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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Election returns (precinct-by-precinct), 1972-1988,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division:

An Inventory of Election Returns (Precinct-by-Precinct) at the Texas State Archives, 1972-1988



Overview

Creator: Texas. Elections Division.
Title: Election returns (precinct-by-precinct)
Dates: 1972-1988
Abstract: These records include precinct-by-precinct returns of primary and general elections, precinct-by-precinct canvass survey forms, lists of candidates who have filed applications for a place on the primary ballot, certifications of nominees for the general election, notices of party officers, precinct maps, and accompanying correspondence, dating 1972-1988, filed in the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State. The races reported include federal, state, district, and county, plus constitutional amendment elections. The basic documents in each county's file are the returns, which report the number of registered voters per precinct, and the number of votes (and sometimes the percentages) per candidate per precinct. Other types of documentation may not always be present in a county's file.
Quantity: 99.25 cubic ft.
Location: Please note that some of these records are stored at the State Records Center. Records requested before 10:00 a.m. will usually be available by 4:00 p.m. the same day. Records requested after 10:00 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m. will usually be available by noon the next day.
Language English.

Agency History

The Texas Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor's (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1974). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836, and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution.

The Secretary of State has an enormous number of duties and responsibilities, including the following: authenticating the publication of all laws passed by the state legislature; approving comptroller's accounts against the state prior to payment; maintaining a register of all official acts and proceedings of the governor, and all appointments to state boards and commissions; interpreting and enforcing the Texas Election Code, as the state's chief election officer; keeping the Seal of the State of Texas; maintaining many business-related filings, including corporation and Uniform Commercial Code filings.

The office of the Secretary of State is divided into five divisions: Executive, Elections, Statutory Filings, Administrative Services, and Information Services.

The Elections Division assists the Secretary of State in interpreting and applying the Election Code and other election laws. The Secretary of State, as Chief Election Officer of the State, has specific functions under the Election Code, which include receiving, examining, and filing the official certified returns of all general elections, special elections for members of the legislature, and constitutional amendment elections.

Since 1835, returns of general and special elections for district, national (for the Republic), statewide, and federal offices have usually been certified to the Secretary of State by county judges. The county judge filed a certificate of election and qualification with the Secretary of State for county and precinct offices, which include the following: county judge, county clerk, district clerk, county attorney, county treasurer, county surveyor, sheriff, county tax collector, county tax assessor, county superintendent of public instruction, inspector of hides and animals, public weigher, justices of the peace, constables, county commissioners. The 1st Legislature approved a law on May 11, 1846 requiring the Secretary of State to furnish forms to county election officials for election returns, and to receive certified election returns from these officials for members of the legislature. The 15th Legislature approved an Act regulating elections on August 23, 1876, which among other things, required that duplicate election returns be filed with the Secretary of State for the following races: members of the legislature (state senators and state representatives), governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, treasurer, commissioner of the General Land Office, attorney general, judges of the Supreme, appellate and district courts, district attorneys, and representatives of the Congress of the United States. Additional state elective offices were added to this list as they were created: superintendent of public instruction (1884), railroad commissioners (1890), commissioner of agriculture (1907), and elected members of the State Board of Education (1949). When U.S. Senators began to be chosen by popular election after the ratification of the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1913), they also were (eventually) added to the returns. For most of these offices, the Secretary of State was required to open and count the returns in the presence of the governor and the attorney general.

At the close of an election day, the presiding judge delivers Envelope Number 1 (containing precinct returns) to the presiding officer of the local canvassing authority. Precinct returns are then canvassed by the commissioners' court of the county, or by the political subdivision's governing body in elections below the county level.

Texas law now requires county clerks (originally county judges, 1951-1971) to report precinct results to the Secretary of State (Section 125 of House Bill 6, 52nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1951; and Section 125a of Senate Bill 23, 62nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1971). The Secretary of State must preserve the reports (or the tabulations of reports) of precinct results for Statewide races, for both general and primary elections, for 10 years, and thereafter to transfer the reports or tabulations to the State Library. The same procedure and retention periods apply to maps of precinct boundary changes. (V.T.C.A., Election Code, Sections 42.037, 66.002, 66.058, 67.017, and 172.124)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

These records include precinct-by-precinct returns of primary and general elections, precinct-by-precinct canvass survey forms, lists of candidates who have filed applications for a place on the primary ballot, certifications of nominees for the general election, notices of party officers, precinct maps, and accompanying correspondence, dating 1972-1988, filed in the Elections Division of the Texas Secretary of State. The races reported include federal, state, district, and county, plus constitutional amendment elections. The basic documents in each county's file are the returns, which report the number of registered voters per precinct, and the number of votes (and sometimes the percentages) per candidate per precinct. Other types of documentation may not always be present in a county's file. The canvass survey form also lists (precinct-by-precinct) the numbers of votes received for each candidate for statewide or district office, and for or against each constitutional amendment. (These forms constitute returns in compliance with the Texas Election Code.)

