AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Wednesday to allow for May elections to be postponed due to concerns about the coronavirus.
The proclamation suspends provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow local governments to postpone their May 2 elections until November.
"I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November," said Abbott in a release. "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."
Abbott suspended Sections 41.0052(a) and (b) of the Texas Election Code and Section 49.103 of the Texas Water Code to allow for the elections to move to November 3. He also suspended Sections 31.093 and 42.0621(c) of the Texas Election Code to require all county election officers to contract to furnish election services with political subdivisions if requested by these subdivisions.
Political subdivision as defined in Texas means a county, municipality, special district, school district, junior college district, housing authority or other subdivision.
Only these have the authority to postpone these elections, but Abbott's suspensions allow them to postpone the elections and the governor strongly encourages them to do so, says the release.
In conjunction with this action, Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs is releasing an election advisory providing guidance for political subdivisions on the process of postponing their May 2nd elections.