Governor Abbott Issues Special Election Proclamation For The City Of Galveston
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
WHEREAS, officials of the City of Galveston have requested that I exercise executive authority to grant an emergency exception to the uniform election date requirements, pursuant to Sections 41.001 and 41.0011 of the Texas Election Code, and to grant permission for the City of Galveston to order a special, emergency election for the purpose of electing a member to fill a vacancy in Galveston City Council District No. 1; and
WHEREAS, the recent death of the incumbent for Galveston City Council District No. 1 has created a vacancy on the city council; and
WHEREAS, the members of the city council are elected for two-year terms at elections conducted every even-numbered year on the May uniform election date; and
WHEREAS, the City Charter provides, in Article II, Section 3, that “[i]f a seat on the council becomes vacant, it shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at a special election called for such purpose, unless the next regular City election is to be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the time of such vacancy”; and
WHEREAS, because the next regular election day for the City of Galveston is in excess of one hundred twenty (120) days from the date the vacancy occurred, a special election is required under the City Charter to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of Galveston City Council District No. 1; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 41.001(a)(2) of the Texas Election Code, the next regular election day for the City of Galveston is the uniform election date on May 7, 2022; and
WHEREAS, Section 41.0011 of the Texas Election Code provides that a special election may be held as an emergency election before the appropriate uniform election date if a political subdivision asks the Governor for permission to do so and the Governor determines that an emergency exists; and
WHEREAS, the City of Galveston intends to redistrict its city council district seats this fall, and without an elected member for Galveston City Council District No. 1, the district would be unrepresented during that important process; and
WHEREAS, the unique circumstances faced by the City of Galveston as a result of the vacancy in Galveston City Council District No. 1 indicate that the interest of the voters in that district would be best served by permitting the vacancy to be filled by an election at the earliest practical date;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby declare that the foregoing circumstances constitute an emergency warranting holding a special election before the appropriate uniform election date. Accordingly, I grant permission for the City of Galveston to order, in accordance with the city charter and other applicable laws, a special election on August 28, 2021, for the purpose of electing a city council member for Galveston Council District No. 1. Should the City of Galveston order such special election in accordance with the city charter and other applicable laws, said election may be held on August 28, 2021.
A copy of this proclamation shall be mailed immediately to the city council of the City of Galveston.
This proclamation is limited to the particular election at issue and the facts as represented by officials of the City of Galveston, and therefore shall not be relied upon as precedent for any other request for a special election.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 26th day of May, 2021.
RUTH R. HUGHS
Secretary of State