Tex. Election Code Section 61.001
Bystanders Excluded; Unlawful Presence of Candidate


Except as permitted by this code and as described by Subsection (a-1), a person may not be in the polling place from the time the presiding judge arrives there on election day to make the preliminary arrangements until the precinct returns have been certified and the election records have been assembled for distribution following the election.


Under this code, a person may be lawfully present in a polling place during the time described by Subsection (a) if the person is:


an election judge or clerk;


a watcher;


the secretary of state;


a staff member of the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State performing an official duty in accordance with this code;


an election official, a sheriff, or a staff member of an election official or sheriff delivering election supplies;


a state inspector;


a person admitted to vote;


a child under 18 years of age who is accompanying a parent who has been admitted to vote;


a person providing assistance to a voter under Section 61.032 (Interpreter Permitted) or 64.032 (Persons Providing Assistance);


a person accompanying a voter who has a disability;


a special peace officer appointed by the presiding judge under Section 32.075 (Law Enforcement Duties and Powers);


the county chair of a political party conducting a primary election, as authorized by Section 172.1113 (County Chair Permitted in Polling Place);


a voting system technician, as authorized by Section 125.010 (Presence of Voting System Technician Authorized);


the county election officer, as defined by Section 31.091 (Definitions), as necessary to perform tasks related to the administration of the election; or


a person whose presence has been authorized by the presiding judge in accordance with this code.


A candidate in the election commits an offense if the candidate is in a polling place during the period described by Subsection (a) for a purpose other than:


voting; or


official business in the building in which the polling place is located.


It is an exception to the application of Subsection (b) that the candidate:


is not within plain view or hearing of the persons in the voting area or the area in which voters are being accepted for voting; and


is not engaged in campaign activity.


An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1350, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
Amended by:
Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 454 (H.B. 1128), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2021.

Source: Section 61.001 — Bystanders Excluded; Unlawful Presence of Candidate, https://statutes.­capitol.­texas.­gov/Docs/EL/htm/EL.­61.­htm#61.­001 (accessed Jun. 5, 2024).

Jun. 5, 2024

§ 61.001’s source at texas​.gov