
  judge may be selected from the same precinct to serve in polling
  places not located in the precinct in which the judges reside. The
  county chairs may submit, and the commissioners court may
  preapprove, the appointment of more presiding judges or alternate
  presiding judges than necessary to fill available positions. The
  county clerk may select an individual whose appointment was
  preapproved by the commissioners court to fill a vacancy in a
  position that was held by an individual from the same political
  party. Other than a judge's party affiliation, nothing in this
  subsection precludes a county clerk from placing an election
  officer at a countywide polling place based on the need for services
  at that location.
         SECTION 5.  Section 32.002, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (g) to read as follows:
         (g)  Following an oral warning to the election judge and with
  the concurrence of the county chair of the same political party with
  which the judge is affiliated or aligned, the county clerk may
  remove, replace, or reassign an election judge who causes a
  disruption in a polling location or wilfully disobeys the
  provisions of this code. A vacancy created under this subsection
  shall be filled in the same manner as an emergency appointment under
  Section 32.007.
         SECTION 6.  Section 32.006(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The county chair of a political party holding a primary
  election shall appoint for each primary[, with the approval of the
  county executive committee,] the judges for each precinct in which
  the election will be held in the county and fill any vacancy that
  occurs in the position of presiding judge or alternate presiding
  judge.
         SECTION 7.  Section 32.009(d), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (d)  A notice to a presiding judge must state the name, [and]
  address, and any available telephone number and e-mail address of
  the alternate, and a notice to an alternate must state the name,
  [and] address, and any available telephone number and e-mail
  address of the presiding judge.
         SECTION 8.  Subchapter A, Chapter 32, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 32.012 to read as follows:
         Sec. 32.012.  PROVISION OF INFORMATION RELATING TO ELECTION
  JUDGES APPOINTED BY COMMISSIONERS COURT.  (a)  After the
  commissioners court appoints a presiding election judge and an
  alternate presiding judge, the county clerk shall provide to the
  county chair of each political party a list of the individuals
  appointed by the commissioners court.
         (b)  The appointment list must be provided in writing.
         SECTION 9.  Section 32.034, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (f) to read as follows:
         (f)  Following an oral warning to the election clerk and with
  the concurrence of the county chair of the same political party with
  which the election clerk is affiliated or aligned, the county clerk
  may remove, replace, or reassign an election clerk who causes a
  disruption in a polling location or wilfully disobeys the
  provisions of this code. A vacancy created under this subsection
  shall be filled by the presiding judge, who shall appoint a
  replacement election clerk who is affiliated or aligned with the
  same political party as the original clerk, if possible.
         SECTION 10.  Section 32.114(e), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (e)  An election judge, early voting clerk, or deputy early
  voting clerk in charge of an early voting polling place is entitled
  to compensation for attending the training program at an hourly
  rate fixed by the appropriate authority in an amount that is equal
  to or greater than the federal minimum wage [not to exceed $7].
         SECTION 11.  Section 43.007, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (m) and (n) to read
  as follows:
         (a)  The secretary of state shall implement a program to
  allow each commissioners court participating in the program to
  eliminate county election precinct polling places and establish
  countywide polling places for:
               (1)  each general election for state and county
  officers;
               (2)  each election held on the uniform election date in
  May and any resulting runoff;
               (3)  each election on a proposed constitutional
  amendment;
               (4)  each primary election and runoff primary election
  if:
                     (A)  the county chair or county executive
  committee of each political party participating in a joint primary
  election under Section 172.126 agrees to the use of countywide
  polling places; or
                     (B)  the county chair or county executive
  committee of each political party required to nominate candidates
  by primary election agrees to use the same countywide polling
  places; and
               (5)  each election of a political subdivision located
  in the county that is held jointly with an election described by
  Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4).
         (m)  In adopting a methodology under Subsection (f), the
  county must ensure that:
               (1)  each county commissioners precinct contains at
  least one countywide polling place; and
               (2)  the total number of permanent branch and temporary
  branch polling places open for voting in a county commissioners
  precinct does not exceed more than twice the number of permanent
  branch and temporary branch polling places in another county
  commissioners precinct.
         (n)  To the greatest extent possible, countywide polling
  places shall be located in a precinct where the political party that
  received the greatest number of votes in the last gubernatorial
  election is the same political party with which the presiding judge
  is affiliated.
         SECTION 12.  Section 61.003(b)(1), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
               (1)  "Electioneering" includes the posting, use, or
  distribution of political signs or literature. The term does not
  include the distribution of a notice of a party convention
  authorized under Section 172.1114.
