Bill Text: TX HB4439 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the qualification of certain candidates for placement on the ballot.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-26 - Referred to Elections [HB4439 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB4439-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Cain H.B. No. 4439
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the qualification of certain candidates for placement
  on the ballot.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 141.064, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 141.064.  METHOD OF ACQUIRING SIGNATURE. A person
  circulating a petition must:
               (1)  [before permitting a person to sign, point out and
  read to the person each statement pertaining to the signer that
  appears on the petition;
               [(2)]  witness each signature; and
               (2) [(3)]  ascertain that each date of signing is
  correct[; and
               [(4)     before the petition is filed, verify each
  signer's registration status and ascertain that each registration
  number entered on the petition is correct].
         SECTION 2.  Section 141.065(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Each part of a petition must include an affidavit of the
  person who circulated it, executed before a person authorized to
  administer oaths in this state, stating that the person:
               (1)  [pointed out and read to each signer, before the
  petition was signed, each statement pertaining to the signer that
  appears on the petition;
               [(2)]  witnessed each signature;
               (2) [(3)]  verified each signer's registration status;
  and
               (3) [(4)]  believes each signature to be genuine and
  the corresponding information to be correct.
         SECTION 3.  Sections 142.002(b) and (c), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A declaration of intent to run as an independent
  candidate must:
               (1)  be in writing and be signed and acknowledged by the
  candidate;
               (2)  be filed with the authority with whom the
  candidate's application for a place on the ballot is required to be
  filed within the time provided for filing the candidate's
  application under Section 142.006 [regular filing period for an
  application for a place on a general primary election ballot]; and
               (3)  contain:
                     (A)  the candidate's name and residence address;
                     (B)  the office sought, including any place number
  or other distinguishing number; and
                     (C)  an indication of whether the office sought is
  to be filled for a full or unexpired term, if the office sought and
  another office to be voted on have the same title but do not have
  place numbers or other distinguishing numbers.
         (c)  This section does not apply to:
               (1)  a candidate for an unexpired term if the vacancy
  occurs after the 10th day before the regular filing deadline for an
  application under Section 142.006 [for a place on a general primary
  election ballot]; or
               (2)  a candidate for an office for which the regular
  application filing deadline for candidates [in a primary election]
  is extended.
         SECTION 4.  Section 142.006(a), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  An application for a place on the ballot must be filed
  not later than 5 p.m. of the first business day after July 4 [30th
  day after runoff primary election day, except as provided by
  Section 202.007].
         SECTION 5.  Chapter 142, Election Code, is amended by adding
  Section 142.0065 to read as follows:
         Sec. 142.0065.  EXTENDED FILING DEADLINE. (a) The deadline
  for filing an application for a place on the ballot is extended as
  provided by this section if a candidate who has made an application
  that complies with the applicable requirements:
               (1)  dies on or after the fifth day before the date of
  the regular filing deadline and on or before the first day after the
  date of the regular filing deadline;
               (2)  holds the office for which the application was
  made and withdraws or is declared ineligible on the date of the
  regular filing deadline or the first day after the date of the
  regular filing deadline; or
               (3)  withdraws or is declared ineligible during the
  period prescribed by Subdivision (2), and at the time of the
  withdrawal or declaration of ineligibility no other candidate has
  made an application that complies with the applicable requirements
  for the office sought by the withdrawn or ineligible candidate.
         (b)  An application for an office sought by a withdrawn,
  deceased, or ineligible candidate must be filed not later than 6
  p.m. of the fifth day after the date of the regular filing deadline.
  An application filed by mail with the appropriate authority is not
  timely if received later than 5 p.m. of the fifth day after the date
  of the regular filing deadline.
         SECTION 6.  Section 142.007, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 142.007.  NUMBER OF PETITION SIGNATURES REQUIRED. The
  minimum number of signatures that must appear on a candidate's
  petition is:
               (1)  for a statewide office, 10,000 [one percent of the
  total vote received by all candidates for governor in the most
  recent gubernatorial general election]; or
               (2)  for a district, county, or precinct office, the
  lesser of:
                     (A)  500; or
                     (B)  two [five] percent of the total vote received
  in the district, county, or precinct, as applicable, by all
  candidates for governor in the most recent gubernatorial general
  election, unless that number is under 25, in which case the required
  number of signatures is the lesser of:
                           (i)  25; or
                           (ii)  four [10] percent of that total vote.
         SECTION 7.  Section 142.008, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 142.008.  STATEMENT ON PETITION. The following
  statement must appear at the top of each page of a candidate's
  petition: "I understand that the purpose of this petition is to
  entitle (insert candidate's name) to have his or her name placed on
  the ballot for the office of (insert office title, including any
  place number or other distinguishing number) for the November
  (insert year) general election. I understand that signing this
  petition does not obligate me to vote for the candidate listed in
  this petition or limit in any way my right to vote for the
  candidates of my choice for any office in any election."  ["I know
  the purpose of this petition. I have not voted in the general
  primary election or runoff primary election of any political party
  that has nominated, at either election, a candidate for the office
  of (insert office title) for which (insert candidate's name) is a
  candidate."]
