CANDIDATE PACKETS ELECTION LAW SEMINAR FOR CITIES, SCHOOLS,
CANDIDATE PACKETS ELECTION LAW SEMINAR FOR CITIES, SCHOOLS, & OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS Amanda McCrory, TRMC, TRMC City Secretary, City of Burleson Text questions to Amanda @ 817-291-5846 Aimee Nemer, TRMC, MMC City Secretary, City of Richardson Text questions to Aimee @ 214-729-9376 2017 Secretary of State Election Law Seminar Presentation Outline
First ImpressionsLasting Impressions Responsibilities Research & Preparation Planning Contents Presentation & Availability Candidate Orientation Use of Technology/Social Media Records Retention Resources Text Q & A your questions! Amanda 817-291-5846 Aimee 214-729-9376 2
First Impressions Your candidate packet reflects on your office and the political subdivision It may be the candidates first [good] impression of the organization Remember, this could be your next boss! 3 Lasting Impressions Professional Impartial Prepared Accurate
Informative Concise 4 Responsibilities There is no requirement to provide a Candidate Packet The filing authority is responsible for providing the necessary official forms required by the Election Code and the Texas Ethics Commission at no charge The filing authority is responsible for accepting documents that candidates, officeholders, and political committees are required to file to run for office and under Title 15 What is Title 15? Campaign Finance Law - regulates the acceptance of, expenditure of, and reports regarding money in political campaigns by candidates, officeholders, and political committees. There are civil and criminal penalties for violations of Title 15. However, a violation of Title 15 will
not prevent a candidate/officeholder from being on the ballot nor will it invalidate an election. 5 Responsibilities You are not expected to be a Title 15 expert The Texas Ethics Commission is responsible for interpreting Title 15 However, be familiar with your responsibilities and filers responsibilities Maintain accurate records Follow Retention Schedule Date/time stamp documents Tip: Download the Guide to a Local Filing Authoritys Duties
https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/ 6 Responsibilities NOT! You are not responsible for ensuring forms are filed You are not responsible for receiving complaints about filings You are not responsible for explaining the forms to filers BUTthat doesnt mean you cant be helpful and courteous Remember to treat all filers the same officeholders and candidates 7 Research & Preparation First, prepare your election calendar
Tip for Easy Calendar Prep Include dates that are specific to your entity (holidays, candidate drawing date/time, orientation, etc.) Texas Secretary of State (SOS) Calendar Refer to Election Advisories - list of documents to include in candidate packets Current Forms (Application, Petition if required) Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) Uniform Filing Schedule
Current Forms/Instructions Guides & Publications Laws & Regulations 8 Research & Preparation, cont. Home Rule Cities Check Charter Local qualifications, districts, petition requirements, etc. Texas Election Law Texas Municipal Election Law Manual (*NEW* Blue Book) Use your Candidate Packet from previous election as a guide for contentsBUT ensure all dates, information, and forms are updated and accurate Keep a packet on file every election for your reference Bookmark these sites: TEC https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/main/local.htm SOS http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/conducting/index.shtml
Texas Constitution and Statutes http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Index.aspx Texas Legislature Online http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ 9 Planning Contents 1 big comprehensive packet? 2 more focused packets? Paper or Electronic? How many? When will they be available? Orientation for Candidates? Will Filings be posted to web? 10 Planning
Big or Small? Paper or Electronic? Recommend both Hard copy forms required for filing A lot of material to read One packet contains everything the filer will need throughout process Two packets saves time/paper 1 st Packet Application, Qualifications, Campaign Treasurer Designation Form 2 nd Packet Campaign Filing Forms, calendars, all other election details 11
Packet Contents for 2 Packets Application Packet Introduction Letter Qualifications Application Petition (if required) Appointment of Campaign Treasurer (CTA) Code of Fair Campaign Practices Act/Form (CFCP) Condensed Calendar Contact Information Candidate Packet Comprehensive Calendars, Filing Schedules Campaign Finance Forms
(C/OH & schedules A-FR) Instruction Guides Charter (if applicable) Political Advertising Info Maps (district/precincts) Important Subdivision Contact List Resources (SOS, TEC, Election Code) 12 Packet Contents 1 Packet Introduction Letter from filing authority Contact for election process Filing Authority Table of Contents for Packet Candidate Qualifications State and Local
Petition Requirements/Filing Fees District Requirements/Map (if applicable) Contact & Reference Information Subdivision Contacts County Election Administrator Texas Ethics Commission Secretary of State Election Code 13 Packet Contents 1 Packet, cont.