         SECTION 13.  Section 85.009(b), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Before July of each year, the county chair of each
  political party holding a primary election in the county shall
  submit in writing to the county clerk a list of names of persons in
  order of preference for each early voting polling place who are
  eligible for selection as an election officer.  The county chair
  may supplement the list of names of persons until the 30th day
  before early voting begins in case an appointed election officer
  becomes unable to serve. The county clerk shall appoint the first
  person meeting the applicable eligibility requirements from the
  list submitted in compliance with this subsection by the party with
  the highest number of votes in the county as the presiding judge
  [election officer] of that polling place and the first person
  meeting the applicable eligibility requirements from the list
  submitted in compliance with this subsection by the party with the
  second highest number of votes in the county as the alternate
  presiding judge [election officer] of that polling place. The
  county clerk shall appoint additional election officers for each
  polling place in the manner described by Subsection (a).  The
  county clerk may reject the list if the persons whose names are
  submitted on the list are determined not to meet the applicable
  eligibility requirements.
         SECTION 14.  Subchapter A, Chapter 85, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 85.0091 to read as follows:
         Sec. 85.0091.  EARLY VOTING ELECTION OFFICERS FOR PRIMARY
  ELECTIONS. (a) The early voting clerk shall select election
  officers for a primary election for the main early voting polling
  place and any branch polling place in a manner consistent with
  Section 85.009, except that the early voting clerk shall prescribe
  the deadline by which county chairs must submit names of persons
  eligible to serve as election officers during early voting.
         (b)  This section does not apply to a joint primary governed
  by Section 172.126.
         SECTION 15.  Subchapter A, Chapter 87, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 87.006 to read as follows:
         Sec. 87.006.  EARLY VOTING BALLOT BOARD MEMBERS: OATH AND
  IDENTIFICATION. (a) A member of the early voting ballot board
  shall repeat the following oath aloud:
         "I swear (or affirm) that I will objectively work to be sure
  every eligible voter's vote is accepted and counted, and that only
  the ballots of those voters who violated the Texas Election Code
  will be rejected. I will make every effort to correctly reflect the
  voter's intent when it can be clearly determined. I will not work
  alone when ballots are present and will work only in the presence of
  a member of a political party different from my own. I will
  faithfully perform my duty as an officer of the election and guard
  the purity of the election."
         (b)  A member of the early voting ballot board who arrives
  after the oath is made shall repeat the oath aloud before performing
  any duties as a member.
         (c)  Following administration of the oath, each member of the
  early voting ballot board shall be issued a form of identification,
  prescribed by the secretary of state, to be displayed by the member
  during the member's hours of service on the board.
         SECTION 16.  Subchapter G, Chapter 87, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 87.127 to read as follows:
         Sec. 87.127.  RESOLUTION OF INCORRECT DETERMINATION BY EARLY
  VOTING BALLOT BOARD. (a) If a county election officer, as defined
  by Section 31.091, determines a ballot was incorrectly rejected or
  accepted by the early voting ballot board before the time set for
  convening the canvassing authority, the county election officer may
  petition a district court for injunctive or other relief as the
  court determines appropriate.
         (b)  In an election ordered by the governor or by a county
  judge, the county election officer must confer with and establish
  the agreement of the county chair of each political party before
  petitioning the district court.
         SECTION 17.  Subchapter A, Chapter 127, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 127.0015 to read as follows:
         Sec. 127.0015.  CENTRAL COUNTING STATION OFFICERS: OATH AND
  IDENTIFICATION. (a) Election officers appointed under this
  subchapter shall repeat the following oath aloud:
         "I swear (or affirm) that I will objectively work to be sure
  every eligible voter's vote is accepted and counted, and that only
  the ballots of those voters who violated the Texas Election Code
  will be rejected. I will make every effort to correctly reflect the
  voter's intent when it can be clearly determined. I will not work
  alone when ballots are present and will work only in the presence of
  a member of a political party different from my own. I will
  faithfully perform my duty as an officer of the election and guard
  the purity of the election."
         (b)  An officer 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 central counting station.
         SECTION 18.  Section 127.004(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  To be eligible for appointment, a person must:
               (1)  have the competence, training, and experience
  required for the proper performance of the work assigned; and
               (2)  in a county with a population of less than 60,000,
  be a registered voter of the political subdivision served by the
  authority establishing the counting station or an employee of the
  political subdivision that adopts or owns the voting system.
         SECTION 19.  Section 127.007, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  The plan required under this section must be available
  to the public on request not later than 5 p.m. on the fifth day
  before the date of the election.
         SECTION 20.  Section 127.096, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  If the test is being conducted for a primary election,
  the custodian of the automatic tabulating equipment shall notify
  the county chair of the test at least 48 hours before the date of the
  test. The county chair shall confirm receipt of the notice.
         SECTION 21.  Section 129.023, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  If the test is being conducted for a primary election,
  the general custodian of election records shall notify the county
  chair of the test at least 48 hours before the date of the test. The
  county chair shall confirm receipt of the notice.
