COVID-19 Virus causes Galena Park, Galena Park ISD to reset local elections; Jacinto City to follow
HARRIS COUNTY – Following the proclamation of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, allowing the rescheduling of voting, several local elections scheduled for May 2nd have been postponed and moved to November 3rd, the official uniform election day for other offices.
The governor issued his directive to keep people from congregating at the polls, and to minimize the possibility that the COVID-19 virus would be spread to voters.
Galena Park took their action in a virtual board meeting Monday night, held by computer from each Commissioner’s home. The city had previously planned on holding the election as a “drive-up” at Baggett Community Center and City Hall. This would have allowed voters to cast ballots from their car, to avoid close proximity with others. However, the city decided it would be safer to have the election in November, in the normal manner, according to City Attorney Robert Collins. Voters will choose between 3 candidates for Mayor, and several Commissioner seats.
Galena Park ISD also voted to move their Trustee election to November. The vote was by remote means to keep everyone safe from the virus.
Jacinto City has not officially moved their election to November as of press time. The May 2nd election was to take place at the Town Center. However, City Manager Lon Squyres said that the agenda for the April 9th City Council meeting included a discussion and vote on moving the election to November, and it is expected to pass.
Another entity in the area that has scheduled an election is the Barbers Hill ISD. They plan to ask voters to approve a $277 million dollar bond issue for new schools and related expenditures. They have indicated they will continue to have the election on May 2nd, and voters will cast their ballot at the high school, perhaps in a “drive-up” mode. They also are encouraging everyone to use mail-in ballots if possible.
Galena Park ISD issues statement on unprecedented action
GALENA PARK – The Galena Park Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved an order to postpone the May 2, 2020, trustee election until the November 3, 2020, uniform election date during an emergency meeting held Monday, March 30th. Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation giving local government entities that would otherwise hold elections on May 2, 2020, authority to postpone elections until the next uniform election date.
Growing concern for public safety, rapid escalation of novel coronavirus cases in Harris County and extension of the Stay At Home, Work Safe order issued by Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo, prompted the Galena Park I.S.D. Board of Trustees to take action to postpone the election.
“As a district, we are working diligently to enact measures to protect our staff, students and families from unnecessary exposure during this pandemic crisis,” stated Dr. Angi Williams, Galena Park I.S.D. Superintendent. “I am so thankful our Board of Trustees was proactive and took swift action to postpone the election. Safety is our top priority at this time.”
Early voting for the November 3rd election will take place October 19, 2020 – October 30, 2020.