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Election Advisory No. 2018-06

To: County Clerks/Elections Administrators and County Chairs
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: January 25, 2018

RE:

Joint Primary Election Signage

House Bill 1735 (85th Legislature, RS, 2017), amended Section 172.126 of the Texas Election Code by adding Subsection (g-1). The added subsection provides that, to the extent possible, in a joint primary election or joint primary runoff election, a voter must be allowed privacy when indicating the voter’s choice as to which political party’s primary or primary runoff the voter chooses to vote in. The subsection also provides that a voter may indicate, without verbalizing, the voter’s choice by pointing to which party’s ballot the voter choses and gives the Secretary of State the authority to prescribe a sign to inform voters of this option. The sign must be posted in each polling place beside the signature roster.

In accordance with Section 172.126(g-1), our office prescribes the following parameters for signage notifying voters of the option of nonverbally selecting a primary ballot:

The party may create their own form; however, the Secretary of State has prescribed a sample form. It is located in the County Chair Forms Manual and the Main Election Forms Manual Main Election Forms Manual and is listed as “Sign for Joint Primary Election.”

House Bill 1735 also amended Section 172.127 of the Texas Election Code to provide that the presiding judge or alternate presiding judge for a precinct polling place in a primary or primary runoff election may post signs at the polling place identifying the names of, or symbols representing, any political party holding an election at the polling place. The posted signs may not refer to a candidate or a measure on the ballot. The amended section also gives the Secretary of State authority to prescribe rules in order to provide that signs posted in the same county by different political parties are of similar size and format.

In accordance with Section 172.127, our office prescribes the following parameters for signage identifying political parties holding a primary or primary runoff election at a polling place:

If you have any questions or situations that are not covered by this memo, please do not hesitate to contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-2216.

KI:CA