         SECTION 22.  Section 141.031(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A candidate's application for a place on the ballot that
  is required by this code must:
               (1)  be in writing;
               (2)  be signed and sworn to by the candidate and
  indicate the date that the candidate swears to the application;
               (3)  be timely filed with the appropriate authority;
  and
               (4)  include:
                     (A)  the candidate's name;
                     (B)  the candidate's occupation;
                     (C)  the office sought, including any place number
  or other distinguishing number;
                     (D)  an indication of whether the office sought is
  to be filled for a full or unexpired term if the office sought and
  another office to be voted on have the same title but do not have
  place numbers or other distinguishing numbers;
                     (E)  a statement that the candidate is a United
  States citizen;
                     (F)  a statement that the candidate has not been
  determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate
  jurisdiction to be:
                           (i)  totally mentally incapacitated; or
                           (ii)  partially mentally incapacitated
  without the right to vote;
                     (G)  a statement that the candidate has not been
  finally convicted of a felony from which the candidate has not been
  pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities;
                     (H)  the candidate's date of birth;
                     (I)  the candidate's residence address or, if the
  residence has no address, the address at which the candidate
  receives mail and a concise description of the location of the
  candidate's residence;
                     (J)  the candidate's length of continuous
  residence in the state and in the territory from which the office
  sought is elected as of the date the candidate swears to the
  application;
                     (K)  the statement:  "I, __________, of
  __________ County, Texas, being a candidate for the office of
  __________, swear that I will support and defend the constitution
  and laws of the United States and of the State of Texas";
                     (L)  a statement that the candidate is aware of
  the nepotism law, Chapter 573, Government Code; and
                     (M)  a public mailing address at which the
  candidate receives correspondence relating to the candidate's
  campaign, if available, and an [any available] electronic mail
  address at which the candidate receives correspondence relating to
  the candidate's campaign, if available.
         SECTION 23.  Section 141.039, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 141.039.  OFFICIAL APPLICATION FORM.  In addition to
  the other statements and spaces for entering information that
  appear on an officially prescribed form for an application for a
  place on the ballot, each official form for an application that a
  candidate is required to file under this code must include:
               (1)  a space for indicating the form in which the
  candidate's name is to appear on the ballot;
               (2)  a space for the candidate's public mailing
  address;
               (3)  spaces for the candidate's home and office
  telephone numbers and e-mail address at which the candidate
  receives correspondence relating to the candidate's campaign; and
               (4)  a statement informing candidates that the
  furnishing of the telephone numbers [or e-mail address] is
  optional.
         SECTION 24.  Section 145.036(d), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (d)  For the purpose of filling a vacancy, a majority of the
  committee's membership constitutes a quorum. To be nominated, a
  person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members
  voting [present].
         SECTION 25.  Section 162.004(c), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  If a voter is accepted to vote without presenting a
  registration certificate, the presiding judge shall issue the voter
  an affiliation certificate. The certificate is not required to be
  issued to a voter in a runoff primary unless the voter requests it.
  The affiliation certificate may be combined with the notice
  provided under Section 172.1114. If the combined form is used, an
  election officer is not required to comply with Subsection (b).
         SECTION 26.  Section 162.014, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read
  as follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), an [An]
  offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
         (c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second
  degree if the conduct constituting an offense under Subsection (a)
  consists of knowingly voting in a primary election after having
  voted in a primary election of another party during the same voting
  year.
         (d)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony if
  the conduct constituting an offense under Subsection (a) consists
  of knowingly attempting to vote in a primary election after having
  voted in a primary election of another party during the same voting
  year.
         SECTION 27.  Section 172.082, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (c), and (e) and adding Subsection (f) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The county chair [executive committee] shall conduct
  the drawing unless the county executive committee [it] provides by
  resolution that the drawing be conducted by the primary committee.
         (c)  The drawing shall be conducted [at the county seat] not
  later than the 10th day after the date of the regular filing
  deadline for the general primary election.
         (e)  The county chair shall post notice of the date, hour,
  and place of the drawing for at least 24 consecutive hours
  immediately before the drawing begins. The notice shall be posted
  on the party's Internet website, if the party maintains a website.
  If the party does not maintain a website, the notice shall be posted
  on the bulletin board used for posting notice of meetings of the
  commissioners court. [If the party maintains an Internet website,
  the party shall post the notice on the party's website.] All
  candidates who provide an e-mail address on their filing form shall
  be notified electronically.
         (f)  The state chair shall conduct the drawing if the county
  chair:
               (1)  requests that the state chair conduct the drawing;
  or
               (2)  fails to conduct the drawing by the deadline set in
  this section.
         SECTION 28.  Section 172.083, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.083.  REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF BALLOT BY PRIMARY
  COMMITTEE. If a primary committee was established, before [Before]
  having the official ballots for a general primary election printed,
  the county chair shall submit the format for the official ballot to
  the primary committee for its review and approval.
