This post originally appears on Candy Noble’s blog.

As we’re all busy with summertime fun and travel, the Republican Party of Texas has been busy. In the next few months we will have Candidate filing, a Presidential Primary and all our Republican Conventions (Precinct, Senatorial, State and National). Plus, we have some new election laws that were passed by our Texas Legislature that change how we conduct our election process.

Precinct Chairs get to file for office for two months longer than other elected offices. Guess that gives our Republican County Chairs more time to recruit for those vital positions. This would be a good time to see if your Precinct is covered, and volunteer to run for that spot. Precinct Chair filing runs from September 14 till December 14.

For all other offices, the filing begins Saturday, November 14 and ends on Monday, December 14. That doesn’t mean that a candidate must wait until then to campaign– they may campaign any time after they file their Campaign Treasurer paperwork. If you are a candidate, please remember to include that Treasurer information on all your signs and other campaign materials (an omission that has cost campaigns hundreds of dollars in the past.)

A drawing to determine the order of the candidate names on the ballot takes place in each County no later than 10 days after the filing deadline. Most people don’t realize that each County’s Ballot is different than every other County’s ballot in Texas.

As I’ve said before, no County without a County Chair may hold a primary, because that County Chair does all the filing, organization, and appointments for the Primary Election. As of last week, there were 4 Counties in Texas without County Chairs: Blanco, Dawson, Hall and Kimble. If you know any great Republican in one of those Counties, encourage them to take on this essential responsibility.

As of last week, there were 4 Counties in Texas without County Chairs: Blanco, Dawson, Hall and Kimble. If you know any great Republican in one of those Counties, encourage them to take on this essential responsibility.

Some interesting new laws:

Candidates who file for office must now be a Registered Voter. Senate Bill 484 (Believe it or not, this has not been a requirement before).

Mail-in Ballots may now be sent to the voter via email, but still must be returned by regular mail. House Bill 2778

Judicial Candidates may now file for office just like all other candidates. In the past Judicial Candidates alone were required to collect names on petitions instead of paying a larger filing fee. Of course, they may still collect the signatures instead of the fee, but now they get the choice as do other candidates.

The Voter Registrar is now allowed to terminate a Volunteer Deputy Registrar if it is determined that the volunteer intentionally destroyed or physically altered a registration application or engaged in any other activity that conflicts with the responsibilities of a volunteer deputy voter registrar. SB 621 (Our former State Chairman Steve Munisteri actually had a Volunteer Deputy Registrar in Houston approach him and try to get him to register to vote after the filing deadline. This is the sort of thing the law addresses).

There will also be the ability for Volunteer Deputy Registrar training to be held online instead of having to go to Election Headquarters and do the training in person– if the County adopts this method. (Sadly, as of now Collin County Election Administrator Sharon Rowe has decided not to do this. Good news for Dallas County residents — Dallas County is working on getting this up and running.)

There is a new requirement for the Texas Secretary of State to cooperate with other states and jurisdictions to compare voters, voter history and voter registration lists. SB 795. (Note: I’m glad for this one, since I believe past Presidential Campaigns have transported people in from other states to vote in our Primary.)

A County Executive Committee may remove a Precinct Chair now based on “Abandonment of Office.” (The requirements for removal are stringent, but it does give a bit of accountability to those who take a Precinct Chair spot, then never do a thing. I pray we never need this in SD 8—hope everyone is enthusiastic to do the job after they run.)

The May local elections will now be held on the first Saturday in May instead of the second. (This does bump it to Mother’s Day weekend, but the good news for us is that it moves the election off the weekend of the Texas Republican Convention in 2016.)

Other news:

The Republican Party will be losing our Executive Director Beth Cubriel in September. Beth has served the RPT in stellar fashion and she will be missed. Did you know that Beth asked for a lower salary one time so the RPT could hire another employee? This sort of selflessness is rare and we appreciate all her service. We wish her well in her new position with an Austin law firm. We also need to be praying about who will fill her shoes. They will be jumping into the deep end with both the Primary and Convention ahead.

The next State Republican Executive Committee meeting will be held on September 11 and 12. The Republican Party of Texas is relocating our headquarters –costing us less money, giving us more space and better arrangements. The SREC meetings will be held at a new location: Woodward Conference Center and Wyndham Garden Hotel. Any Republican is welcome to attend– so if you need times and schedule, let me know.

Now on to victory in 2016!