The San Marcos City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss repealing the ordinance calling for a Special Election for Place 5.
The council discussed postponing the special election required to fill the vacancy made by Council Member Jocabed Marquez, who resigned in March.
According to the agenda, due to the health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the existence of community spread of the virus within Hays County, and apparently in reliance upon Governor Abbott’s proclamation, the Hays County Election Office provided written notice to Interim City Clerk Tammy K. Cook on March 25, 2020, that the Hays County Election Administrator will not conduct any of the city, school, or county elections previously set for May 2, 2020.
On March 24, the Secretary of State of Texas’s office issued a clarification regarding Gov. Abbot’s proclamation.
The agenda states the SOS informed them, “the governor’s proclamation did not authorize a political subdivision with a special election to fill a vacancy set for May 2, 2020, to simply postpone the election to the November 3, 2020 uniform election date. As a result, the provisions of Election Advisory 2020-12 for the May 2, 2020, Uniform Election Date that declared the filing period for a place on the ballot closed as of March 23, 2020, will not and cannot apply to a special election to fill the vacancy for City Council Place 5.”
The council approved the repeal of ordinance 2020-16 unanimously with Councilmember Jocabed Marquez absent and no discussion.
The council will consider a new ordinance calling for a special election for a date that “minimizes the risk of exposure to and the spread of COVID-19 and allows sufficient time to meet applicable election calendar deadlines” at a later date.
Among the new deadlines will be for filing an application for a place on the ballot.