         SECTION 29.  Section 172.084(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The [Except as provided by this section, the] order of
  the candidates' names on the runoff primary election ballot for
  each county shall be [determined by a drawing conducted] in the same
  order as [manner as the regular drawing for position] on the general
  primary election ballot.
         SECTION 30.  Section 172.1111, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.1111.  POSTING NOTICE OF CONVENTIONS [PRECINCT
  CONVENTION] REQUIRED. (a)  Before the opening of the polls, the
  presiding judge shall post at each outside door through which a
  voter may enter the building in which the polling place is located a
  written notice in bold print of the date, hour, and place for each
  [convening the] precinct, county, senatorial, or state convention
  that a voter in the precinct may be eligible to attend during the
  election year.
         (b)  Notice posted under this section may include:
               (1)  the website of the county party and state party;
  and
               (2)  any other information deemed necessary by the
  state executive committee.
         (b-1)  The state chair shall develop a form for the notice
  that may be used statewide. The judge is not required to use an
  officially prescribed form for the notice, but must include any
  information required by this section.
         (b-2)  A state chair, county chair, or precinct chair shall
  provide the presiding judge with the necessary information
  respecting the chair's associated convention.
         (c)  The notice must remain posted continuously through
  election day.
         SECTION 31.  Section 172.1112(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The county clerk [chair] shall post a notice of the
  election and a notice of consolidated precincts, if applicable, in
  the manner prescribed by Section 4.003(b) for general and special
  elections. The notice of the election shall be posted on the
  party's Internet website, if the party maintains a website. If the
  party does not maintain a website, the notice shall be posted on the
  bulletin board used for posting notice of meetings of the
  commissioners court.
         SECTION 32.  Subchapter E, Chapter 172, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 172.1114 to read as follows:
         Sec. 172.1114.  DISTRIBUTION OF NOTICE OF CONVENTIONS.
  (a)  A political party may prepare a notice not larger than
  letter-sized for distribution to each voter participating in the
  party's primary election at the time the voter is accepted for
  voting.
         (b)  The notice may include:
               (1)  information describing the party's convention
  process;
               (2)  information detailing the time and place of the
  party's first-level convention process; 
               (3)  contact information for the county and state
  political parties; and
               (4)  website links for information and registration for
  party conventions.
         (c)  The state chair of a political party shall prescribe a
  form for a notice that may be used in any county. A county chair of
  a political party may prescribe a specific notice for the county
  chair's county. The same notice must be used in all precincts
  within a county.
         (d)  A notice must be approved by the secretary of state.  If
  a county chair of a political party uses the form of notice
  prescribed by the state chair, only the convention location and
  time may be added without the secretary of state's approval.
         (e)  A county chair of a political party shall supply a
  notice prepared according to this section to the authority
  conducting the election not later than the 30th day before the date
  early voting by personal appearance begins. 
         (f)  The secretary of state shall prescribe procedures and
  adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.
         SECTION 33.  Section 172.112, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.112.  WRITE-IN VOTING. Write-in voting in a
  primary election is not permitted [except in the general primary
  election for the offices of county chair and precinct chair].
         SECTION 34.  Sections 172.113(a), (d), and (e), Election
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The authority establishing a central counting station
  [county chair] shall prepare the unofficial tabulation of precinct
  results.
         (d)  The authority [county chair] shall make [the] periodic
  announcements of the current state of the tabulation, including by
  posting the announcements on the Internet website of the county, if
  the county maintains a website.
         (e)  On completing the tabulation, the authority [county
  chair] shall deliver it to the general custodian or may post the
  tabulation on the county's website or the secretary of state's
  website.
         SECTION 35.  Section 172.114, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.114.  DISPOSITION OF POLL LIST. The general
  custodian of election records shall preserve the poll lists
  maintained for a primary election for 22 months [until the end of
  the voting year in which the primary election is held].
         SECTION 36.  Section 172.1141, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.1141.  LIST OF REGISTERED VOTERS FOR CONVENTION.
  (a)  At the same time the acceptance of each voter for voting in the
  general primary election is indicated on the precinct list of
  registered voters furnished for use in the election, the acceptance
  of the voter shall also be indicated on the list furnished for use
  in the party's conventions.
         (b)  If a county records the acceptance of a voter
  electronically, the county chair may request an electronic document
  listing the persons who voted in the party primary.
         SECTION 37.  Section 172.115(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Subject to Subsection (b), the voter registrar shall
  preserve each precinct list of registered voters that is used for a
  primary election for 22 months [until the end of the voting year in
  which the primary election is held].
         SECTION 38.  Section 172.116, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows:
         (c)  The county clerk shall prepare and submit to the
  secretary of state a report of the results of the canvass, which
  must include:
               (1)  the total number of votes cast in each precinct for
  each candidate or measure; and
               (2)  the number of counted and uncounted provisional
  ballots cast in each precinct.
