Maintenance Notice: Various applications including SOSDirect will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, August 2 at 11:00 p.m. until Sunday, August 3 at 5:00 a.m. due to scheduled routine maintenance. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

2014 Sample Ballot Memo

To: County Chairs and County Clerks/Elections Administrators
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Date: December 13, 2013
RE: Certification of Candidates and Sample Ballot for March 4, 2014 Primary Election

The filing deadline for the March 4, 2014 primary has occurred, and this memorandum serves as a reminder that the list of candidate names must be certified, the ballot drawing must be conducted and ballots must be prepared.

Certification and Submission of Candidate Names:

No later than today, December 13, 2013, at 5 p.m. County Chairs will need to have submitted the list of local candidates for public offices and the party offices of county and precinct chairs electronically to the Secretary of State. The current list of public office candidates is now available. The current list of party office candidates (county and precinct chairs) is also available. If you have questions or need additional instructions on how to electronically submit your candidate names to the SOS, please contact our office via email or (800) 252-2216 (option 3). NOTE: County Chairs no longer need to submit their list of candidates via hard copy. A new law prescribes that the list be entered on the SOS website.

No later than today, December 13, 2013, State Chairs will notify County Chairs that the certified list of candidates for statewide, multi-county, or district offices are on the SOS website.

No later than today, December 13, 2013, County Chairs will need to provide the list of certified candidates to your County Clerk/Elections Administrator and State Chair. County Chairs:Once you have submitted the complete list of candidates on the SOS website referenced above, you may use that list to provide to your County Clerk/Elections Administrator.

Ballot Drawing:

No later than December 17, 2013, the County Executive Committee must conduct a ballot drawing to determine the order in which candidates’ names will appear on the ballot for the statewide and multi-county races as well as the candidates for the local races filed with County Chairs. A 24-hour notice must be posted on the commissioner’s court bulletin board prior to the drawing.

Preparing Ballots:

We have enclosed a sample ballot to assist you in preparing your ballot. The sample ballot shows the correct office title with the Spanish translation as well as the order of the races that are to appear on the ballot. The sample ballot contains races that are not necessarily applicable to your county.  Accordingly, you will need to pick and choose the races that are applicable to your county.  The sample ballot includes titles for races that are not normally up in 2014, but may be up for an unexpired term.  It also contains only one title for each race and it is possible that you have more than one office on your ballot and, therefore, will need to repeat that race title.  In preparing a ballot, remember that a voter may only receive a ballot that contains the races on which the voter is entitled to vote.  As a result, you may have more than one type of ballot for voting in your county.  These different types of ballots are often referred to as “ballot styles” or “ballot combinations.”  The sample ballot is only a guide and is not designed for you to insert the names of the candidates directly on the sample ballot.

Please remember that a voter may not be given a ballot that contains an office for which the voter is not entitled to vote.  As a result, anytime you have a race on the ballot that is not common to all voters, a new ballot style has to be printed.

Although write-in voting is not permitted for the public offices on the primary ballot, write-in voting is permissible for the office of county chair and precinct chair.  Persons wishing to run as a write-in must file a declaration of write-in candidacy no later than December 16, 2013 at 6 p.m.  Place a line for write-in candidates for county chair only if a candidate timely files by December 16, 2013.

Preparing Ballots For The Office of Precinct Chair:

A. More than one candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and no declared write-in candidates filed:

1. Race is printed on ballot; and
2. No write-in line is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.

B. Only one candidate filed for precinct chair to have name printed on ballot:

1. Candidate declared elected and race is not printed on ballot.

C. Only one candidate filed as a write-in candidate for precinct chair and no candidate filed to have name printed on ballot:

1. Candidate declared elected and race is not printed on ballot.

D. One candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and at least one candidate filed as a write-in candidate:

1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

E. Two candidates filed for write-in candidacy and no one filed to have name printed on ballot:

1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

The office of precinct chair is a distinctive office and requires a new ballot style for each precinct.  If the office of precinct chair is printed on the ballot with candidate names, print the precinct number as part of the race title.  If the office of precinct chair is printed on the ballot with only a write-in line and no candidate name, the race title is not required to include the precinct number for the race.  In this case, the election judge will need to hand-write the number of the precinct on the back of the ballot next to the election judge’s name so that the ballot can be identified and counted by precinct.  This will reduce the number of ballot styles required to be printed and thus reduce printing costs.  NOTE:  If you are using a DRE electronic voting system, you may use paper ballots for precinct chair races.

If the office of precinct chair is not printed on the ballot because all chairs have been declared elected and election precincts are consolidated, the consolidated precincts may be counted as one precinct.

Preparing Ballots For The Office of County Chair:

A. More than one candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and no declared write-in candidates filed:

1. Race is printed on ballot; and
2. No write-in line is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.

B. Only one candidate filed for county chair to have name printed on ballot:

1. Race is printed on ballot; and
2. No write-in line is provided and write-in voting is prohibited.

C. Only one candidate filed as a write-in candidate for precinct chair and no candidate filed to have name printed on ballot:

1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

D. One candidate filed to have name printed on ballot and at least one candidate filed as a write-in candidate:

1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

E. Two candidates filed for write-in candidacy and no one filed to have name printed on ballot:

1. Race is printed on ballot with one write-in line;
2. List of declared write-in candidates is posted in each voting booth;
3. Write-in voting is restricted to candidates on declared list; and
4. No other write-in votes will be counted.

Preparing Ballots For All Other Offices:

Candidates for public office may not be declared nominated if they are unopposed in the primary election.  You must print their names on the ballot under the appropriate race title.  The law which allows certain uncontested candidates for public office to be declared elected is applicable only in the November General Election.  If you do not have a candidate running for a particular public office, either state, district, county, or precinct, do not include that office on the ballot.

If you have any questions regarding these matters, please feel free to contact the Elections Division toll-free at 1-800-252-2216.  I strongly urge you to order your ballots from your printer as soon as possible.  The early voting clerk may begin mailing ballots to voters who have requested them as soon as the ballots are ready, and must mail ballot to military and overseas voters no later than January 18, 2014.

Enclosure

KI:LO