Calendars Subdivision Election Calendar Consider a summary of important dates with explanation Also provide an event calendar for your political subdivision board meeting dates, etc. Uniform Filing Schedule (Provided by TEC) Political Advertising Informational Pamphlet (TEC) Election Code, Title 15, Chapter 255 Political Advertising TxDOT Rules of Posting Campaign Signs Local ordinances; sign and electioneering regulations
City Charter (links or excerpt) Rules of Procedure Maps Districts Voting Precincts 14 Packet Contents Forms & Guides Campaign Finance Guide for Candidates/Officeholders who File with Local Authorities (TEC) List of Campaign Forms available from filing authority List of forms provided in the packet and the source Application for Place on the Ballot (SOS) Petition Forms -multiple copies (SOS)
CTA Appointment of Campaign Treasurer (TEC) Instruction Guide Consider including the ACTA Amendment to CTA and instruction guide Chapter 258, Election Code, Fair Campaign Practices Act (TEC) CFCP Code of Fair Campaign Practices (TEC) 15 Packet Contents Forms & Guides Filing Schedule for Campaign Finance Report Due Dates C/OH Candidate/Officeholder Campaign Finance Report (3) C/OH Instruction Guide Schedule A1-2 Political Contributions (Monetary and In-Kind) Schedule B Pledged Contributions Schedule E Loans Schedule F1-4 Political Expenditures(Categories) Schedule G Political Expenditures made from Personal Funds
Schedule H Payment from Political Contributions to a business of C/OH Schedule I Non-Political Expenditures made from Political Contributions Schedule K Interest, Credits, Gains, Refunds, and Contributions Returned to Filer Schedule T In-Kind Contribution of Political Expenditure for Travel Outside of Texas 16
Packet Contents Forms & Guides C/OH FR Candidate/Officeholder Designation of Final Report COR-C/OH Correction Affidavit C/OH-UC Report of Unexpended Contributions Instruction Guide LARGER SUBDIVISIONS MAY INCLUDE: Campaign Treasurer Appointment by Specific-Purpose Committee STA Appointment of Treasurer by Committee/Instruction Guide Campaign Finance Report Form SPAC for Specific-Purpose Committee Personal Financial Statement Form Req. for Cities with 100,000 pop. Chapter 145 Financial Disclosure Government Code Chapter 572, Section 572.029 and 572.030 PFS Personal Financial Statement/Instruction Guide 17 Feeling Overwhelmed Yet?
18 Packet Presentation & Availability Create a master copy file of contents with original documents Determine packet format -ring binder, plastic comb binder, etc. Cover Sheet Table of Contents Dividers/Tabs Pockets for forms Duplex contents when feasible to save copying costs and size of packet Make sure all contents are accurate, up to date, and copied correctly Make sufficient copies for distribution KEEP FILE COPY Electronic Packets bookmark and organize just like hard copy (recommend PDF packet with bookmarks) 19
Candidate Orientation Larger subdivisions may have a formal orientation with City Manager/Superintendent/Administrator staff Smaller its up to you! Great Resources from TML Free! www.tml.org (publications) A Guide to Becoming a City Official How Cities Work Handbook for Mayors and Councilmembers Overview of the Subdivision Government 101 Organization/Department overviews Budget Projects Overview of the Election Process/Running for Office Candidate Packet
Political Signs 20 Use Of Technology/Social Media Consider posting all candidate information including packet online political subdivision website Filed Campaign Finance Reports Do not post Personal Financial Statements Easy access for media and other requestors Discuss with Administrator/Governing body Dont be afraid of Social MediaIf your subdivision has Twitter, Facebook, or other social media accounts, use these to distribute election information 21 Records Retention & Accessibility Forms filed under Title 15 are public records and must be
made available to the public upon request Refer to Schedule EL Election Records (TSLAC) Or Adopted Retention Schedule Application/Petition Election Day +2 yrs. Campaign Treasure 2yrs. after appointment is terminated Campaign Finance Reports Date of Filing + 2 yrs. If there is a complaint filed or criminal investigation, you must maintain the records until resolved 22 Resources Texas Secretary of State (SOS) http://www.sos.state.tx.us/ Current Forms (Application, Petition) Calendar Election Advisories - list of documents to include in candidate packets
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Index.aspx Election Law Local Government Code Education Code Health and Safety Code (Emergency Services Districts) TMCA/TMCCP http://municlerks.unt.edu/ Election Calendar Texas Municipal Law Manual if you dont have it order it today! Find your local TMCA Chapter use them! Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) 24
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