         (d)  The final canvass is concluded when the chair digitally
  certifies the canvass report on the secretary of state's website.
  The posting on the site that the results are final completes the
  canvass report. The chair is not required to file any additional
  notice or report with the county clerk.
         SECTION 39.  Sections 172.117(a), (a-1), and (a-2), Election
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The county chair shall certify by posting on the
  secretary of state's website a notation next to the name and address
  of each primary candidate who is nominated for a county or precinct
  office for placement on the general election ballot. The chair
  shall digitally execute [and file with the county clerk] an
  affidavit certifying that the returns posted on the secretary of
  state's website are the correct and complete returns. The
  secretary of state shall [may] adopt by rule a process to allow the
  chair to submit the affidavit digitally.
         (a-1)  The secretary of state shall develop appropriate
  notations to describe the status of each candidate. The notations
  shall include:
               (1)  "filed";
               (2)  "withdrew";
               (3)  "lost primary";
               (4)  "in runoff";
               (5)  "lost runoff";
               (6)  "deceased"; [or]
               (7)  "declared ineligible"; or
               (8)  "nominee for general election."
         (a-2)  The county chair shall update the notations after each
  general primary and runoff primary election. After any withdrawal
  or death of a candidate, and subsequent replacement of the
  candidate on the ballot, the chair shall notify the state chair, who
  shall update the notation on the website. All notations must be
  completed and accurate on the date prescribed by the secretary of
  state by rule to ensure that an authority printing general election
  ballots may rely on the information.
         SECTION 40.  Section 172.118, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.118.  NOTICE OF PERSONS ELECTED AS PARTY OFFICERS.
  (a)  Not later than the 20th day after the date the local canvass is
  completed, the county chair shall post on the secretary of state's
  website [deliver written notice to the state chair and to the county
  clerk of] the names of the persons elected as county chair and
  precinct chairs for the county. [This notice may be given by
  electronic means or through an electronic submission system adopted
  by the state executive committee of the party.]
         (b)  The notice must include:
               (1)  each party officer's address;
               (2)  [and] each precinct chair's precinct number; and
               (3)  each precinct officer's phone number and e-mail
  address, if supplied by the officer.
         (c)  The secretary of state shall make information described
  by Subsections (b)(1) and (3) available to the state chair, but not
  available to the public. [The county clerk shall preserve the
  notice until the county clerk receives notice of the party officers
  elected at the succeeding primary election.]
         (d)  Any appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of
  precinct or county chair shall be posted on the secretary of state's
  website. [On request of the secretary of state, the state chair
  shall deliver to the secretary written notice of the names and
  addresses of the party's county chairs. This notice may be given in
  electronic format as set out in rules adopted by the secretary of
  state.]
         SECTION 41.  Section 172.121, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.121.  CERTIFICATION OF CANDIDATES FOR STATEWIDE AND
  DISTRICT OFFICES FOR PLACEMENT ON RUNOFF BALLOT. (a)  The state
  chair shall certify on the secretary of state's website [in
  writing] for placement on the runoff primary election ballot the
  name of each general primary candidate for a statewide or district
  office who is to be a candidate in the runoff.
         (b)  The state chair shall deliver the certification by
  posting next to the candidate's name on the secretary of state's
  website whether the person lost in the primary or is in a runoff for
  the position [to the county chair in each affected county] as soon
  as practicable after the state canvass of the general primary
  election is completed.
         SECTION 42.  Section 172.122(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The state chair shall certify by posting on the
  secretary of state's website the name and address of each primary
  candidate who is nominated for a statewide or district office. The
  state chair shall execute and file digitally with the secretary of
  state an affidavit certifying that the returns posted on the
  secretary of state's website are the correct and complete returns.
  The secretary of state shall [may] adopt by rule a process to allow
  the chair to submit the affidavit digitally.
         SECTION 43.  Section 172.123, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  The requirements of this section may be met by entering
  the results on the secretary of state's website if the secretary of
  state maintains a website for that purpose.
         SECTION 44.  Section 172.124(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  The county clerk [chair] shall deliver the report to the
  secretary of state not later than the 30th day after primary
  election day.
         SECTION 45.  Section 172.126, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (e) and adding Subsection (g-1) to read as
  follows:
         (e)  The county clerk shall obtain the candidates' names that
  are to appear on the primary ballot, office sought, and candidate
  and office ballot order from the certified list on the secretary of
  state's website [A written certification of the candidates' names
  that are to appear on the primary ballot shall be delivered to the
  county clerk in accordance with rules prescribed by the secretary
  of state].
