Department Purpose and Functions

 The office of the Webb County Elections Administrator was established in accordance with Chapter 31, Subchapter B, of the Texas Election Code.

 The purpose of this office is to provide a secure and impartial system for all elections in Webb County.  The Webb County Elections Administrator is also charged with the duties of Voter Registrar and must maintain the Register of Voters for Webb County.  Also, in accordance with Section 31.091, Texas Election Code, other entities or political subdivisions within Laredo and Webb County can enter into a contract with the office of the Webb County Elections Administrator to provide election services for any election which they are authorized to call and conduct.

 The functions of the office are centered around its main objective: to conduct elections incumbent upon the County of Webb in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Election Code and the maintenance of the Register of Voters for all of Webb County. All other functions flow from this.  Additionally, all additions, deletions, and changes in any voter's file must be reported to the Secretary of State in a weekly basis.  Monitoring of the accuracy of the information contained in the register of voters is incumbent upon the Elections Administrator. The Elections Administrator must also initiate, support and assist all voter registration drives conducted in the county.  Poll lists of registered voters must be generated to conduct elections.

 Information concerning voter history, i.e., showing how many elections a voter has participated in, is a requirement of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.  It also requires the Webb County Elections Administrator as the Voter Registrar to work closely with all state and federal agencies in providing opportunities to citizens to register to vote if they are not already registered voters.  Monitoring this activity is also required under the provisions of this act.

 Furthermore, a report must be furnished to the Federal Elections Commission periodically showing exactly which agency or office gathered the registration cards which must be forwarded to this office for processing.

 State and Federal election results must be immediately communicated to the Texas Secretary of State who is the Chief Elections Officer of the State of Texas. The results for federal offices must then be furnished to the Federal Elections Commission in Washington, D.C.

 All ballots, election materials, and printouts of election results must be stored for a certain amount of time following an election. The amount of time required for storage depends on the type of election conducted. In an election of state, county, or local candidates or issues, the Elections Administrator must store the required materials for a period of sixty (60) days in locked and sealed containers in a locked room.  Required materials must be stored for a period of twenty two (22) months in those elections which are held for offices at the federal level.

 Since 1975, Texas, including Webb County, has been subject to the provisions of Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S. Code, Sec. 1973c) that require submission of any change that affects the election process in any way (i.e., voting precinct lines, polling places, special election dates and procedures, voter or candidate eligibility requirements, etc.) to the U. S. Department of Justice.  If the Department of Justice determines that a change in any of the aforementioned will not have the effect of denying or abridging the rights of any citizen to vote because the person is a member of a minority group, then they will ?preclear? the change.  The department must have sixty days to issue their objection to the request for preclearance submitted by the Elections Administrator, another governmental entity or party.

 Venues of communication with the voters and citizens of Webb County as well as members of the print and electronic media must be developed by the Elections Administrator in order to provide and guarantee immediate communication with the public as to information concerning elections, registration, and registration drives in progress.

 In complying with the provisions of the Texas Election Code concerning Retail and Mobile Early Voting, the Elections Administrator must institute good relationships with the commercial sector of the community so that sites can be furnished for this important and expanding portion of the election process.

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