Article IV, Section 3 of the Texas Constitution

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Adopted February 15, 1876:

The returns of every election for said executive officers, until otherwise provided by law, shall be made out, sealed up, and transmitted by the returning officers prescribed by law, to the seat of government, directed to the secretary of state, who shall deliver the same to the speaker of the house of representatives, as soon as the speaker shall be chosen; and the said speaker shall, during the first week of the session of the legislature, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the Legislature. The person, voted for at said election, having the highest number of votes for each of said offices respectively, and being constitutionally eligible, shall be declared by the speaker, under sanction of the Legislature, to be elected to said office. But if two or more persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes for either of said offices one of them shall be immediately chosen to such office by joint vote of both houses of the legislature. Contested elections for either of said offices shall be determined by both houses of the Legislature in joint session.

Editor Comments

Article IV, Section 1 creates six executive offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Commissioner of the General Land Office, and Attorney General.

Article IV, Section 2 requires that those executive officers (except the Secretary of State) be elected by the qualified voters of the state at the time and places of election for members of the Legislature.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

None.

Historic Decisions

  • Dickson v. Strickland, 265 S.W. 1012, 1016 (Tex. 1924) ("The Constitution, having committed to the Legislature, and withheld from the judiciary, the power to determine the eligibility of all elective state officers of the executive department, such power of determination must be exercised by the Legislature and could not be granted away to the courts, at least in so far as the attempted grant pertains to the general election whose result is to be declared only under sanction of the Legislature, after inquiry into the constitutional qualifications of the person found to have received the highest number of votes.")

Library Resources

Online Resources