Abbott postpones runoff election in response to COVID-19
AUSTIN, Texas - The runoff election originally scheduled for May has been postponed, says Gov. Greg Abbott's office.
Abbott issued a proclamation Friday postponing the runoff primary election until July 14, the same day as the special election for Texas State Senate District 14. The election was originally scheduled for May 26, but it has been postponed "in conjunction with the state's ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," says a release from the governor's office.
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"The postponement of this election serves to help fulfill the Governor's recent executive orders mandating certain obligation for Texans that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including the encouragement of social distancing," says the release. "Holding the runoff in May would cause the congregation of large gatherings of people in confined spaces and cause numerous election workers to come into close proximity with others. This would threaten the health and safety of many Texans."
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Early voting for the postponed runoff primary election will begin Monday, July 6.
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On Thursday, Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which take effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and go through midnight on Friday, April 3, will bring the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.
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