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  81R5498 ATP-D
 
  By: Ogden S.B. No. 1025
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the votes required for a candidate to be elected to
  office.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Subchapter A, Chapter 2, Election
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER A.  VOTE REQUIRED FOR ELECTION GENERALLY [BY PLURALITY]
         SECTION 2.  Section 2.001, Election Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 2.001.  [PLURALITY] VOTE REQUIRED GENERALLY. (a) Except
  as otherwise provided by law, to be elected to a public office:
               (1)  [,] a candidate must receive more votes than any
  other candidate for the office; and
               (2)  for an office other than a federal office, the
  amount by which the number of votes cast for the candidate receiving
  the highest number of votes exceeds the number of votes cast for the
  candidate receiving the second highest number of votes must be
  greater than or equal to one percent of the number of votes cast in
  that election.
         (b)  If a candidate does not receive the number of votes
  required by Subsection (a)(2), the candidate receiving the highest
  number of votes and the candidate receiving the second highest
  number of votes are considered to have tied for the highest number
  of votes.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter A, Chapter 2, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2.0011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2.0011.  MAJORITY VOTE REQUIREMENT. (a)  If another
  provision of this code or a law outside this code requires a
  candidate for office to receive a majority of the total number of
  votes received by all candidates for the same office, the candidate
  receives the number of votes required to be elected to that office
  only if the amount by which the number of votes cast for the
  candidate receiving the highest number of votes exceeds the number
  of votes cast for the candidate receiving the second highest number
  of votes is greater than or equal to one percent of the number of
  votes cast in that election.
         (b)  This section prevails to the extent of a conflict
  between this section and any other law.
         (c)  This section does not apply to a candidate for a federal
  office.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 2.002(a) and (f), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (f), (g), or (i), in an
  election not requiring a majority [plurality] vote, if two or more
  candidates for the same office tie or are considered under Section
  2.001(b) to tie for the number of votes required to be elected, a
  second election to fill the office shall be held.
         (f)  This subsection does not apply to candidates who are
  considered to have tied under Section 2.001(b) but did not actually
  receive the same number of votes. The tying candidates may agree to
  cast lots to resolve the tie. The agreement must be filed with the
  authority responsible for ordering the election. That authority
  or, if the authority is a body, the body's presiding officer, shall
  supervise the casting of lots.
         SECTION 5.  Section 2.028, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  If the amount by which the number of votes cast for the
  candidate receiving the highest number of votes in a runoff
  election exceeds the number of votes cast for the candidate
  receiving the second highest number of votes is not greater than or
  equal to one percent of the number of votes cast in that election,
  the candidates are considered to have tied for the highest number of
  votes.
         SECTION 6.  Section 145.005(c), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  If the deceased or ineligible candidate and another
  candidate tie or are considered to have tied under Section 2.001(b)
  for the most votes in an election in which a majority [plurality]
  vote is not required [sufficient] for election, the other candidate
  is considered to be elected. If more than one other candidate is
  tied with the deceased or ineligible candidate, the winner of the
  election shall be determined by resolving the tie between the other
  candidates in the regular manner for resolving a tie vote in the
  election.
         SECTION 7.  Section 212.136(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), write-in votes
  cast in connection with a voting system shall be excluded from a
  recount of an election in which a majority [plurality] vote is not
  required [sufficient].
         SECTION 8.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an election held on or after September 1, 2009. An election held
  before September 1, 2009, is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the election was held, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.