C.S.H.B. 2241
By: Danburg
Committee Report (Substituted)


     Current law requires the paper original of all voter
registration information to be retained.  Recent advances in
technology make this an outdated requirement.  New technology
allows for space and cost reductions relative to records retention
without loss of historical information.
     Current law states that when a potential candidate wishes to
have their name placed on a ballot that that person must pay a
filing fee or collect a certain number of petition signatures. 
Some potential candidates find the form for an application for a
place on the ballot or a petition filed in connection with an
election to be ambiguous.
     Currently a county election officer/administrator may not be
personally compensated for election services performed under an
election services contract.  They may, however, charge a fee for
general supervision of up to 5% of the total amount of the
contract.  Any election requires a minimal amount of work at the
outset, including time to do layouts, printing, coordination and
preparation of supplies and forms, etc.  This amount is inadequate
to cover actual costs to the state or county.
     Current law allows commissioner's courts to appoint alternate
judges without any guidelines.  Typically, the alternate judge that
is selected is of the same party affiliation as the judge.  
     During previous legislative sessions, the Legislature imposed
a requirement to recount electronic voting system ballots manually
to verify the system's accuracy.  This can be done in a more timely
manner by determining select races or ballot propositions to target
for a recount.  Currently in the code, there is no cut-off period
for ending the manual recount process, so technically it could go
on forever.
     There is the technical definition of a day which coincides
with a 24 hour time period and an election day definition that more
appropriately corresponds to the period when the polls are open. 
Affiliation with a party is registered by one's election day
activity by the close of polls, but the day is not legally
concluded until twelve midnight.  To make the Election Code
definition of a day coincide with the intended affiliation
criteria, it is necessary to eliminate the 5 hour gap between the
time the polls close and when a day technically ends.
     The expense of a run-off election for a county and/or precinct
chairman race is hard to justify if another method of settling the
contest can be implemented.   In some cases, an undeclared write-in
candidate (for either precinct or county chairman) that technically
is the top vote getter may not wish to accept the position for
various reasons, yet they presently have no say in the matter.


     This legislation is intended to give the repository of voter
registration applications a compact and reliable medium for storing
them while being able to retrieve and reconstruct the records in as
expeditious and accurate a manner as possible.
     As proposed, CSHB 2241 makes the forms that the Secretary of
State prescribes to be furnished to potential candidates contain
certain information that would clarify some of the ambiguity.
     CSHB 2241 would allow compensation up to 10% and a minimum fee
of $75.00 for any election.
     As proposed, CSHB 2241 would direct the commissioners court to
appoint both a judge and alternate judge for each election precinct
with the proviso that where possible when a Democrat is judge, a
Republican be alternate judge and vice versa.
     CSHB 2241 provides a more timely, less comprehensive yet
equally as effective method for validating the results of an
electronic voting system by restricting ballot races and
propositions being manually recounted to a maximum of three each
for the three precincts to be designated by the Secretary of State. 
Provisions for notification of and observer participation in, along
with a recount cut-off point, are clearly specified.
     CSHB 2241 is intended to remove the ambiguity about political
party affiliation by making the conclusion of the general primary
election day coincide with the close of the polls after 7 p.m.
     CSHB 2241 permits the state executive committee to provide for
the election of county and precinct chair by a plurality vote. 
This would allow the state party to cut election costs by
eliminating run-offs for party offices.  Write-in candidate either
for county or precinct chair who receive the votes required for
election must file a written declaration of acceptance of the
office with the county executive committee not later than the third
day after the date of the local canvass.


     It is the Committee's opinion that CSHB 2241 expressly grants
rulemaking authority to the Secretary of State in SECTION 2
(Section 13.104 of the Election Code) of the substitute.
     SECTION 24 of the substitute (Section 127.201 of the Election
Code) requires the Secretary of State to designate offices and
propositions to be counted in relation to the partial count of
electronic voting system ballots.


SECTION 1. Amends Section 1.012 (c) to conform the cite to the Open
Records Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 13, Election Code, by
adding Section 13.104 OPTICAL STORAGE METHOD. which:

     (a) allows the voter registrar to store voter registration
documentation on an optical disk or other computer storage medium
approved by the secretary of state;

     (b) requires the record to be reproducible by the storage

     (c) allows the Secretary of State to prescribe rules necessary
for the implementation of this section.

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 16.031 (b), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 31.002 (a), Election Code, to require
all forms prescribed by the Secretary of State in connection with
an election must be designed to enhance the ability of a person to
understand the form.

