Round Rock can't postpone council election again, AG says

Talk 1370 Newsroom
July 30, 2020 - 6:09 pm
Round Rock
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ROUND ROCK, Texas (Talk1370.com) -- A plan to delay Round Rock's municipal elections to next year runs afoul of state law, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Round Rock City Council members voted 6-1 earlier this month to postpone the elections, which were originally scheduled for May 2 of this year, to May 2021 instead of November 3.

Paxton, in a letter Thursday addressed to Morgan and council members, said the city cannot postpone the election a second time.

"The governor’s proclamation allowed local elections that were scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 to be moved to November 3, 2020," Paxton wrote. "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. 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."

Two council seats are on the ballot; Mayor Craig Morgan is running for re-election unopposed.

Round Rock's city attorney claimed that local laws require the election to be held in the month of May, not November, and that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott does not have the power to suspend provisions of a local charter.

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