Change in Law Affecting Retention of Precinct Election Records

Some of you may remember when we published this article, informing local government records management officers of a change to Election Code establishing a 6-month retention period for precinct election records not involving a federal office, while those involving federal offices retained a 22-month retention period. However, S.B. 5, passed during the 85th Legislature, repealed that section (Sec. 66.058(a)(2)) and reestablished a 22-month post election retention period for precinct election records (Sec. 66.058(a)), regardless of the office involved. This means that any series appearing on Local Schedule EL that lists both a 6-month and 22-month retention period will be amended to reflect the change by only listing the 22-month requirement. This will affect the following series:

EL3100-01a EL3100-01b EL3100-01c EL3100-03b
EL3100-03c(1) EL3100-04a(1) EL3100-04a(2) EL3100-04c(2)
EL3100-06a EL3100-10a EL3100-10c EL3100-10e
EL3100-11a EL3100-11b(1) EL3100-11b(2) EL3150-06d

We will be updating Local Schedule EL as soon as we are able, but we wanted to inform RMOs now of the change before the November elections, as amending schedules is a lengthy process.

How does this change affect you?

If your government has adopted Local Schedule EL by submitting form SLR 508 (Declaration of Compliance with the Records Scheduling Requirement of the Local Government Records Act) you can begin following the new retention period immediately.  Government Code §441.158(e) states:

After the adoption of a records retention schedule, a retention period for a record prescribed in a new or amended federal or state law, rule of court, or regulation that differs from that in a records retention schedule prevails over that in the schedule.

Government Code §441.158(e), however, applies only to retention schedules prepared by the State Library and adopted by a local government.  If your government follows its own Records Control Schedule you must either amend your schedule with the new retention period or adopt Local Schedule EL by submitting form SLR 508.

4 thoughts on “Change in Law Affecting Retention of Precinct Election Records

  1. In the authorities listed for EL3100-10(a), Sec.172.116(e) was repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1179 (S.B. 1073), Sec. 15(2), eff. September 1, 2015.

  2. Yes, these rules would apply for school board elections as well. Instead of these series having two retention periods – election day + 6 months and election day + 22 months – they will only have one retention period, which is election day + 22 months.

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