View All Posts

Jun 19

June 19, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #68

Posted on June 19, 2020 at 4:04 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Has the Secretary of State’s Elections Division issued guidance related to in-person voting for the upcoming elections?


Yes. Yesterday (6/18), the division released Election Advisory 2020-19 relating to voting in-person during COVID-19. According to the SOS, the new advisory is “intended to supplement our office’s guidance in Election Advisory No. 2020-14 (issued on April 6, 2020) and the recommended health protocols for Texas election officials and voters in response to COVID-19 (issued on May 26, 2020).” Among other things, the new advisory addresses some of the public health and safety issues that might arise checking in voters, inside the polling place, and with regard to voting equipment.


Additionally, and of particular interest to some cities, the guidance provides that a city that owns or operates a public building that is closed due to COVID-19 may still need to make the building available for use as a polling place:


Pursuant to Section 43.031 of the Code, each polling place shall be located inside a building and that building shall be a public building, if practicable. A public building is defined as any “building owned or controlled by the state or a political subdivision,” including cities and schools. (Section 43.031(a)). Section 43.031(c) requires an entity that owns or controls a public building to make the building available for use as a polling place in any election that covers territory in which the building is located. If an entity that owns or operates a public building is closed due to concerns or orders relating to COVID-19, the entity still may need to make its building available for use as a polling place.”


Interested city officials and employees, especially those responsible for conducting city elections, are encouraged to read the advisory in preparation for the upcoming election season.


Further Updates


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here