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.