2023 County Elections Academy

April 2 - 4, 2023

In person only
Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center
1101 Woodlawn Ave.
Georgetown, TX 78628
(737) 444-2700

Registration for this event is closed. You may register on site.

For more information contact, Deanna Auert or Megan West at (800) 456‑5974.

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center
1101 Woodlawn Ave.
Georgetown, TX 78628
(737) 444-2700

The County Elections Academy will provide education and resources for county officials and personnel responsible for holding efficient and secure elections. The conference will provide information about the biggest election-related issues facing county election officials.

The new academy will not just provide practical support for election officials, said TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford. "Elections are a core function of county government," she said, "and this academy is another opportunity for the Association to unite counties to achieve better solutions."

Registration Fees

Registration Type Early Bird After March 3
County Official or Employee $230 $280

NOTE: Attendance is limited to county officials and staff.

Please make checks payable to the Texas Association of Counties.

Special Services
To ensure that our conference is ADA-accessible to all, please contact Deanna Auert or Megan West at (800) 456‑5974 if you need assistance.

Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center (FULL)
1101 Woodlawn Ave.
Georgetown, TX 78628
(737) 444-2700

The Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center is the host hotel. Conference registration is required to reserve a hotel room in the conference block. The hotel will not accept any call-in reservations. Once online registration is completed, a confirmation email including a hotel room reservation link will be sent to the email address on the registration form. The group rate is $179 single/double, plus applicable taxes. Please reserve your hotel room before the group rate cutoff of March 13, after which availability and rates are no longer guaranteed.

Hotel Cancellation
If you must cancel a room reservation, please notify Deanna Auert. In the event of a waitlist, this gives others the opportunity to stay at the host hotel.

Check-in: 3 p.m.
Checkout: noon

Complimentary self-parking.

Surrounding hotels:
Best Western Plus Georgetown
600 San Gabriel Village Blvd
Georgetown, TX 78626
(512) 868-8555

Candlewood Suites Georgetown
451 N Interstate Hwy 35
Georgetown, TX 78628
(512) 591-7888

Monday, April 3
5:30-7 p.m. Welcome Reception & Dinner | Live Oak Patio
Here's a great opportunity to network with fellow attendees over beverages and dinner.
Sunday, April 2
3-5 p.m. Registration and Information Desk Hours | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
Monday, April 3
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration and Information Desk Hours | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
San Gabriel Ballroom E
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
8:35-10:35 a.m.

Budgeting for Elections
In order to plan for your election budget, it is vital to fully understand what you are preparing for. This session will cover preparing election administration budgets. We will also get a firsthand look at what commissioners court members and auditors are looking for in election budgets. Hear tips and best practices from their point of view.

Fee & Cost Structuring in Elections
If you're attending this Academy, you're probably the subject matter expert in your county for running elections. In this section we'll talk about how you should be charging participating political subdivisions for your (and your staff's) expertise when running their elections. Various cost sharing models will be discussed and the latitude in fee setting in the Election Code will also be covered.

Speakers: Ms. Janet Martin, Ellis County Auditor
Chris Davis, Elections Administrator, Williamson County

10:35-10:55 a.m. Break | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
10:55 a.m.-noon

Voter Precinct Compliance
Get an in-depth understanding of various precinct types in counties and requirements for each.

Speaker: Ms. Christina Adkins, Legal Director, Secretary of State

Noon-1 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1-2 p.m.

Polling Places and Staffing
Now that the precincts have been determined, review the requirements for polling places. We will discuss polling place setup, parking, signage, postings,
emergency/temp accommodations, and other related topics. Additionally, we will also discuss staffing requirements for each polling place and hear some lessons learned.

Speaker: Ms. Lisa Mujica, Elections Director, Brazoria County

2-3 p.m.

Record Retention
This session will provide an overview of the records retention schedules that apply to elections and discuss records management policies and practices. Topics will include identification, classification, preservation and available resources and guidance.

Speakers: Mr. Paul Miles, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Association of Counties
Mr. Remi Garza, Elections Administrator, Cameron County
Hon. Joyce Hudman, Brazoria County Clerk
Ms. Jennifer Doinoff, Elections Administrator, Hays County

3-3:20 p.m. Break | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
3:20-4 p.m.

