Texas Elections in a Mess

Dec 24, 2011 by

By Donna Garner


[If I am reading this information correctly that is posted on the Texas Secretary of State’s website, it looks as if any candidate who wants to run for any office on the primary ballot (including Congressional, Texas House/Senate, State Board of Education, etc.) will have a second chance to file. The troubling thing is that the federal court order has set February 1, 2012 as the last day of the second or reopened filing period, but we do not know yet the first day when the second filing period is to begin. That date is yet to be determined by federal court order.



I guess this means that anyone who filed during the first filing period does not really know for sure who his opponent(s) will be until after the second filing period is complete. – Donna Garner]



Texas Secretary of State, Election Information:





Calendar of Important Dates for Candidates for the 2012 Primary and General Elections


On December 16, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (“the federal court”), issued an order in the federal redistricting case (“federal court order”) changing the dates of the 2012 Primary Election (to April 3, 2012) and the Runoff Primary Election (to June 5, 2012) and substantially altering the deadlines relative to those elections as well as the filing deadlines relative to Independent and Minor Party candidates.



The calendar below has been modified to reflect the current election dates and deadlines set out in the federal court order. Some irrelevant past calendar dates have been deleted; information that is no longer current, as well as some references to new laws enacted by the 2011 Legislature and signed by the Governor have been eliminated in the interest of brevity and clarity.



NOTE: The federal court order states that the schedule it sets forth is contingent upon the federal court entering redistricting plans for the Texas House, Texas Senate, and U.S. Congress on or before February 1, 2012. The federal court order vacates in part the previous federal court order of November 7, 2011, but leaves intact the federal court order of December 14, 2011, except where its subject matter is specifically altered by the federal court order.



As a consequence of the federal court order: There are two periods for filing an application for a place on the primary ballot (accompanied by the filing fee or nominating petition) for any office scheduled to be on the primary ballot.

The first filing period closes at 6:00 p.m. on December 19, 2011. The first day of the second or reopened filing period will be determined at a later date by the federal court, but the deadline for the second or reopened filing period is 6:00 p.m. on February 1, 2012.


There are two period for filing declarations of independent candidacy, which correspond to those for filing an application for a place on the primary ballot. There are two periods for filing an application for nomination with political parties that make their nominations by convention and do not hold a primary election. The first period for accepting applications for nomination ends on January 2, 2012; the second or reopened filing period corresponds to that of the second or reopened filing period for candidates filing for a place on the primary ballot or candidates filing declarations of independent candidacy.



Candidates who filed during the first filing period are not required to file during the second or reopened filing period, unless they seek to withdraw or amend their applications for a place on the primary ballot, their declarations for independent candidacy, or their application for nomination.



Our website will provide further information relative to the second filing period when it becomes available.


Please go to this page to see the calendars: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/dates.shtml

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