SECTION 5.  Amends Section 31.0021 (a), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 6.  Amends Section 31.045 (e) to conform the cite to the
administrative procedure law.

SECTION 7.  Amends Section 31.100 (d), Election Code, by changing
from 5% to 10% the maximum amount that can be assessed against the
election services contract by the county election officer for
general supervision of an election.  There also is added language
stipulating that the minimum fee cannot be less than $75.00.

SECTION 8.  Amends Sections 32.002 (c) which prescribes procedure
for the commissioners court to select election precinct judges and
alternate judges.  This  procedure is such that the judge is from
the party whose gubernatorial candidate won the last general
election in that precinct and the alternate presiding judge be
appointed from the party with the second highest number of votes in
that precinct; and 

           (d) which provides the process for which the
commissioners court is to appoint an election judge in the event
that a vacancy occurs.

SECTION 9.  Amends Section 32.007 (a) and (b) to prescribe
procedures for the appointment of election officials in the event
that neither the election judge and alternate judge are not able to
serve and a last second appointment is necessary.

SECTION 10.  Amends Section 32.054 (a), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in Government Code.

SECTION 11.  Amends Section 32.091, Election Code, to allow
election judges and clerks to be paid for making required changes
to the list of registered voters.

SECTION 12.  Amends Section 32.094 (a), Election Code, to permit
the activity of making required changes to the list of registered
voters at a location other than the election day polling place.

SECTION 13.  Amends Section 33.002 (a), Election Code, to allow
candidates whose names appear on the list of write-in candidates to
appoint poll watchers.

SECTION 14.  Amends Section 33.004 (a), Election Code, to clarify
that a group of registered voters may appoint a poll watcher on
behalf of a write-in candidate in an election in which the
declaration of write-in candidacy is not required.

SECTION 15.  Amends Sections 33.00 (b) and (c) to include watchers
appointed in the name of a write-in candidate to the certificate of

SECTION 16.  Amends Section 33.033 (a), Election Code, to conform
the cite of the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 17.  Amends Section 34.001 (c), Election Code, which makes
requests for  election inspectors not available to the public until
the day after the election day.

SECTION 18.  Amends Section 52.061 (a), Election Code, to require
that ballots be printed in black ink on white or light colored
paper and to not be the same color as the sample ballot.

SECTION 19.  Amends Section 62.014, Election Code, to allow
election officers to make changes to the list of registered voters
at locations other than the polling place.

SECTION 20.  Amends Section 67.004 (c), Election Code, to delete
the requirement that the canvassing authority must tabulate the
early votes by precinct by early voting polling place.  This
section was declared unconstitutional in 1991.

SECTION 21.  Amends Section 87.1231, Election Code,  to remove the
number of votes by precinct by polling place from the reports that
the early voting clerk must report to the canvassing authority.

SECTION 22.  Amends Section 102.003 (c), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 23. Amends Section 103.001 (a), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 24.  Amends Section 127.201, Election Code, to impose a
deadline to complete off the manual recount process by the 21st day
after the election, unless special circumstances dictate otherwise. 
While retaining the current precinct identification procedure, the
new provisions would direct the Secretary of State to specify the
office and propositions (neither to exceed three) that shall be
manually recounted.  A requirement to post the recount parameters
(date, location, time, offices and/or ballot propositions and
precincts), as well as require a certificate of appointment for
observers of the manual count.

SECTION 25.  Amends Section 141.031, Election Code, to conform the
cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 26. Amends Sections 141.032 (c), Election Code, to provide
that the petition is not considered a part of the application to be
placed on the ballot for purposes of curing deficiencies in either
of the documents; and (d) which codifies current interpretation of
the law and provides that an application for a place on a ballot
may not be challenged for form, content, and procedure by anyone
after the day before early voting begins.

SECTION 27. Amends Section 141.063, Election Code, by adding
Subsections b, c, and d which make the signature the only thing on
the petition that has to be in the signers handwriting, allows
ditto marks, allows for the omission of the signer's state address
as long as the political subdivision from which the signature is
obtained is not situated in more than one state, and allows the
omission of the zip code.

SECTION 28.  Amends Chapter 142, Election Code, by adding Section
142.0021 to prohibit filing a declaration of intent for two or more
offices that are not permitted by law to be held by the same person
and that are to be voted on the same day. 

SECTION 29.  Amends Section 142,010 (c), Election Code, to prohibit
a candidate's name from being certified if the declaration of
intent was found to be invalid.

