Election Notice:  Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked) is Friday, February 23, 2024  |  Early voting for the March 5, 2024 Primary Election runs from Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – Friday, March 1, 2024  |  Visit VoteTexas.gov for more election information
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2023, OUR LOBBY WALK-IN HOURS WILL BE 9 A.M. - 4 P.M. (CENTRAL), MONDAY - FRIDAY.

Primary Finance Expenditure and Reporting Guidelines

Overview

The Secretary of State initially distributes funding to the county chairs, county election officers and voting system vendors based on estimated primary election costs. Seventy-five (75%) of the approved estimated cost is advanced to county chairs and county election officers.  Estimates are submitted for both the primary and runoff elections, if applicable. After the primary and runoff, a Final Cost Report (FCR) detailing actual costs must be submitted to the SOS. The net difference between the final costs and revenue received prior to the election (i.e., estimate payments and filing fees) will result in either another payment being issued by the state or funds will be due back to the state. Primary/Runoff estimates and FCRs must be submitted via the Online Primary Finance System prescribed by the Secretary of State. If you do not have your user ID and password or otherwise need assistance, please email the Election Funds Management team or call 800-252-2216 (option 3 for Election Funds Management).

Statistics

The following is a line by line description of the statistics for the primary and runoff elections.

While the county chair is required to report these statistics via the SOS online primary finance system, the custodian of election records has these figures on hand. If necessary, county chair should contact the county election officer for the data.

Payable Expenses

Note: These expenses may be contracted or non-contracted. If performed or provided per an election services contract by the county election officer, the county election officer will be required to submit the costs via the SOS online primary finance system.

*If services or items were performed or provided by a vendor, neither county chair nor county election officer should enter these costs into the online primary finance system. These expenses will be reported to SOS by the vendor and SOS will pay vendors directly. If an item is non-contracted, 5% of the expense will be calculated to be paid to the county chair as chair compensation. If an item is contracted, 10% of the expense will be calculated to be paid to the county as a general supervision fee.

Note: Section 172.1112(a), in conjunction with 4.003(b) of the Texas Election Code does not require that a “notice of election” for the primary or runoff be published in a newspaper. These notices are required to be posted on a bulletin board used for posting notice of meetings of the commissioner’s court. Accordingly, primary funds may not be used to publish these notices in your local newspaper.

Administrative Costs

Please review 1 TAC §81. 123 for the administrative costs caps applicable to your county.

Financing Sources

Non-Payable Items

Pursuant to §173.001 of the Texas Election Code, only expenses necessary for and directly related to the conduct of primary elections are payable from primary funds.

(b) Political expenses and expenses for any activity forbidden by statute or rule are not payable from the primary fund. Examples of non-payable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:

Supporting Documentation

Texas Secretary of State
Election Funds Management Section
P. O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060

Please note: expenses and supporting documentation should be submitted by the entity incurring the cost (e.g. county election officers who perform the service of appointing and paying election workers should enter the cost into the SOS Online Primary Finance System and provide the documentation to our office).

Primary Finance Dates to Remember

November 2023
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Wednesday, November 1st Earliest date estimate payments will be issued.
Wednesday, November 1st Earliest date primary costs may be incurred.
Monday, November 20th Recommended date by which county chairs who wish to conduct a joint primary
should meet with the county election officer to determine whether to enter into a joint resolution to conduct the primary, and if the determination is in the affirmative, to discuss potential consolidation of election precincts, to determine the estimated number of election judges and clerks, members of the early voting ballot board, and central counting station personnel to be appointed from the parties, and to decide which voting system and ballot formats are to be used.
(Sec. 172.126).
Monday, November 20th Recommended date by which county chairs should meet with the county election officer to discuss whether a contract for election services should be entered into, even if a joint prim_ary will not be conducted. The terms of such a contract, potential consolidation of election precincts, the estimated number of election judges and clerks, members of the early voting ballot board, a;nd central counting station personnel that will be needed and how they will be obtained, and which voting system and ballot formats will be used should be discussed. (Secs. 31.092, 31.094, 172.1113).
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Thursday, December 7th Recommended time frame in which the commissioners court should approve resolution to have a joint primary.
January 2024
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Monday, January 22nd Deadline to submit primary cost estimate.
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Tuesday, March 5th Primary Election Day
Friday, March 15th Deadline to submit runoff primary cost estimate.
April 2024
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Tuesday, May 28th Runoff Primary Election Day
June 2024
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Monday, June 17th New county chair term begins
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Wednesday, July 17th Outgoing county chair must transfer party bank accounts and records to incoming county chair.
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Tuesday, September 3rd Deadline to submit final cost report.

 

Final Primary Election Cost Report Checklist

Primary Finance – Final Cost Report Submission Checklist
Item needed to complete review Chair County
Copy of a signed contract for election services and joint resolution (if applicable)  
Copies of all bank statements from November of the year preceding the primary election through the last day of the month in which the primary or runoff election is held  
Copies of all invoices, bills and receipts for items attributable to the primary election
Copies of all signed compensation sheets from each of the polling locations, central count, and early voting ballot board
Copies of any office or equipment leases and bids  
Copies of personnel attachments stating who, what, when and how much
Detailed itemization of anything listed under “other costs” with timesheets, receipts, bills, etc.
Copies of county employees’ timesheets showing overtime hours worked in election preparation, etc.  
Documented serial number and invoice for a computer purchased with primary funds  
Final Cost Report Submitted online through Primary Finance System

The following items have not been included in the costs reported to SOS:

✓ “In-house” ballot production costs beyond actual costs incurred (Sec. 31.100, Tx Elec Code).

✓ “In-house” programming of voting equipment beyond actual costs incurred, including county personnel during normal work hours (Sec. 31.100, Tx Elec Code).

✓ Costs for county staff time preparing for the public L&A testing nor hourly charges for testers (Sec. 129.023, Tx Elec Code).

✓ Technical support provided by county personnel during normal work hours (Sec. 31.100, Tx Elec Code).

✓ Early voting election kit costs.

✓ Removable voting system components, such as a flash drive or accessibility components.

✓ County-owned equipment, including ballot boxes and voting booths.

✓ County personnel compensation during normal work hours preparing and transporting equipment and supplies (Sec. 31.100, Tx Elec Code).

✓ Personnel, utilities, or other expenses incurred before or after regular business hours for the use of a public building for a polling place (Sec. 43.033, Tx Elec Code).

✓ Election judge and clerk compensation beyond $12.00 per hour for election day and central counting station, including the early voting and late/provisional ballot boards.

✓ Central counting station manager compensation beyond the market rate for comparable work, e.g., county staff rate of pay to perform duties outlined in Sec. 127.002, Tx Elec Code.

✓ Tabulation supervisor and assistant tabulation supervisor compensation beyond the market rate for comparable work, e.g., county staff rate of pay to perform duties outlined in Sec. 127.003, Tx Elec Code.

✓ Political expenses, such as county and state conventions, get-out-the-vote drives, candidate forums and recruitment.

✓ Food and drink.