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Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Terms, Qualifications, and Vacancies

General Information

A city is home rule if it has a charter. It is Type C (general law) if it is governed by a mayor and two commissioners. If the city is not home rule or Type C, it is either Type A or Type B. Type A and Type B general law cities have five aldermen and a mayor. The only way to determine which type a city is, is to obtain a copy of the records of the incorporation election from the county clerk or the city secretary. If a general law city with an alderman form of government has a population of over 600, it is probably (but not absolutely) a Type A City.

The general rule for residence and age requirements is section 141.001(a)(2),(5) of the Election Code.

Any city, whether home rule or general law, that has increased its terms of office to 3 years or 4 years must fill vacancies by a majority vote at a special election within 120 days after the vacancy or vacancies occur; except that a home-rule municipality may provide by charter or charter amendment the procedure for filling a vacancy occurring on its governing body for an unexpired term of 12 months or less. See Art. XI, Sec.11 (as amended) for details.

Filling Vacancies

Type A City (Local Gov't Code, Section 22.010)

Type B City (Local Gov't Code, Section 23.002)

Type C City (Local Gov't Code, Section 24.026)

Home Rule City (Local Gov't Code, Chapter 26)

Independent School District (Education Code, Section 11.060)

Qualifications for Office

Type A City (Local Gov't Code, Section 22.032)

Type B City (Local Gov't Code, Section 23.024)

Type C City (Election Code, Section 141.001)

Home Rule City

School Board Trustee (Education Code, Chapter 11)

* Effective September 1, 2015, House Bill 484 amends Election Code Section 141.001 to provide a new general rule (for most offices) that a candidate must be a registered voter of the territory elected from as of the filing deadline (unless outside law conflicts). Given the effective date, the candidacy portion of the new law will NOT be effective for candidates with applications due August 24, 2015 for the November 3, 2015 election (regular filing deadline) or any special election to fill a vacancy ordered before September 1, 2015. However, the new law will apply to candidates in a special election that is ordered on or after September 1, 2015. Thus, candidates in a special election that is ordered on or after September 1, 2015, must be registered voters of the territory as of the date of the filing deadline for that election.

The new law also adds Government Code Section 601.009 to provide a new general rule that office-holders must be registered voters of the area they were elected from as of the time they are sworn in. Given the effective date, the officer-elect portion of the new law will be in effect for new officers elected November 3, 2015. This portion of the law is similar to requirements most general law cities and school districts already have. The new law will also apply to home-rule cities. Under the new law, the officer-elect must be registered to vote by the time of swearing in (qualifying for office).

Updated: September 2015