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Election Advisory No. 2020-35

To: County Elections Officers (County Clerks/Elections Administrators/Tax Assessors-Collectors)
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: November 3, 2020
RE: Canvass Dates and Recount Deadlines for the November 3, 2020 General Election for Federal, State and County Officers

This advisory is designed to be read together with the recount outline on our website. The Recount Form (PDF) can be downloaded from our website; alternatively, you may contact our office and request that the outline and forms be mailed directly to you.

All statutory references in this advisory are to the Texas Election Code (“the Code”), unless otherwise indicated.

Canvass Dates

For all county and precinct races, the final canvass is the local canvass. (Tex. Elec. Code § 67.005). The local canvass for the November 3, 2020 General Election must be held not earlier than the third day after election day (Friday, November 6, 2020) and not later than the fourteenth day after election day (Tuesday, November 17, 2020).

The canvass cannot occur until the early voting ballot board has verified and counted all provisional ballots (if a provisional ballot has been cast in the election) or the date on which all timely received ballots cast from addresses outside of the United States are counted, if a ballot to be voted by mail in the election was provided to a person outside of the United States. (Tex. Elec. Code § 67.003).

For all district (including single county districts), federal, and statewide races, the final canvass is the state canvass. (Tex. Elec. Code § 67.010). The state canvass for the November 3, 2020 General Election must be held no earlier than the 18th day after election day (Saturday, November 21, 2020) and no later than the thirty-third day after election day (Monday, December 7, 2020, as the thirty-third day falls on a Sunday). (Tex. Elec. Code §§ 1.006, 67.012).

Recount Dates

The deadline for filing a recount depends on the date the election is canvassed. You cannot canvass your election until the early voting ballot board has convened and counted all provisional and overseas ballots. (Tex. Elec. Code § 67.003).

All mail ballots received by 7:00 p.m. on election day must be counted on election day. However, you may count a late domestic ballot from a non-military voter or a military voter using an ABBM (not an FPCA) that arrives no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day after election day (November 4, 2020) if it bears a cancellation mark of the postal service or a receipt mark of a common or contract carrier or a courier not later than 7:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020. The last day to receive a ballot from an overseas voter using an FPCA is five days after the election, which is Monday, November 9, 2020 (the fifth day falls on a Sunday). The last day to receive a ballot from a military voter using an FPCA is the sixth day after the election, which is Monday, November 9, 2020. The last day for the early voting ballot board to convene and count provisional and overseas ballots is the thirteenth day after the election, which is Monday, November 16, 2020. (Tex. Elec. Code §§ 65.051, 86.007(a)(2), 86.007(d)(3), 87.125, 101.057).

Deadlines for Regular Recount Requests

The deadline to request a recount for a county or precinct office on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot is 5:00 p.m. of the second day after the canvass is conducted. (Tex. Elec. Code § 212.028).

Below are the canvass dates and the deadlines for filing a recount in county and precinct races. Please note that if the last day for performance of an act is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state or national holiday, such as the Veterans Day holiday on November 11, 2020, the act is timely if performed on the next regular business day, except as otherwise provided by the Code. (Tex. Elec. Code § 1.006).

Local Canvass Date Recount Request Deadline (Regular):
Friday, November 6, 2020 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 9, 2020 (Sec. 1.006)
Saturday, November 7, 2020 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 9, 2020 (Sec. 212.088)
Sunday, November 8, 2020 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Monday, November 9, 2020 5:00 p.m., Thursday, November 12, 2020 (Sec. 1.006)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 5:00 p.m., Thursday, November 12, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 5:00 p.m., Friday, November 13, 2020
Thursday, November 12, 2020 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2020 (Sec. 1.006)
Friday, November 13, 2020 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2020 (Sec. 1.006))
Saturday, November 14, 2020 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 5:00 p.m., Thursday, November 19, 2020

The deadline to request a recount for a statewide or district office is 5:00 p.m. of the second day after the final state canvass. (Tex. Elec. Code § 212.028). The final state canvass date for the general election has not been set at press time, so those deadlines cannot yet be determined.

Recount deadlines for elections conducted by cities, schools and other political subdivisions on November 3, 2020 are addressed in Advisory 2020-34.

Reminder on Tie Votes and Automatic Recounts

Please note that even though recounts can be requested by candidates based on unofficial returns, the automatic recount based on a tie pursuant to Sec. 2.002 (plurality vote) should be based on the official canvassed returns. For more details, please see our Recount Outline and post-election advisory.

If you need additional assistance, you may contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-VOTE(8683).

KI:LP