Lists of candidates who have filed applications for a place on the primary ballot give the following information: county, party, office sought, name of candidate, street address, home and business phone numbers. Certifications of nominees for the general election give the name of each candidate as it is to appear on the official ballot, the office, and the candidate's address. Notices of party officers, certifying the election of party officers at primary elections, give the names and addresses of the county chairman and precinct chairmen. Also included are precinct maps for many counties.

Apparently missing are precinct-by-precinct returns for Waller thru Zavala Counties dating 1982.

Election returns (precinct-by-precinct) are created as part of the official record of election results, in order to determine the winner in each race, and to resolve any disputes over the outcomes of elections. They are submitted to the Secretary of State in compliance with the Texas Election Code.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by county name. For 1976, primary election returns are filed first, followed by general election returns. For 1978, Harris County Democratic primary and general election returns are filed first, followed by Dallas County general and Travis County Democratic primary returns, and then all other counties.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

No legal restrictions. Regarding questions of confidentiality of candidates' addresses and telephone numbers, please note the following from the Texas Election Code:

  • V.T.C.A., Election Code, § 141.035. Application as Public Information: An application for a place on the ballot, including an accompanying petition, is public information immediately on its filing.
  • V.T.C.A., Election Code, § 1.012. Public Inspection of Election Records: (a) Subject to Subsection (b), an election record that is public information shall be made available to the public during the regular business hours of the record's custodian. (b) For the purpose of safeguarding the election records or economizing the custodian's time, the custodian may adopt reasonable rules limiting public access. (c) Except as otherwise provided by this code or Chapter 552, Government Code, all election records are public information.

Many of the election returns in the following inventory--specifically, those for 1976, 1978, 1980 (except for Dallas County), 1982 (Tarrant County only), 1984, and 1986 (1995/041)--are in off-site storage at the State Records Center. They must be requested for you by Archives staff. Records requested before 10:00 a.m. will usually be available by 4:00 p.m. the same day. Records requested after 10:00 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m. will usually be available by noon the next day.

Those returns for 1972, 1974, 1980 (Dallas County only), 1982 (except for Tarrant County), and 1988 (1989/092, 1991/163, 1994/013, and 2000/153) are available on-site.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Elections--Texas.
Places:
Texas--Officials and employees--Selection and appointment.
Document Types:
Election returns--Texas--1972-1988.
Printouts--Texas--Elections--1980.
Certificates--Texas--Elections--1972-1988.
Maps--Texas--Elections--1972-1988.
Lists--Texas--Elections--1972-1988.
Functions:
Regulating elections.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division, Republic of Texas election returns, 1835-1845, 3.06 cubic ft.
Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division, State of Texas election returns (county-by-county), 1846-1984 (not inclusive), 176.55 cubic ft.
Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division, Election materials, 1909, 1913, 1936, 1940-1984, 84.47 cubic ft.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Election returns (precinct-by-precinct), Elections Division, Texas Secretary of State. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1989/092, 1991/163, 1994/013, 1995/041, 2000/153

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Elections Division of the Secretary of State on January 13, 1989; May 31, 1991; October 6, 1993; December 22, 1994; and May 15, 2000.

Processing Information

Laura K. Saegert, September 1989

Lisa M. Hendricks, July 1992

Tony Black, June 1996, May 2000, March 2005

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Election returns (precinct-by-precinct), 1972-1988,
99.25 cubic ft.

