Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation suspending provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow political subdivisions to postpone their 2020 local elections. This means local governments now have the ability to postpone their May 2, 2020 elections until November 3, 2020.
This only affects the City of Rockport’s May 2 election in which incumbent Mayor Pat Rios will face challenger Keith W. Allen.
The Rockport City Council is expected to address the issue at its regular meeting Tuesday, March 24.
(Note: There are no contested races in the Aransas County Independent School District or Town of Fulton elections. They are being canceled.)
“I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” said Gov. Abbott. “Right now, the state’s focus is responding to COVID-19 - including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort.”
Under Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Governor suspended Sections 41.0052(a) and (b) of the Texas Election Code and Section 49.103 of the Texas Water Code to the extent necessary to allow political subdivisions to move their elections for 2020 only to the next uniform date, occurring on November 3, 2020. The Governor also suspended Sections 31.093 and 42.0621(c) of the Texas Election Code to the extent necessary to require all county election officers to contract to furnish election services with political subdivisions if requested by these subdivisions. Only political subdivisions have authority to postpone these elections, but the Governor’s suspensions allow political subdivisions to postpone the elections and strongly encourages them to do so.
In conjunction with Gov. Abbot’s action, Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs is releasing an election advisory providing guidance for political subdivisions about the process to be used for postponing their May 2 elections.