         (g-1)  A voter shall be allowed privacy to the extent
  possible when indicating the voter's choice as to which political
  party's primary the voter chooses to vote in. A voter may indicate,
  without verbalizing, the voter's choice by pointing to which
  party's ballot the voter chooses. The secretary of state shall
  prescribe a sign to inform voters of this option, and the co-judges
  of each polling place shall post the sign beside the signature
  roster.
         SECTION 46.  Section 172.127, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The presiding judge or alternate presiding judge for the
  precinct may post signs at [A sign used to indicate the location of]
  a polling place for a primary election or a primary runoff election
  that [must either]:
               (1)  identify [not contain] the names [name] of, or
  symbols [symbol] representing, any political parties [party that
  is] holding an election at the polling place; and [or]
               (2)  do not refer to a candidate or measure on the
  ballot [contain each name of, or each symbol representing, a
  political party that is holding an election at the polling place].
         (c)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules to provide that
  signs posted as authorized by Subsection (b) in the same county have
  a similar size and format.
         SECTION 47.  Sections 172.128(a) and (c), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Notwithstanding a conflicting provision of this code, a
  primary election that is required for the nomination of a political
  party to a statewide office, a multicounty district office, or a
  presidential primary election shall be held in accordance with this
  section in a county in which:
               (1)  the office of county chair is vacant and there is
  an insufficient number of members serving on the county executive
  committee to fill a vacancy on the committee; and
               (2)  the party is unable to establish a temporary
  executive committee under Section 171.027.
         (c)  The county clerk may combine voting precincts 
  [designate the location of the polling place] for an election held
  under this section to the extent necessary to [at the main early
  voting polling place or designate a location to serve as a polling
  place in the county seat of the county if the polling place is
  located so that it will] adequately serve the voters.
         SECTION 48.  Subchapter E, Chapter 172, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 172.129 and 172.130 to read as follows:
         Sec. 172.129.  STATEMENTS MADE BY ELECTION OFFICER WHEN
  PRIMARIES CONDUCTED AT SAME LOCATION. (a)  This section applies
  only to a polling place used to hold an election for more than one
  political party.
         (b)  An election officer conducting a primary election may
  not:
               (1)  suggest a political party's ballot to a voter; or
               (2)  discuss any race on the ballot with a voter.
         Sec. 172.130.  ACTION BY STATE CHAIR TO MEET DEADLINES FOR
  CONDUCT OF PRIMARY. (a)  Notwithstanding a conflicting provision
  of this code, the state chair, or the state chair's designee, may
  perform any administrative duty of the county chair or county
  executive committee related to the conduct of a primary election
  that has not been performed in the time required by law, including
  the submission of candidate information under Section 172.029,
  drawing for ballot order under Sections 172.082 and 172.084, and
  canvassing returns under Section 172.116.
         (b)  The state chair must notify the county chair or county
  executive committee in writing or electronically that a duty has
  been performed under the authority of this section.
         (c)  If a county chair has a reasonable impediment or lacks
  appropriate technology to perform any administrative duty of the
  county chair related to the conduct of a primary election within the
  time required by law, the county chair may request that the state
  chair, or the state chair's designee, perform the duty instead of
  the county chair.
         (d)  The state chair may act in the role of the county chair
  for the purposes of Subchapter D, Chapter 173, with the approval of
  the secretary of state.
         (e)  The secretary of state shall adopt rules to implement
  this section in accordance with the conduct of elections and with
  party rule.
         SECTION 49.  Section 173.001(d), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (d)  If the amount of the funds appropriated for the
  financing of primary elections is insufficient to satisfy the
  requests for those funds made under this code, the secretary of
  state may distribute the amount of the appropriation on a pro rata
  basis. Each party chair or executive committee is entitled to a
  proportionate share of that amount according to that committee's
  percentage of the total amount requested.
         SECTION 50.  Section 173.010, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 173.010.  FURNISHING RULES AND GUIDELINES. During
  October [November] preceding each primary election year, the
  secretary of state shall post on the secretary's website [deliver
  to the state chair and each county chair of each political party
  holding a primary election] a current set of the rules and any
  available guidelines adopted under this subchapter. The secretary
  of state shall e-mail each state or county chair who has provided
  the secretary of state an e-mail address when the rules and
  guidelines have been posted.  If a rule or amendment of a rule is
  adopted after the set is posted [delivery of the set], the secretary
  shall update the posting with the new rule or amendment [deliver a
  copy of the rule or amendment] not later than the 10th day after the
  date of its adoption.
         SECTION 51.  Section 173.032, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  The state chair may, with the consent of the secretary
  of state and the county executive committee, if one exists for the
  county, accept money into the state primary fund on behalf of a
  county party. The state chair must keep records to track the money
  that is attributable to a county.
         SECTION 52.  Section 173.033, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 173.033.  USE OF PRIMARY FUND. (a)  The county primary
  fund shall be used to pay expenses incurred by the county chair [or
  county executive committee] in connection with a primary election.
