Helping counties prepare for election season

February 15, 2020
By Susan M. Redford, TAC Executive Director
TAC News

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February has been a busy month for TAC as we prepare for a time of the year I like to refer to as "conference season." I want to give a special thank you to all of our members who participate in developing curriculum and planning for the many educational conferences we are proud to participate in.

As we move into March, the Texas primary election is upon us. The primary election is Tuesday, March 3. Once again TAC staff will be tracking the elections to update our database. This is where we need your help. Please make sure you report the results of your county's primary elections to us. You can click here to access instruction and the database.

Speaking of the primary elections, I encourage each of you to take time while you are voting to pay special attention to the platform questions that appear at the end of the ballot. These questions foreshadow what we may expect as key issues in the next legislative session. Many are inclined to skip them, but they are extremely important when we look at the future of county government.

Elections security is also a large concern as we move into the primaries, run-off elections and even the general election in November. There were many issues surrounding election security that were addressed in the 86th Legislative Session. Combining these new mandates with cybersecurity risks, TAC staff in collaboration with the County and District Clerks Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Election Administrators and the Texas Office of the Secretary of State held a webinar on Feb. 11 to discuss the many issues, changes and challenges  our counties are facing in the realm of elections security.  The information and discussion are invaluable. For more information on the webinar and materials, click here. Thank you to all who participated in this project.

Continuously at the forefront of our minds is cybersecurity. Counties must demonstrate compliance with the new state mandated cybersecurity training for county employees by June 14. Unfortunately, the previous cybersecurity trainings we offered to counties are not accredited to satisfy this mandate. If your county has not signed up for the free training TAC is offering to comply with this mandate, I urge you to do so. More information can be found here.

As we tackle these issues plus many more, we are looking for your county's great ideas. If you have a project or program that is innovative and can be replicated by other counties, you may be considered for a County Best Practices Award. You can find information on the application process here.

We are looking forward to a busy spring as we continue working internally on our strategic goals and partnering with you on these and many other issues your counties face. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call. Together we remain #254Strong.