Texas Governor Greg Abbott is allowing cities and school boards to reset their May 2 elections to coincide with the general election this November. The governor’s proclamation does not require the entities to move their elections but rather encourages them to postpone them if at all possible.
Klint Bush, elections administrator for Liberty County, says that most of the local jurisdictions appear to be willing to postpone their elections. However, each will have to hold formal meetings to reset their election.
“Like most other counties in Texas and most other election administrators, my office sent out recommendations to all the entities to postpone the elections until the next uniform election date in November. This was with consultation with the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management and County Judge Jay Knight,” Bush said.
The reset of election dates would extend the terms for members of city council and school boards.
The run-off election that was set for May 26 has been postponed until July 14, 2020. The candidates whose races were not determined in the primary elections will have a few anxious months for the outcomes of their elections. For Liberty County, there are four Republican run-off elections pending – Pct. 1 Commissioner: candidates Bruce Karbowski and Toby Wilburn; Pct. 1 Constable: candidates Tammy Bishop and Jacob Cantu; Pct. 6 Constable: candidates Zack Harkness and John Joslin; and Liberty County Court at Law No. 2: candidates Zack Zbranek and Wesley Hinch.
Bush said postponement of the May elections is aimed at slowing down the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which includes the encouragement of social distancing.
“Holding the run-off in May would cause the congregation of large gatherings of people in confined spaces and cause numerous election workers to come into close proximity with others. This would threaten the health and safety of many Texans,” Bush said.
Bush added that many election workers are “seasoned citizens,” meaning they are in the age group that is most vulnerable to coronavirus based on known statistics of the illness at this time.
“This is a public health crisis and we have to take care of our election workers and the voting public,” Bush said.