News Article | January 13, 2023
AG Opinions and Requests
Attorney General Opinions
KP-0422: Procedure for numbering election ballots and which officials are authorized to select the method for numbering ballots (RQ-0405-KP). Section 52.062 of the Election Code provides that "[t]he ballots prepared by each authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number ‘1.'" A court could find that the machine-generation method of numbering ballots complies with section 52.062. The Hood County elections administrator selects the ballot-numbering method for certain elections while the Commissioners Court selects the voting system.
We cannot answer as a matter of law whether a jurisdiction using a voting system for an election may number split ballot batches in certain instances as proposed by the Secretary of State in Advisory 2019-23 because it is a fact question beyond the scope of an Attorney General opinion. But pursuant to section 52.075 of the Election Code, there must be a connection between any ballot form or content modification such as the one set forth in the Advisory, and the formatting requirements of the voting system.
KP-0423: Authorized services a notary public may provide and fees a notary public may charge under state law (RQ-0459-KP). A court would probably conclude that the law does not prohibit a notary public from including additional information while performing an online notarization if it does not interfere with the notary's obligations under subsections 406.108(b)(1) and 406.109(d) of the Government Code, or the Texas Secretary of State's rules. Also, a court would probably conclude that the catch-all fee in subsection 406.024(a)(11) does not include components of online notarization such as identity verification and document storage. Instead, a notary may charge a fee for those elements as part of the online notarization process, for which $25 is the maximum fee. Lastly, a court would probably conclude that a notary public may not release an image of the identification card used by email or otherwise without the consent of the individual whose identity is being established.
Requests for Attorney General Opinion
RQ-0489-KP: Hays County Criminal District Attorney. Questions related to the enactment of a municipal ordinance purporting to eliminate the enforcement of certain drug laws within the municipality.
RQ-0490-KP: Cameron County District Attorney. Authority of a county commissioners court to contract for the collection of forfeited commercial bail bonds under Code of Criminal Procedure article 103.0031(h).
RQ-0491-KP: Texas Historical Commission. Questions related to the ownership of the Texas Revolution and Texas Civil War centennial markers and what state agency, if any, is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of the markers.
RQ-0494-KP: Archer County Attorney. Questions related to the use of a sheriff's commissary funds for a vehicle to transport inmates to medical appointments.
RQ-0495-KP: House Committee on Transportation. Texas House of Representatives. Whether a member of the Board of Trustees of the La Joya Independent School District may simultaneously serve as a member of the board of directors of the Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 6.
RQ-0496-KP: 293rd Judicial District Attorney. Eagle Pass, Texas. Whether city council places are separate offices subject to a city charter's term-limit provisions, and whether the mayor pro-tem position is a separate office from a council position.