Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic prompted Wylie officials to postpone the city’s May elections until November.
Wylie City Council voted 6-0 last Thursday to move its previously scheduled regular and special municipal elections to the November 3 general election date.
A week earlier, council members had determined the elections could be held safely on May 2 but said they would revisit the issue if conditions changed.
Change came in the form of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, issued March 31, directing all Texans to minimize in-person contact through April 30.
“When I and others voted to continue with the election last week, things were very different,” Place 2 Council Member Matthew Porter said following council’s April 2 vote to delay the elections.
Porter is the lone candidate running to replace retiring Mayor Eric Hogue in this year’s city election. City Council Places 5 and 6 are also on the regular 2020 ballot.
Because Porter resigned his council seat to run for mayor, state law required his unexpired term to be filled via a special election, which had also been set for the regular May 2 election date.
A waiver issued by Abbott last month allowed local governments to delay regular May 2 elections because of the coronavirus.
The Texas Secretary of State’s office interpreted Abbott’s latest order as a mandate to postpone all local elections.
“The Governor’s executive order makes it clear that you must take action to move your election, even if your city is holding a special election to fill a vacancy,” Elections Director Keith Ingram wrote in an April 2 email to local elections officials.
“I believe the health and safety of everyone in Wylie, and their ability to exercise their right to vote, are best preserved with this decision,” Porter said.
Wylie voters can find information about the 2020 municipal elections on the city secretary’s website.