         (b)  The state primary fund shall be used to pay expenses
  incurred by the state chair [or state executive committee] in
  connection with a primary election.
         (c)  A primary fund may not be used for any other purpose,
  except as provided by Section 173.032(c).
         SECTION 53.  Section 173.034, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 173.034.  MANAGING PRIMARY FUND. (a)  The county chair
  [executive committee] shall manage the county primary fund.
         (b)  The state chair [executive committee] shall manage the
  state primary fund.
         SECTION 54.  Section 173.036(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The secretary of state may approve an expenditure of
  state funds for an audit of:
               (1)  the state primary fund or a county primary fund on
  request of the state chair; or
               (2)  a county primary fund on request of a county chair.
         SECTION 55.  The heading to Section 173.062, Election Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 173.062.  FEE PAID TO STATE CHAIR FOR DISTRICT OFFICES
  REMITTED TO SECRETARY OF STATE [ALLOCATED AMONG COUNTY COMMITTEES].
         SECTION 56.  Section 173.062(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The [state chair shall allocate the] filing fee for a
  district office accompanying an application for a place on the
  ballot filed with the state chair during the regular filing period
  shall be remitted to the secretary of state and deposited in the
  state treasury for the financing of primary election expenses
  [among the county executive committees serving the counties
  comprising the district].
         SECTION 57.  Section 173.081, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (c) and adding Subsection (g) to read
  as follows:
         (a)  Regardless of whether state funds are requested for
  paying primary expenses, a state or county chair shall submit to the
  secretary of state a written statement of estimated expenses to be
  incurred by the chair in connection with a primary election [shall
  be submitted to the secretary of state by:
               [(1)     the county chair, for expenses of the county
  chair or county executive committee; or
               [(2)     the state chair, for expenses of the state chair
  or state executive committee].
         (c)  A statement for a general primary election must also:
               (1)  state the amount of:
                     (A)  the primary candidates' filing fees required
  to be deposited in the county primary fund if the statement is
  submitted by a county chair, or in the state primary fund if the
  statement is submitted by the state chair, that have been received
  by the authority submitting the statement; and
                     (B)  the contributions to the county chair or
  executive committee if the statement is submitted by a county
  chair, or to the state chair or executive committee if the statement
  is submitted by the state chair, that:
                           (i)  are for the purpose of defraying
  primary election expenses; and
                           (ii)  have not been included in a report
  filed under Section 173.084 for a previous primary election year;
  and
               (2)  be submitted not later than the 45th day before
  general primary election day.
         (g)  The state chair of a party, or the state chair's
  designee, may submit a statement under this section on behalf of a
  county chair if the county chair:
               (1)  requests the state chair to submit the statement
  on the county chair's behalf; or
               (2)  fails to submit the statement by the deadline.
         SECTION 58.  Section 173.0832, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 173.0832.  DIRECT REPAYMENT TO AUTHORITY CONDUCTING
  PRIMARY ELECTION UNDER CONTRACT IN CERTAIN COUNTIES.  On request of
  a county election officer [of a county with a population of 100,000
  or more] who conducts a primary election under an election services
  contract authorized under Subchapter D, Chapter 31, the secretary
  of state shall [may] provide payment of primary expenses directly
  to the officer who incurs the expense rather than to the county
  chair under this subchapter.  The secretary of state shall
  prescribe procedures to implement this section.
         SECTION 59.  Subchapter D, Chapter 173, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 173.0833 to read as follows:
         Sec. 173.0833.  DIRECT BILLING OF CERTAIN PRIMARY EXPENSES.
  (a)  This section applies to election services and materials
  provided by a vendor for use in a primary election or primary runoff
  election, including:
               (1)  the printing of paper ballot material containing
  candidates' names used in a polling place;
               (2)  the programming and testing of voting system
  equipment, including ballot layout, programming of equipment, and
  audio production; 
               (3)  site support or technical support other than the
  programming or testing of voting system equipment;
               (4)  nonballot election materials used in a precinct on
  election day, including election kits, required party stamps,
  distance signs, and required forms; and
               (5)  the rental of non-county-owned electronic voting
  system equipment, including media components.
         (b)  A vendor providing election services or materials to a
  county chair or a county election officer contracting with a county
  chair for a primary or runoff primary election shall directly bill
  the secretary of state for the cost of the services or materials
  used on election day for which state funding is available under this
  chapter.
         (c)  The county chair or the county election officer
  contracting with the county chair for whom a vendor provides
  election services or materials to be directly billed to the
  secretary of state under this section:
               (1)  shall direct the vendor to remit final invoices to
  the secretary of state for payment; and
               (2)  may examine an invoice for accuracy after the
  invoice is submitted to the secretary of state for payment.