SECTION 30.  Amends Section 162.008 (a), Election Code, to clarify
that, for political party affiliation purposes, the general primary
election day ends after the polls close at 7 PM.

SECTION 31.  Amends Section 171.022 (b), Election Code, to allow a
political party to elect by plurality a county or precinct chair if
the state executive committee grants a county that option by rule.

SECTION 32.  Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 171, Election Code, by
adding Section 171.0221 to require write-in candidates who receive
the vote required for election to officially accept the position in

SECTION 33.  Amends Section 212.005, Election Code, to provide that
if multiple methods of recount are requested, only one method may
be used according to the following preference: manual recount,
electronic recount with corrected program, and thirdly, electronic
count with same program.

SECTION 34.  Amends Section 212.0241, Election Code, to allow only
a candidate that is not elected or nominated to obtain an initial
recount of electronic voting system results based on no grounds,
and this does not affect the scope of the recount.

SECTION 35.  Amends Sections 212.081, 212.083, and 212.085,
Election Code, to eliminate the multiple filing deadlines for an
expedited recount or amending a petition in an expedited recount.

SECTION 36.  Amends Section 212.113, Election Code, to provide that
if multiple recount methods are requested, the requestor whose
method of recount is not chosen, shall have his deposit returned.

SECTION 37.  Amends Section 232.008, Election Code, by adding
Subsection (d) to require a person who is contesting an election to
deliver a copy of the petition to the Secretary of State. 

SECTION 38.  Amends Section 233.006, Election Code, by adding
Subsection (c) to require a person who is contesting an election to
deliver a copy of the petition to the Secretary of State. 

SECTION 39.  Amends Section 243.007 (b), Election Code, to conform
the cite to the Nepotism Act in the Government Code.

SECTION 40.  Amends Section 243.011 (c), Election Code to conform
the cite to the Administrative Procedure Law.

SECTION 41.  Adds Section 271.0071 to authorize different methods
of voting in the same polling place in a joint election.
SECTION 42.  Amends Section 277.002 (d), Election Code, to state
that the omission of the zip code does not invalidate the

SECTION 43.  Effective date.

SECTION 44.  Emergency clause.


     HB 2241 as filed, was a shell bill.  The bill was drafted by
taking some of the legislation that Representative Danburg filed
that could fall under the caption and meshing them into one bill. 
These particular pieces of legislation did not have any relation to
the deliberations the Subcommittee on Election Processes and
Procedures had in developing the omnibus CSHB 2241.  For this
reason, the substitute is entirely different than the original
bill.  It is important to note that, while the original bill had a
fiscal note, the substitute does not.  The substitute incorporates
the various non-controversial portions of bills heard in the
Committee. The bills, or portions of bills, included in this
omnibus bill include: HB 192 (Madden), HB 193 (Madden), HB 261
(Madden), HB 542 (Danburg), HB 545 (Danburg), HB 1949 (Danburg), HB
2024 (Madden) and HB 2552 (Madden).  The substitute also includes
several clean-up amendments from the Secretary of State's office.


     HB 2241 was considered in a public hearing by the Committee on
Elections in a public hearing on April 19, 1995.  HB 2241 was
referred to the Subcommittee on Processes and Procedures, chaired
by Representative Staples and consisting of Representatives
Ehrhardt and Jones.
     After being recalled from subcommittee, HB 2241 was considered
by the Committee in a public hearing on April 26, 1995.  The
Committee considered a complete substitute to HB 2241.  Eight
amendments were offered to the substitute.  Seven of those
amendments were adopted without objection.  The substitute as
amended was adopted without objection.  The Chair instructed the
staff to incorporate the amendments into the substitute.  The
following person testified neutrally on CSHB 2241:  Ann McGeehan
representing the Secretary of State, Tony Garza.  HB 2241 was
reported favorably as substituted, with the recommendation that it
do pass and be printed by a record vote of: 9 AYES, 0 NAYS, 0 PNV,
     CSHB 2241 was considered in a formal meeting by the Committee
on April 27, 1995.  The vote by which CSHB 2241 was reported
favorably on April 26 was reconsidered without objection.  The vote
by which Committee amendment No. 7 to CSHB 2241 was adopted on
April 26 was reconsidered without objection. Committee Amendment
No. 7 was withdrawn without objection.  One amendment was offered
to CSHB 2241.  The amendment was adopted without objection.  The
Chair instructed the staff to incorporate the amendment into the
substitute.  HB 2241 was reported favorably as substituted with the
recommendation that it do pass and be printed, by a record vote of