Article III. Elections  


ARTICLE III. ELECTIONS

Section 1. Calling and Regulating Elections. The Council shall by Ordinance call the regular City election at the time or times hereinafter provided, and may call such special elections as are authorized by the State Law and this Charter. All elections shall be held in accordance with the Laws of the State of Texas regulating the holding of Municipal Elections and in accordance with the ordinances adopted by the Council for the conduct thereof. The Council shall appoint the election judges and other election officials. Voting precincts shall be as established by ordinance and may be altered from time to time in like manner.

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 63-13, § 2, 4-11-63; Ord. No. 75-18, § 3, 4-10-75; Ord. No. 77-25, § 3, 4-4-77; Ord. No. 87-47, § 1, 9-3-87; Ord. No. 91-95, § 3(6), 11-14-91; Ord. No. 93-108, § 3, 11-11-93; Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 99-09 Exh. A(§ 1), 1-28-99; Ord. No. 02-033, § 1, 5-4-02; Ord. No. 04-028, § 2, 2-26-04; Ord. No. 12-009, § 2, 2-23-12)

(Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 75-18, § 3, 4-10-75; Ord. No. 77-25, § 3, 4-4-77; Ord. No. 91-95, § 4(5), 11-14-91; Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 12-009, § 2, 2-23-12)

(Ord. No. 87-5, § 1, 1-22-87; Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96)

(Ord. No. 87-5, § 1, 1-22-87; Ord. No. 96-59, § 6, 6-16-96; Ord. No. 98-33, § 11, 6-3-98)

(Ord. No. 04-035, § 2, 5-26-04)

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The above section 1a was created by an amendment approved by a vote of the electorate at the election held on April 7, 1979. The results were confirmed by Ord. No. 79-24, adopted April 9, 1979.

The City shall be divided into six (6) districts. The Mayor shall be elected at large and all six (6) members of Council shall be elected from districts at a regular municipal election, to be held for such purpose on a date authorized by State law in May. In the event State law is amended to eliminate the May uniform election date, then the regular municipal election shall be held on a date set by the City Council that is permissible under State law.

(a) It shall be the duty of the City Council to establish the boundaries of districts covering the entire City for the purpose of electing District Councilmembers. Such boundaries shall be established by Ordinance, which shall be final for the purposes of this Charter. Any subsequent establishment shall be made when required by this Charter. Except as changed hereby, all other provisions of the City Charter relating to elections of the members of the City Council shall remain unchanged.

(b) Promptly following the addition of territory to the City by a boundary change, the City Council shall, by Ordinance, add such territory to an adjacent district or districts. The Mayor shall be elected at large and the Councilmembers shall be elected from districts. The districts from which Councilmembers shall be elected shall be designated by City Council as Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 according to the boundaries of these districts, as established by Ordinance, in accordance with this Section. At each election, candidates shall be voted upon and be elected separately for each Councilmember district.

(c) Any qualified person who desires to become a candidate for the office of Mayor or Councilmember shall file with the City Secretary, in accordance with State law, a signed application for the candidate's name to appear on the ballot, specifying the office and position for which the candidate is filing. The order of the ballot of the names of the candidates for each office shall be determined by lot in a drawing to be held under the supervision of the City Secretary. Every qualified voter shall be entitled to vote for Mayor and for one (1) candidate for Councilmember who runs for the district in which the voter lives. The City Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of Council-members, subject to review by the courts in case of contest. Each district Councilmember shall be elected by the qualified voters of each respective district. The candidate for Mayor and the candidate for each Councilmember district who shall receive fifty (50) percent of the votes plus one (1) vote shall be declared elected in accordance with State law. A candidate for Mayor shall not be a candidate for Councilmember at the same election and a person may be a candidate for only one (1) Councilmember position or district at the same election.

(d) All candidates elected at a municipal election shall, upon being sworn, take office immediately upon qualifying.

See Appendix A.

The returns of every municipal election shall be delivered forthwith by the election judges to the City Secretary. The Council shall canvass the returns and declare the official results of the election in accordance with State law. The returns of every municipal election shall be recorded in the minutes of the Council, by precinct totals for each candidate or for or against each issue submitted.

It shall be the duty of the City Secretary to promptly notify all persons elected. A member of the Council who is elected in a regular municipal election shall take office and enter upon the duties of office immediately after the election has been canvassed, or as soon thereafter as the person may qualify by taking and subscribing the person's oath of office. A member of the Council who is elected in a special election to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term shall take office immediately upon qualifying.

The City Council shall call a public referendum before creating a mass transit system that requires the expenditure of local, state or federal funds by the City of Galveston. The definition of a mass transit system includes, but is not limited to trolley cars, heavy rail systems, or light rail systems.

The City Council shall call a public referendum before privatizing the City sanitation department.

The City of Galveston shall be prohibited from charging a fee for parking a motor vehicle on Seawall Boulevard, until such fee and method of collecting such fee is approved at an election by a majority of qualified voters voting in such election.

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Time and place of elections, V.A.T.S. Election Code, title 4; election officers, V.A.T.S. Election Code, title 3.

An election to amend this Charter shall not be held more often than every two (2) years.