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SB 1116 Requires Districts to Post Election Results Online

Vote signs.

After election results come in, Texas school districts will need to comply with requirements to post those results on their websites, from the total number of votes cast to specific breakdowns by candidate and ballot propositions, among other details.

“The new requirements are part of SB 1116 (pdf), which took effect September 2021 after the 87th Regular Session,” said TASB Lead Attorney Mark Tilley. “The law applies to any school district that maintains a website, which will cover most, if not all, of the 1,029 districts in Texas.”

The requirements bring to more than 50 the total number of items that school districts are mandated to have posted on their websites. In this case, the details around the election results must be posted no more than two clicks away from a district’s homepage.

“All of the information that needs to be posted comes from the canvass, which is the official act of finalizing the results of the election,” Tilley said. “The rules around conducting the canvass haven’t changed but it’s always a good idea to review post-election procedures, which can be found in our After the Election FAQ (pdf).”

Some key considerations to remember:

  • For November elections in even-numbered years, the board must canvass between the third day and 14th day after the election. In May and November elections that occur in odd-numbered years, the canvass should occur no earlier than the third day or later than the 11th day after the election.
  • The canvass must occur at a properly posted board meeting.
  • Information must be posted on the school district’s website even if the county is also posting the information.

For statutory provisions on canvassing, Tilley recommends districts review BBBB (LEGAL). (Look for this in Policy Online.) If districts have questions, they should reach out to their attorneys or TASB Legal Services.

Once the canvass is complete, districts should ensure the following details are posted to their websites, as required under SB 1116.

  • The results of each election.
  • The total number of votes cast.
  • The total number of votes cast for each candidate or for or against each measure.
  • The total number of votes cast by personal appearance on election day.
  • The total number of votes cast by personal appearance or mail during the early voting period.
  • The total number of counted and uncounted provisional ballots cast.

Although the law doesn’t give districts a deadline, these postings should be done “as soon as practicable after the election.”

“The intent of the bill was to make election results that don’t necessarily garner headlines and news coverage more accessible to citizens,” Tilley said. He noted that the new requirements have the added benefit of increasing transparency around the election process, which should build confidence among the public.

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