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Election Advisory No. 2021-22

To: Election Officials
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: November 23, 2021
RE: Filing Period for the May 24, 2022 Precinct Chair Election

Due to delays in the U.S. Census Bureau releasing 2020 Census data to the States for redistricting purposes, the timeline for undertaking redistricting in Texas was modified this year. To accommodate the new redistricting schedule, Senate Bill 13 (87th Leg., 2d C.S., 2021) established dates for the candidate-filing period, general primary election, and primary runoff election for the 2022 election cycle based on when legislative redistricting plans became law.

On October 25, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4, Senate Bill 6, Senate Bill 7, and House Bill 1, adopting new redistricting maps for the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas Senate, Texas House of Representatives, and State Board of Education. Pursuant to SB 13, because these redistricting plans were passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor before November 15, 2021, the 2022 primary and primary runoff elections are still scheduled to occur on March 1, 2022 and May 24, 2022, respectively.

SB 13—which takes effect on December 2, 2021—contains certain provisions that address the election of precinct chairs in the 2022 cycle. Specifically, the bill provides that the election for the office of precinct chair in 2022 will be held on the same date as the runoff primary election, and that precinct chairs will be elected by plurality vote rather than majority vote in 2022. A plurality vote means that the candidate who receives the most votes is elected to the office. Accordingly, the election for the office of precinct chair will occur on May 24, 2022, and there will be no runoff election for this office.

SB 13 directs the Secretary of State to set the dates of the filing period for the office of precinct chair and to adjust the schedule for performing any official act relating to precinct chair elections as necessary for the efficient and orderly administration of the election.

On September 13, 2021, our office issued Election Advisory No. 2021-12 Precinct Chair Elections and Candidate Filings for 2022, providing the dates of the initial precinct chair filing period and guidance regarding the candidate application process. As indicated in Election Advisory No. 2021-12, and pursuant to the Secretary of State’s authority under SB 13, we are issuing this advisory to set certain dates and deadlines associated with the upcoming precinct chair election and to provide additional information regarding the receipt and review of precinct chair candidate applications.

Precinct Chair Filing Period

Under Section 172.023 of the Texas Election Code, the filing period for the office of precinct chair begins 90 days before the date of the regular filing deadline for the primary election. For the March 1, 2022 primary election, the first day to file as precinct chair was September 14, 2021.

Because SB 13 does not take effect until December 2, 2021, the precinct chair filing period for the 2022 election cycle opened on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 pursuant to Section 172.023. In accordance with SB 13’s changes to the precinct chair filing process for the 2022 election, the initial filing period for precinct chairs will end at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The filing period for precinct chairs will reopen on Saturday, January 15, 2022 and will end at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2022.

Receiving Precinct Chair Applications

Initial Filing Period: County chairs were required to begin accepting candidate applications for precinct chair on September 14, 2021, and they must continue receiving applications until 11:59 p.m. on December 1, 2021. County chairs may not refuse to take delivery of an application during this initial filing period. The county chair must make a decision as to whether to accept or reject the precinct chair application and must enter that information into the 2022 County and Precinct Chair Candidate Filing System. All applications received by 11:59 p.m. on December 1, 2021 must be reviewed, and a decision to accept or reject such applications must be made. If the application is rejected, the county chair must notify the precinct chair candidate in writing of the rejection. (Tex. Elec. Code § 141.032). Any applications received between December 2, 2021 and January 14, 2022 shall be rejected.

Second Filing Period: For the second filing period, county chairs must begin taking delivery of candidate applications for precinct chair on January 15, 2022 and continue receiving applications until 6:00 p.m. on February 12, 2022. (This deadline is not extended to the next business day under Section 1.006 of the Texas Election Code.) The county chair must review the application and make a determination whether to accept or reject the application. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.0222(b)). This review must be completed no later than the fifth business day after the date the application is received by the county chair. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.0222(c)). If the application is rejected, the county chair must notify the precinct chair candidate in writing of the rejection. (Tex. Elec. Code § 141.032). If the application is accepted, the county chair will enter this information into the precinct chair candidate system. The county chair must make a decision on the precinct chair application and must enter that information into the 2022 County and Precinct Chair Candidate Filing System

Reviewing Candidate Applications Filed During the Initial Filing Period

After the second filing period starts, the county chair must re-review each precinct chair candidate application received during the initial filing period, as the applicable precinct lines or numbers may be different after redistricting.  A change in precinct lines or numbers may result in a rejection of a previously filed precinct chair candidate application that was accepted during the first filing period because the candidate may no longer be a resident of the listed precinct, as required by Section 171.023.

The initial acceptance of a precinct chair application does not preclude a subsequent determination that an application must be rejected. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.0222(f)). If a candidate’s application is later rejected due to a change in precinct lines or numbers, the candidate can submit an application for a different precinct chair office, if eligible, during the second filing period.

Submitting Precinct Chair Candidate Names in the County and Precinct Chair Candidate Filing System

All precinct chair candidates must be listed in the 2022 County and Precinct Chair Candidate Filing System. The deadline for entering precinct chair candidate information will be February 21, 2022. The precinct chair filing system will be closed on December 2, 2021 and will reopen on January 15, 2022. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.029 & 1 TAC § 81.112, adjusted under SB 13).

Ballot Drawing Deadline

The deadline for county chairs to conduct the ballot drawing for the office of precinct chair will be March 10, 2022. Typically, this deadline occurs 10 days after the filing deadline. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.082). However, the deadline has been adjusted to allow for the ballot drawing deadline to align with the canvass deadline for the March 1, 2022 general primary election. This adjusted deadline would allow the chairs to perform both actions jointly, if they choose.  

Deadline to Certify Precinct Chair Candidates and Ballot Order to County

The deadline for county chairs to certify the precinct chair candidates and the ballot order to the county is March 12, 2022. (Tex. Elec. Code § 172.028, adjusted under SB 13). This deadline is not extended to the next business day under Section 1.006 of the Texas Election Code.

Precinct Chairs Elected by Plurality

SB 13 provides that precinct chairs will be elected by plurality vote in 2022. This means that the candidate who receives the most votes will be elected to the office of precinct chair, and there will be no runoff election for this office. 

If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).
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