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MCISD postpones May elections

The MCISD board of trustees voted to postpone May elections in the first video conference meeting in district history.

This Wed. April 8, the Mission Consolidated Independent School District board met with district administration and moved the upcoming elections in May to Nov. 3, 2020. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, districts and municipalities across the state have been delaying the next general election date in order to slow the spread of the virus and allow everyone the opportunity to vote.

MCISD board members and administration discuss items over WebEx in the first online meeting held in district history. Progress Times photo by Jamie Treviño.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Rumalda Ruiz presented the item to the board.

“On March 18, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation expanding certain laws as necessary to allow political subdivisions that would otherwise hold elections May 2, 2020, to move those elections to the next uniform date, which is Nov. 3, 2020,” Ruiz said. “On March 19, we also received information from the Hidalgo County Elections administrator that they will not be conducting any May 2 elections.”

Ruiz also cited that on March 23, the city of Mission also approved a resolution to postpone their elections from May to Nov.

Board Secretary Jerry Zamora asked if that meant the date to file for the elections would also be moved. Ruiz and Attorney David Hansen clarified that no, the date to file had already passed, so those on the ballot would remain as they would in the May elections.

Board member Veronica Mendoza asked if the change meant the current members of the board would be serving a longer term, and if the candidates elected in Nov. would be serving for a lesser amount of time as expected.

“Their election would come up on that next uniform election date in May, so we’re not permanently moving them to Nov.,” Hansen said. “So yes, they’ll have a shorter period, and the current board members will continue to serve through that time until they either resign or are replaced. They continue over the Holdover Doctrine.”

Board Member Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez expanded on the holdover, saying that because she would be serving on the board through Nov., her status as a Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) board director would also be extended through the remainder of her term.

Board President Charlie Garcia III read the order, which clarified the new dates for the board elections.

“The election for Mission CISD Board of Trustees currently scheduled to occur on May 2, 2020 is hereby moved to Nov. 3, 2020,” Garcia said. “The candidate filings for the May election will remain valid for the Nov. election, and that the filing period will not be reopened for the Nov. election date.”

Garcia stated that voters who chose to submit their votes by mail (Applicants for Ballot By Mail – ABBMs) because they are over the age of 65 or disability will still be valid for the Nov. election.

“ABBMs for voters who submitted ABBMs based on expected absence from the county would not be valid for the Nov. election,” Garcia said.

Garcia added the revised major election dates. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 5, 2020.

“The deadline to submit an ABBM is Oct. 23, 2020,” Garcia said. “The dates for early voting are Oct. 19, 2020 through Oct. 30, 2020.”

The board unanimously approved the order. Nine candidates have applied for four seats on the board, including Garcia and Zamora.

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