KEY CONCEPT: Elections Administrator Position
KEY QUESTION: How does a county create the position of an elections administrator?
REFERENCE POINT: Texas Election Code Title 3, Election Officers and Observers. Chapter 31, Officers to Administer Elections, Subchapters B, C & D.
- 1. The county commissioners court creates the position of elections administrator and sets the salary by written order.
- 2. By the third day of adoption of the written order, the county clerk must deliver a certified copy of the order to the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, the Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and to each member of the County Election Commission.
- 3. The elections administrator is appointed by the County Election Commission, which is comprised of the county judge as chair; the county clerk as vice chair; the county tax assessor-collector as secretary; and the county chair of each political party. The appointment requires a majority vote.
- 4. An elections administrator must be a qualified voter of the state. Once appointed, the administrator must give a bond in an amount set by the commissioners court, not to exceed $20,000, and may not be a candidate for public office or an office of a political party.
- 5. The commissioners court sets the elections administrator’s salary, which is not tied to the office of the county clerk. The commissioners court also sets the budget for additional staff and administrative costs. However, funding for all three categories may not be less than the total amount last appropriated to the county clerk and the county tax assessor-collector for the functions assigned to the elections administrator. In addition, the county’s HAVA budget may not be used for the new position or office.
- 6. As soon as is practicable after the effective date of creation of the position, the county clerk and tax assessor-collector transfers records and duties to the elections administrator.
- 7. The elections administrator can contract with political parties and political subdivisions such as cities, schools, water districts, etc.
- 8. Texas Election Code Section 31.031 explains the process for suspending or terminating the elections administrator.
- 9. The office can be abolished by a written order of the commissioners court, at which time the duties return to the county clerk and tax assessor-collector.