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85th Legislative Record Vote

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House Rules in regards to electing the Speaker of the House

The first item of business to take place when the Texas House of Representatives goes into session is the selection of the Speaker of the House. When only one candidate is nominated, the candidate automatically becomes the Speaker. Obviously, if there is only one nominee, there is no true race. According to the House rules, no vote is required in this case: “If after the close of all seconding speeches only one nominee remains for election to the speaker, the secretary of state shall recognize a motion to elect that nominee by acclamation.” (House Resolution 2, Section 3(a)) Again, no further action needs to be taken when there is only one nominee. The single nominee automatically becomes the Speaker.

Officially termed a “record vote”, in a contested race, members would normally identify their chosen candidate using the red, green, or white buttons located on their desk. The record vote would then show the nominee for whom each member voted. According to the House rules governing the election of the Speaker, however, a record vote can be called, even when there is only one
nominee. According to House Resolution 2, Section 3(a), “If no motion is made or five or more members make a request for a record vote, the members shall record their votes from their desks on the voting machine with the yeas and nays taken as in other record votes of the house.” This allows the members to vote affirmatively or negatively for the single nominee for Speaker.

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