Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued guidance stating that local officials cannot postpone local elections that were scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 beyond November 3, 2020. This letter was addressed to Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan. After moving its May 2, 2020 local election to November 3, 2020, as permitted by the governor’s proclamation, the Round Rock City Council is attempting to postpone the election—again—to May 2021. The City’s attorney claimed that local laws require the election to be held in May, not November, and that the Governor cannot suspend the provisions of a local charter.
“The governor’s proclamation allowed local elections that were scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 to be moved to November 3, 2020. It was the Round Rock City Council’s decision to move its local election to November, not the governor’s. Because the law does not allow the City Council to move its election a second time in these circumstances, the city must hold its election in November, as it said it would,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Under the Election Code enacted by our Legislature, elections must be held properly on the correct date, or the election is void. The right to vote is fundamental in nature, because it is the mechanism through which all other rights are secured. Infringing the right to vote undermines the basic concept of a republic. We must all work together to ensure that our democratic process is followed properly, freely, and fairly.”
Read a copy of the letter here.