         SECTION 8.  Section 172.027, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 172.027.  STATEMENT ON PETITION. The following
  statement must appear at the top of each page of a petition to be
  filed under Section 172.021: "I know that the purpose of this
  petition is to entitle (insert candidate's name) to have his or her
  name placed on the ballot for the office of (insert office title,
  including any place number or other distinguishing number) for the
  (insert political party's name) primary election. I understand
  that [by] signing this petition does not obligate me to vote for the
  candidate listed in this petition or limit in any way my right to
  vote for the candidates of my choice for any office in any election
  [I become ineligible to vote in a primary election or participate in
  a convention of another party, including a party not holding a
  primary election, during the voting year in which this primary
  election is held]."
         SECTION 9.  Section 181.005, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 181.005.  QUALIFYING FOR PLACEMENT ON BALLOT BY PARTY
  REQUIRED TO NOMINATE BY CONVENTION. (a) To be entitled to have the
  names of its nominees placed on the general election ballot, a
  political party required to make nominations by convention must
  file with the secretary of state, not later than the first business
  day after July 4 [75th day after the date of the precinct
  conventions held under this chapter], lists of precinct convention
  participants indicating that the number of participants equals at
  least 10,000 [one percent of the total number of votes received by
  all candidates for governor in the most recent gubernatorial
  general election]. The lists must include each participant's
  residence address and voter registration number.
         (b)  A political party is entitled to have the names of its
  nominees placed on the ballot, without qualifying under Subsection
  (a), in each subsequent general election following a general
  election in which the party had a nominee for a statewide office who
  received a number of votes equal to at least two [five] percent of
  the total number of votes received by all candidates for that
  office.
         SECTION 10.  Sections 181.006(b), (f), and (k), Election
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A petition must:
               (1)  satisfy the requirements prescribed by Section
  141.062 for a candidate's petition;
               (2)  contain signatures in a number that, when added to
  the number of convention participants indicated on the lists,
  equals at least 10,000 [one percent of the total number of votes
  received by all candidates for governor in the most recent
  gubernatorial general election]; and
               (3)  be filed with the secretary of state by the state
  chair before the deadline for filing the lists of precinct
  convention participants.
         (f)  The following statement must appear at the top of each
  page of the petition: "I know that the purpose of this petition is
  to entitle the _______ Party to have its nominees placed on the
  ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I
  understand that signing this petition does not obligate me to vote
  for the candidate listed in this petition or limit in any way my
  right to vote for the candidates of my choice for any office in any
  election  [I have not voted in a primary election or participated in
  a convention of another party during this voting year, and I
  understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this
  petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to
  entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election
  ballot in the same election is prohibited]."
         (k)  The secretary of state shall post a notice of the
  receipt of a petition on the bulletin board used for posting notice
  of meetings of state governmental bodies. [Any person may
  challenge the validity of the petition by filing a written
  statement of the challenge with the secretary of state not later
  than the fifth day after the date notice is posted. The secretary
  of state may verify the petition signatures regardless of whether
  the petition is timely challenged.]
         SECTION 11.  Section 181.032(b), Election Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  The [Not later than the 10th day after the date of the
  filing deadline prescribed by Section 181.033, the] authority with
  whom an application is filed shall deliver to the secretary of state
  a list containing:
               (1)  each candidate's name;
               (2)  each candidate's residence address;
               (3)  the office sought by the candidate; and
               (4)  the date on which the candidate filed the
  application.
         SECTION 12.  Section 182.003, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 182.003.  QUALIFYING FOR PLACEMENT ON BALLOT. To be
  entitled to have the names of its nominees placed on the general
  election ballot, a political party making nominations under this
  chapter must file with the county clerk, not later than the first
  business day after July 4 [75th day after the date of the precinct
  conventions held under this chapter], lists of precinct convention
  participants indicating that the number of participants equals at
  least the lesser of:
               (1)  three percent of the total number of votes
  received in the county by all candidates for governor in the most
  recent gubernatorial general election; or
               (2)  5,000.
         SECTION 13.  Sections 182.004(b) and (f), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A petition must:
               (1)  satisfy the requirements prescribed by Section
  141.062 for a candidate's petition;
               (2)  contain signatures in a number that, when added to
  the number of convention participants indicated on the lists,
  equals at least the lesser of:
                     (A)  three percent of the total number of votes
  received in the county by all candidates for governor in the most
  recent gubernatorial general election; or
                     (B)  5,000; and
               (3)  be filed with the county clerk by the county chair
  before the deadline for filing the lists of precinct convention
  participants.
         (f)  Section 181.006(f) applies [Sections 181.006(f)-(j)
  apply] to a petition circulated under this section.
         SECTION 14.  Sections 192.032(c) and (d), Election Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The application must be filed with the secretary of
  state not later than the first [second] Monday in August [May] of
  the presidential election year.
         (d)  The minimum number of signatures that must appear on the
  petition is 10,000 [one percent of the total vote received in the
  state by all candidates for president in the most recent
  presidential general election].
         SECTION 15.  The following sections of the Election Code are
  repealed:
               (1)  141.066;
               (2)  142.009;
               (3)  172.026;
               (4)  181.006(g), (h), (i), and (j);
               (5)  181.033; and
               (6)  192.032(f) and (g).
         SECTION 16.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to a petition, declaration, or application filed on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A petition, declaration, or
  application filed before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect when the petition, declaration, or application
  was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 17.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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