         (d)  If after a review under Subsection (c)(2) an adjustment
  is required, the county chair or county election officer shall
  notify the vendor and the secretary of state. The vendor shall
  submit a corrected invoice and the secretary of state shall adjust
  the payment accordingly.
         (e)  An invoice submitted to the secretary of state by a
  vendor for payment under this section must be in an electronic
  spreadsheet format prescribed by the secretary of state and list
  each county to which the vendor provides election services or
  materials. For each county to which a vendor provides election
  services or materials a submission must include:
               (1)  the name of the political party;
               (2)  the invoice number;
               (3)  the date of submission;
               (4)  the number of ballots printed, if any;
               (5)  whether an order for ballot printing or
  programming of voting system equipment was placed by the county
  chair or an entity contracting with the county chair to hold the
  primary; and
               (6)  the specific type of election services or
  materials provided.
         (f)  A vendor may not submit an invoice directly billing the
  secretary of state for a primary election expense required to be
  paid by the county under Section 173.003.
         (g)  The direct payment by the secretary of state of an
  invoice under this section does not affect the payments calculated
  for county chairs under Section 173.004 or compensation of a county
  election officer under Section 31.100.
         (h)  The secretary of state may adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section.
         SECTION 60.  Section 173.084, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b) and (d) and adding Subsection (b-1) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The authority preparing the report shall file it with
  the secretary of state not later than August 31 following the
  applicable primary election [the 30th day after runoff primary
  election day or not later than the 30th day after general primary
  election day if no runoff primary is held in the county], in the
  case of the county chair's report, or if no runoff primary is held
  for a statewide or district office, in the case of the state chair's
  report.
         (b-1)  The secretary for good cause, including failure of a
  vendor or a county election officer contracted to conduct the
  election to provide complete invoices in a timely fashion, may
  extend the filing deadline.
         (d)  Any compensation claimed under Section 173.004 shall
  [may] be forfeited on the failure of a county chair to file a timely
  report.
         SECTION 61.  Section 173.0851(a), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Any surplus remaining in a primary fund shall be
  remitted to the secretary of state immediately after the final
  payment from the fund of the necessary expenses for holding the
  primary elections for that year upon request of the secretary of
  state[, but not later than July 1 following the applicable primary
  election]. The surplus in a primary fund shall be remitted
  regardless of whether state funds were requested by the chair.
         SECTION 62.  Chapter 276, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Section 276.011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 276.011.  ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED ELECTION FRAUD
  ACTIVITY. (a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to
  establish, maintain, or participate in a vote harvesting
  organization, the person commits or conspires to commit one or more
  offenses under Titles 1 through 7.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under
  this section is one category higher than the most serious offense
  listed in Subsection (a) that is committed, and if the most serious
  offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the offense is a state jail
  felony.
         (c)  At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may
  raise the issue as to whether in voluntary and complete
  renunciation of the offense the defendant withdrew from the vote
  harvesting organization before commission of an offense listed in
  Subsection (a) and made substantial effort to prevent the
  commission of the offense. If the defendant proves the issue in the
  affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is the
  same category of offense as the most serious offense listed in
  Subsection (a) that is committed.
         (d)  In this section, "vote harvesting organization" means
  three or more persons who collaborate in committing offenses under
  Titles 1 through 7, although participants may not know each other's
  identity, membership in the organization may change from time to
  time, and participants may stand in a candidate-consultant,
  donor-consultant, consultant-field operative, or other arm's
  length relationship in the organization's operations.
         (e)  For purposes of this section, "conspires to commit"
  means that a person agrees with one or more persons that they or one
  or more of them engage in conduct that would constitute the offense
  and that person and one or more of them perform an overt act in
  pursuance of the agreement. An agreement constituting conspiring
  to commit may be inferred from the acts of the parties.
         SECTION 63.  Sections 32.006(b) and 32.010, Election Code,
  are repealed.
         SECTION 64.  The following provisions of the Election Code
  are repealed:
               (1)  Sections 172.084(b), (c), (d), and (e);
               (2)  Sections 172.113(b) and (c);
               (3)  Section 172.119;
               (4)  Section 172.127(a);
               (5)  Sections 173.062(b), (c), and (d);
               (6)  Section 173.064; and
               (7)  Section 173.088.
         SECTION 65.  (a) The changes in law made by this Act in
  amending Section 31.093(d), Election Code, as redesignated by this
  Act, and Section 162.014(b), Election Code, and adding Section
  276.011, Election Code, apply only to an offense committed on or
  after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before
  the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when
  the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect
  for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was
  committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of
  the offense occurred before that date.
         (b)  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  141.031(a), Election Code, applies to an application for a place on
  the ballot made on or after the effective date of this Act. An
  application for a place on the ballot made before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the
  application is made, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 66.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1735 was passed by the House on April
  28, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 135, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1735 on May 25, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 2,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1735 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 23, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor