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Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

2010 General Primary Runoff

TO: Texas County Chairs
FROM: Ann McGeehan, Director of Elections
DATE: March 8, 1010
RE: 2010 General Primary Runoff

I would like to commend you for your efforts and successful conduct of your party's 2010 general primary election. A runoff will be required for your county for any office on your ballot that had more than two candidates and no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the general primary election. It appears that the Republican Party will be conducting a statewide runoff for Justice, Supreme Court, Place 3.

Once the state canvass is completed next Thursday, March 11, 2010, the State Chairs will certify to you the names of the candidates who will appear on the runoff ballot for all state and district races. You will need to conduct a ballot drawing to determine the order in which the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot. This office will not be sending out a sample ballot for the runoff. The official title of the ballot is as follows, depending on the party:

Democratic Party Primary Runoff Election (Elección de Desempate de la Primaria del Partido Democrático) April 13, 2010 (13 de abril de 2010); or,

Republican Party Primary Runoff Election (Elección de Desempate de la Primaria del Partido Republicano) April 13, 2010 (13 de abril de 2010).

You will also need to include the party pledge immediately below the voting instructions. In the runoff election, there is no write-in voting.

To ensure that adequate funding is available to finance these runoff elections, I am asking that all county chairs observe the following suggestions and guidelines:

  1. Estimating voter turnout. Your estimated voter turnout for the runoff election should not exceed 65% of the total number of votes cast in the March 2nd General Primary Election for the same races which will appear on the runoff ballot. These turnout figures shall be used when determining the number of precinct workers and voting devices as specified by Section 81.117, 81.124 and 81.125 of the 2010 Texas Administrative Code.

  2. Electronic voting system and/or paper ballots. In using paper ballots, a smaller size ballot should be used. (There is no minimum size requirement.) To determine the number of ballots to be ordered, add 25% to the total number of votes cast in the primary race by voters in precincts conducting runoff elections. The number of ballots ordered may exceed the formula's figure, but in no instance should the number of ballots provided be so low as to impede the voting process or jeopardize the rights of voters. Before deciding on the number of paper ballots to order please consider the cost of the ballots and try not to over estimate on your numbers.

    Remember federal and state law requires that for all elections, there must be a minimum of one accessible voting unit in each polling place, which applies to primary elections, including runoffs. There are no exemptions in the law based on size or type of political subdivision. To determine the number of electronic voting devices to be used, please refer to the Texas Administrative Code Section 81.125.

  3. Combine or consolidate precincts. Whenever possible, precincts should be combined or consolidated. This should be done in a manner consistent with the Texas Election Code. Please be advised, however, that any consolidation or voting change that reflects a change from prior practice must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for pre-clearance prior to implementation. You may ask the Department of Justice for expedited consideration of your submission.

  4. Administrative costs. Please reduce administrative costs as much as possible. Since these costs are entirely at the discretion of the county chair, administrative costs, such as office rent, office supplies, and equipment should be minimized. For those counties conducting runoff elections, the need for administrative personnel during the month of April should be minimal, if needed at all.

  5. Limit the number of election poll workers. Because the runoff ballots include a limited number of races and no write-in candidates coupled with the fact that the turnout for primary runoff elections is historically much lower than the general primary election, the staffing requirement of many polling places should be limited to three workers (one judge and two clerks).

If a primary runoff is to be held and additional funding is required, you may access our Primary Finance section of our website where you will find two options:

  1. You can use the online tool to enter your estimate. If you need your user ID and password, please email our office. If your county had a primary runoff in 2008, the data has been pre-populated with the approved final costs from 2008. You are free to modify the data as you see fit (within the applicable guidelines). Be sure to print, sign, and notarize the PDF copy once you’ve submitted the estimate electronically.

  2. Under the Forms section of the above-referenced website, you may access a blank copy of the cost estimate form. You will need to enter all of the necessary data, print, sign, and notarize the form.

Mail of fax the Primary Runoff Cost Estimate to the following location:

Secretary of State Election Funds Management Section
P. O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060
(512) 463-7552 (fax)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (800) 252-2216 or by email.