Voter Registration
We will discuss the process of the voter registration process, list maintenance, removing people, death/cancellation and confidential voters.

Speakers: Ms. Patricia V. Benavides, Election Manager, Tarrant County
Ms. Julie Cooper, Election Manager, Walker County

4-5 p.m. Dealing with the Media and Social Media Best Practices
In this session we will discuss the relationship between county election officials and local media. We will also learn methods to network and connect with organizations and constituents through social media.

Speakers: Mr. Cary Roberts Partner, Casteel & Roberts
Ms. Bridgette Escobedo, Director of Elections, Travis County

5:30-7 p.m. Welcome Reception & Dinner | Live Oak Patio
Here's a great opportunity to relax and network with fellow attendees over beverages and dinner.
Tuesday, April 4
7-8 a.m. Breakfast | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Registration and Information Desk Hours | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
San Gabriel Ballroom E
8-8:50 a.m. When are Limited Ballots, Provisional Ballots and Presidential Ballots Used?
Get a better understanding of ballot procedures and who can use one.

Speakers: Ms. Shannon Lackey, Elections Administrator, Randall County
Hon. Heather Hawthorne, Chambers County Clerk

8:50-9:40 a.m.

Voting System Testing Best Practices
This presentation will cover voting system testing and emphasize what steps you can take to prepare for election day.

Speakers: Mr. Heider Garcia, Tarrant County Elections Administrator
Hon. Laura Rogers, Sherman County District/County Clerk

9:40-10 a.m. Break | San Gabriel Ballroom Foyer
10-10:50 a.m.

Preparing and Conducting Voting by Mail
In this session we will review ABBM's, opportunities to correct certain defects on ABBM and carrier envelope. We will also discuss developing a process for receiving ballots, using the Ballot by Mail Tracker and applying and processing FPCA’s.

Speakers: Ms. Lisa Hayes, Elections Administrator, Guadalupe County
Ms. Wendi Fragoso, Chief Deputy for Elections, Galveston County
Ms. Krystal Ocon, Elections Administrator, Brazos County

10:50-11:40 a.m.

Deputy Voter Registrar Training
Hear from Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector, Brue Elfant, on their program to train and build deputy registrars that can engage with residents, educate them on voter registration and are authorized to turn in voter registration forms.

Speaker: Hon. Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector

11:40 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

General May Election Panel Discussion and Lunch (provided)
Here's a great opportunity to discuss with your peers timely topics for the May general election. Take advantage of this guided discussion to learn what other counties are doing and share your ideas.

Speakers: Ms. Trudy Hancock, Elections Administrator, Brazos County
Hon. Schelana Hock, Polk County Clerk
Ms. Christina Adkins, Legal Director, Secretary of State

*Agenda subject to change

The V.G. Young Institute of County Government, a part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, is the education co-sponsor of the 2023 County Elections Academy.

There are no prerequisites to attend this program.

Continuing Education Type In-Person Hours
Attorneys (MCLE) Pending
CPA/Auditors 11.75 hours
(*Please note that authorization of online attendance must be approved by commissioners court order. Online attendance cannot be used for the mandatory education hours by a new commissioner in the first year of service.)
Not Approved by CJCA
County and District Clerks 12 hours
County Judges Not Approved by Texas Judicial Academy
Justices of the Peace Not Approved by Texas Justice Courts Training Center
PHRs and SPHRs
Reviewed on individual basis; self-report to HRCI
Not Approved
Purchasing Agents
Self-report to Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
Not Approved
Sheriffs and Constables (TCOLE) Not Approved by TCOLE
Tax Assessor-Collectors 11.45 hours
Treasurers Not Approved by CTAT

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable). Refunds requested before March 24 are subject to a $10 processing fee. Refunds after March 24 will be subject to an administrative fee equal to one-half of the registration fee. No refund requests will be honored after April 7. Please email Nino Miranda at ninom@county.org or fax (512) 477‑1324 to cancel your conference registration.

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