Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott on April 24 that requests Abbott to use his authority and allow Round Rock to conduct May 2 elections before Nov. 3. Morgan said the city would most likely conduct elections on a Saturday in August, if allowed.
Gov. Abbott issued a March 18 proclamation that allows political subdivisions to postpone their May 2020 local elections, according to a news release. In the release, he strongly encouraged local election officials to postpone elections to November.
Other Texas municipalities joining Round Rock include Abilene, Addison, Allen, Anna, Big Spring, Cedar Park, Fairview, Haskell, the town of Providence Village, and the Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District.
Morgan said to Community Impact Newspaper that the letter gives a legal argument for why the city should be allowed to call a special election before November.
He said the city is concerned that its local election will be at the bottom of the November ballot.
He said May elections are important to allow time for newly elected council members to be part of the budget and tax rate process. Morgan said the city is about to have its toughest budget since the recession.
"I believe newly elected council members should be part of that process," Morgan said to Community Impact Newspaper.
The letter also includes a memo from City Attorney Stephen Sheets. The memo gives a legal analysis for the governor's ability to allow additional election dates.
Round Rock delayed its May elections April 9. Multiple Round Rock council members expressed interest in alternate dates at its April 9 meeting.
Cedar Park City Council voted to join the letter at its April 23 meeting. Cedar Park also postponed its May 3 elections to Nov. 3 on March 26.
If cities in Williamson County had not delayed their May elections, the cities would have had to administer elections themselves. The county elections department said it would not support any May elections.
The letter itself does not confirm additional dates.
At the April 23 Cedar Park City Council meeting, Council Members Dorian Chavez and Tim Kelly voted against the letter and supported keeping the November election to reduce short-term public exposure to the coronavirus.
Taylor Jackson Buchanan contributed to this report.
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