UPDATE: Abbott has since issued a proclamation allowing local governments to delay May elections until November.
Upcoming elections could be delayed or otherwise altered due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, who says that “everything’s on the table.”
Abbott made the comment in reference to the May 2 local elections as well as the May 26 primary runoff elections.
“For the municipal ones, we are still evaluating that, and we know we need to make a decision very swiftly. One thing that we are looking at … is whether or not the governor has the authority to make a decision on that,” said Abbott. “It may only be the municipalities [that] have the power to make that decision, and so there’s that legal issue that we are making a determination on.”
“That said, if I don’t have the legal authority, we may provide suggested guidelines,” he added.
When asked about the May runoff election, Abbott said he had more flexibility there.
“So, on that runoff: those are state elections, which I oversee in my emergency capacity, and so I will be able to make decisions about that,” said Abbott.
When asked about the prospect of expanding mail-in ballot eligibility to avoid in-person voting, Abbott simply replied, “Everything’s on the table.”
The news comes on the heels of Abbott moving the special election for the State Senate District 14 seat, being vacated by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D–Austin), from May 2 to July 14. The Republican Party of Texas has also said it will likely move its May convention due to the pandemic.