Voting in Garland, TX and other cities in Dallas County has gotten a lot more complicated, thanks to Senate Bill 100. The Bill was introduced to the Texas Senate, passed by the Senate and House and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 17.
Mary Kayser, Garland City Secretary said the purpose of the bill is to adopt voting procedures necessary to implement the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) which is aimed at making the voting process easier and faster for military and overseas voters.
Among other things, the bill states that counties are no longer required to contract with and provide electronic voting equipment to municipalities and school districts for the May uniform election date in even numbered years. This means that if an election were to be called by the Garland City Council in even numbered years, Dallas County Elections would not have to assist the City as in the past. Senate Bill 100 does not affect the May uniform election date in odd numbered years.
“The city has some choices to make because we are in contract with the Dallas County elections administration and this means if they choose not to assist us in this situation, then we won’t have the voting equipment and people to hold the elections as normal,” Kayser said. “This new dilemma puts the primary runoff elections and city municipal elections into conflict with each other because they will be both held around the same time.”
Senate Bill 100 provides that a municipality may adopt a resolution providing for the election of all members of the governing body at the same election. If the City Council chooses this option, all members of the Council and the Mayor would be elected in May of odd numbered years. The places with terms expiring in May 2012 would holdover in office until May 2013. Then, in May 2013, a general election would be called for the purpose of electing the Mayor and all 9 Council members.