The Commission was created by HB 1700, 65th Legislature.
Section 1 of H.B. 1700 defined the membership of the commission as follows: (1) the secretary of state, as an ex officio member and chairman of the commission; (2) the chairman of the subcommittee on elections of the senate committee on state affairs and the chairman of the house committee on elections, as ex officio members and joint vice-chairmen; (3)one member of the senate, chosen by the lieutenant governor; (4)one member of the house of representatives, chosen by the speaker; (5)one member of the legal staff of the attorney general's office, chosen by the attorney general; (6)the president, or a person designated by the president, of each of the following organizations: the State Bar of Texas, the Association of County and District Clerks of Texas, the Association of Tax Assessor-Collectors of Texas, and the Association of City Clerks and Secretaries of Texas; (7)the state chairman, or a person designated by the chairman, of each political party required to make nominations by primary elections in 1978; and (8)two citizens of the state, chosen by the governor.
Mark White was secretary of state when HB 1700 took effect on August 29, 1977 until October 17, 1977. On November 7, 1977, secretary of state Steven C. Oaks became chair of the Commission.
Representative Herman Adams, chairman of the house committee on elections, resigned 1/10/1978. On 1/30/1978, the Speaker appointed Susan Gurley McBee to the chairmanship of the house committee on elections, and therefore ex officio vice-chairman of the Commission. Representative Don Rains was appointed to fill the vacancy. (Memorandum from Bill Clayton, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, January 30, 1978. See House Press Memos 1978, L1801.1 P926 1978.)
Senator Don Adams was the Lieutenant Governor's original appointee to the Commission. He resigned on 12/31/1977. Senator Tom Creighton was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor on 1/17/1978.
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