COVID-19 could postpone May elections

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow in Texas, Gov. Abbott issued a proclamation Wednesday that will allow municipalities to postpone their upcoming May 2 elections until November.

The move comes after Abbott issued a disaster declaration over the pandemic that paved the way for him to suspend parts of the state’s election code to allow for postponements. Notably, individual municipalities will still have to act to postpone their elections, but Abbott urged officials to move them to November.

“I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” Abbott said in a statement. “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.”

While the Governor previously postponed the special election for the Austin area’s Texas Senate District 14 due to the pandemic, as of noon on March 19, 2020, there has not yet been guidance on run-off elections, which fall under the Governor’s purview.

TSTA will continue to monitor elections across the state.

Coronavirus outbreak could postpone Texas municipal elections until November