1972
Box
1989/092-41 Anderson thru Bowie Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-42 Brazoria thru Coryell Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-43 Cottle thru Frio Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-44 Gaines thru Houston Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-45 Howard thru Lampasas Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-46 La Salle thru Moore Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-47 Morris thru San Augustine Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-48 Sabine thru Upshur Counties, 1972
Box
1989/092-49 Upton thru Zavala Counties, 1972
1974
Box
1989/092-52 Anderson thru Colorado Counties, 1974
Box
1989/092-53 Comal thru Glasscock Counties, 1974
Box
1989/092-54 Gray thru Kent Counties, 1974
Box
1989/092-55 Kerr thru Orange Counties, 1974
Box
1989/092-56 Palo Pinto thru Titus Counties, 1974
Box
1989/092-57 Tom Green thru Zavala Counties, 1974
1976
Box
1995/041-1 Anderson thru Harris Counties (primary), 1976
Box
1995/041-2 Hartley thru Zavala Counties (primary), 1976
Box
1995/041-54 Anderson thru Collin Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-55 Collingsworth thru Frio Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-56 Gaines thru Jones Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-57 Karnes thru Motley Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-58 Nacogdoches thru Somervell Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-59 Starr thru Zavala Counties (general), 1976
Box
1995/041-3 Dallas and Harris Counties (general), 1976
[either duplicating or supplementing returns in previous boxes]
Box
1995/041-4 Various precinct-by-precinct returns for primary and general election, 1976
Box
1995/041-5 Various precinct-by-precinct returns for primary and general election, 1976
1978
Box
1995/041-6 Harris County (Democratic primary and general), 1978
Box
1995/041-7 Harris County (Democratic primary), 1978
Dallas County (general), 1978
Travis County (Democratic primary), 1978
Box
1995/041-8 Anderson thru Bowie Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-9 Brazoria thru Comal Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-10 Comanche thru Falls Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-11 Fannin thru Hays Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-12 Hemphill thru Knox Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-13 Lamar thru Montgomery Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-14 Moore thru San Jacinto Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-15 San Patricio thru Travis Counties, 1978
Box
1995/041-16 Trinity thru Zavala Counties, 1978
1980
Box
1995/041-17 Anderson thru Brazos Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-18 Brewster thru Coleman Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-19 Collin thru Dimmit Counties, 1980
volume
1994/013-11 Dallas County, 1980
(General election)
Box
1995/041-20 Donley thru Galveston Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-21 Garza thru Harris Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-22 Harrison thru Jefferson Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-23 Jim Hogg thru Lipscomb Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-24 Live Oak thru Motley Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-25 Nacogdoches thru Runnels Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-26 Rusk thru Swisher Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-27 Tarrant thru Tyler Counties, 1980
Box
1995/041-28 Upshur thru Zavala Counties, 1980
1982
Box
1991/163-3 Anderson thru Bowie Counties (001-019), 1982
Box
1991/163-4 Brazoria thru Chambers Counties (020-036), 1982
Box
1991/163-5 Cherokee thru Dickens Counties (037-063), 1982
Box
1991/163-6 Dimmit thru Goliad Counties (064-088), 1982
Box
1991/163-7 Gonzales thru Harris Counties (089-101), 1982
Box
1991/163-8 Harrison thru Jeff Davis Counties (102-122), 1982
Box
1991/163-9 Jefferson thru Lavaca Counties (123-143), 1982
Box
1991/163-10 Lee thru Mills Counties (144-167), 1982
Box
1991/163-11 Mitchell thru Rains Counties (168-190), 1982
Box
1991/163-12 Randall thru Stonewall Counties (191-217), 1982
Box
1991/163-13 Sutton thru Tyler Counties (218-229), 1982
Box
1991/163-14 Upshur thru Walker Counties (230-236), 1982
[Waller thru Zavala Counties (237-254), 1982, are missing]
Box
1995/041-29 Tarrant County, 1982
1984
Box
1995/041-30 Anderson thru Brazoria Counties (1-20), 1984
Box
1995/041-31 Brazos thru Collin Counties (21-43), 1984
Box
1995/041-32 Collingsworth thru Edwards Counties (44-70), 1984
Box
1995/041-33 Ellis thru Guadalupe Counties (71-95), 1984
Box
1995/041-34 Hale thru Howard Counties (96-115), 1984
Box
1995/041-35 Hudspeth thru Lamb Counties (116-140), 1984
Box
1995/041-36 Lampasas thru McLennan? Counties (141-161), 1984
Box
1995/041-37 McMullen? thru Parmer Counties (162-185), 1984
Box
1995/041-38 Pecos thru Sherman Counties (186-211), 1984
Box
1995/041-39 Smith thru Travis Counties (212-227), 1984
Box
1995/041-40 Trinity thru Williamson Counties (228-246), 1984
Box
1995/041-41 Wilson thru Zavala Counties (247-254), 1984
1986
Box
1995/041-42 Anderson thru Brazoria Counties (1-20), 1986
Box
1995/041-43 Brazos thru Comal Counties (21-46), 1986
Box
1995/041-44 Comanche thru Donley Counties (47-65), 1986
Box
1995/041-45 Duval thru Goliad Counties (66-89), 1986
Box
1995/041-46 Gonzales thru Hemphill Counties (90-107), 1986
Box
1995/041-47 Henderson thru Jim Hogg Counties (108-125), 1986
Box
1995/041-48 Jim Wells thru Loving Counties (126-151), 1986
Box
1995/041-49 Lubbock thru McLennan? Counties (152-161), 1986
Box
1995/041-50 McMullen? thru Parmer Counties (162-185), 1986
Box
1995/041-51 Pecos thru Stephens Counties (186-215), 1986
Box
1995/041-52 Sterling thru Val Verde Counties (216-233), 1986
Box
1995/041-53 Van Zandt thru Zavala Counties (234-254), 1986
1988
Box
2000/153-1 Anderson thru Bosque Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-2 Bowie thru Childress Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-3 Clay thru Dallas Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-4 Dawson thru El Paso Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-5 Erath thru Grimes Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-6 Guadalupe thru Henderson Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-7 Hidalgo thru Jim Wells Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-8 Johnson thru Limestone Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-9 Lipscomb thru McLennan Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-10 McMullen thru Palo Pinto Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-11 Panola thru San Augustine Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-12 San Jacinto thru Tarrant Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-13 Taylor thru Val Verde Counties, 1988
Box
2000/153-14 Van Zandt thru Zavala Counties, 1988

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