Early voting continues for the July 14 primary runoff and special elections. Because of the inherent “lumpiness” of runoff elections across the state, meaningfully comparing turnout year-to-year is difficult. On top of that, the early voting period was extended by a week by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters will have 12 days – 11 in some counties who take Sunday off – to cast ballots in person instead of the usual five days. And on top of that, we anticipate a significant increase in absentee voting as many more voters requested ballots by mail than in recent years.
With all those caveats, nearly 123K people voted in the Democratic runoff in the 15 counties with the most registered voters through the first day (Monday), which is more than the Day 1 totals in 2016 and 2018 combined. The number of Democratic early voters is 65% above 2018 and 187% above 2016. These numbers include all mail ballots received up to and including Monday. Statewide Democratic turnout through Monday was 1% of registered voters. Three quarters of all votes cast through Monday by Democrats were by mail.
Around 53K Republicans cast ballots in person or by mail in those 15 counties by Monday. This is down slightly from 2018, solely because there are no Republican runoffs in Dallas and Williamson Cos., but 14% above 2016. Statewide Republican turnout through Monday was 0.6% of registered voters. Two thirds of all votes cast through Monday by Republicans were by mail.
On this first day of early voting for the TX Primary Runoffs, we must call out the hypocrisy of state leadership for their personal use of mail-in voting while denying expansion of mail-in ballots for the rest of us during the pandemic. 1/https://t.co/7UtaOi2viN— Texas Poor People's Campaign (@texas_ppc) June 29, 2020
Project Orange — a joint collaboration with @HarrisVotes & @HoustonJustice2 — gives Harris County Jail inmates more access to their voting rights.— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) June 29, 2020
354 inmates, who are eligible to vote, applied to vote by mail for the Primary Runoff Elections. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/u0qPfI3cB7
Royce West's question to MJ Hegar about her contributing to Cornyn's campaign in 2011 led to a fiery exchange between the Democratic candidates. She said she donated $25 to get put on the donor list and be able to request a meeting with him. FULL DEBATE: https://t.co/ktN3tKvS8H pic.twitter.com/SwZTH5PHE5— KVUE News (@KVUE) June 30, 2020
Your periodic reminder that Texas' top law enforcement official remains under indictment for three felony charges. Some bg on how Paxton has delayed his trial for nearly 5 years https://t.co/SsdllTHPOUhttps://t.co/IZuqFAcv7B https://t.co/rHJwdrQwwp— Michael Barajas (@michaelsbarajas) June 25, 2020
"Single-handedly" is correct, as @GregAbbott_TX asserted full control over the crisis through executive orders that even some Republicans argue violate the Texas Constitution #txlege #coronavirus https://t.co/Jz4mrwiRtk— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) June 26, 2020
Louie Gohmert spends ample time on the House floor not wearing a mask, often talking with aides and lawmakers at length while not maintaining a social distance.
Asked why not, the 66-year-old Gohmert had an explanation that defied the science and the recommendations of leading public health experts.
"I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it. But if I get it, you'll never see me without a mask," the conservative Texan told CNN Friday.
Told that health experts say that people who don't have symptoms may be carrying the virus and can unknowingly spread it to others, Gohmert responded: "But I keep being tested and I don't have it. So I'm not afraid of you, but if I get it I'll wear a mask."
The Republican Party of Texas seems hell-bent on holding a convention of more than seven thousand delegates next month in Houston, which is a national epicenter of COVID-19.— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) June 29, 2020
As @cd_hooks puts it, the event "seems like a pretty bad idea." https://t.co/NUm7GXmiEs
“Their decision is completely baffling, it's reckless, it’s irresponsible,” (Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party) said. “It shows you that they haven’t taken this thing seriously from day one. Houston is one of the biggest coronavirus hotspots right now, and they want to go there, they want to hold an in-person convention without requiring face masks, where they're gonna put even more people at risk, hospitality workers at risk ...”
The State Republican Executive Committee will decide at a meeting Thursday (July 2) whether to go forward with the state convention in person in Houston or go the online route, as the Texas Democratic Party did.
At the end of his presser in Dallas, I asked VP Pence to comment on reports Russians offered Taliban bounty to kill American troops. He heard & acknowledged the question but did not respond. Just landed back at Andrews & Pence boarded Marine Two without stopping to talk.— Monica Alba (@albamonica) June 28, 2020
First Baptist Dallas has a "dancing waters" fountain out front that cost $7 million dollars. And they guard it to keep homeless from washing in it. You know, as Jesus would have. https://t.co/2s9ZjHNFRO— LinerElaine (@LinerElaine) June 28, 2020
On June 11th, Michael Hickson, a quadriplegic black man with COVID-19 was killed by a hospital in Austin Texas.— Steven Spohn (@stevenspohn) June 29, 2020
Doctors decided he had "no quality of life" and was not worth spending the resources to save.
The conversation between his doctor and his wife was caught on audio 1/? pic.twitter.com/sQxdXNhhRM
Their tests came back with the same result -- negative, allowing (their) trip to go ahead -- but the accompanying bills were quite different. The emergency room charged Harvey $199 in cash. LeBlanc, who paid with insurance, was charged $6,408.
A recent surge in coronavirus cases has made San Antonio one of the nation’s hotspots, but respondents to the latest Bexar Facts/KSAT/Rivard Report poll differed on the severity of the pandemic – and what should be done to contain it – based on their political affiliation.
Fifty-two percent of the 616 respondents who identified as Republican maintained “the worst is over” regarding the impact of the coronavirus locally, and 61 percent said continued social distancing and business closures will cause unnecessary damage to the economy and residents’ lives. Only 14 percent of respondents who identified as Democrats thought the worst was over and 16 percent thought social distancing and business closures would cause unnecessary damage.
Seventy-eight percent of Democrat respondents believe the worst is yet to come. The nonpartisan poll was conducted online and via telephone from June 10-14, right before daily COVID-19 cases started spiking in Bexar County.
I still have enough Wrangled for a third post this week, focusing on Black Lives Matter and police abuse topics and an environmental round-up; it will appear at the end of the week, following the regularly-scheduled White House Update. Let me close here with some of the pictures and stories from the past that I have enjoyed recently.
home-of-ideal-bread-east-texas-finest---advertising-postcard_4610550222_o pic.twitter.com/2sNahu13zv— Vintage Classic Postcards (@2VintageClassic) May 31, 2020
When Gary P. Nunn sings "jammin' out to Bongo Joe" in "What I like about Texas," he's referring to this man, "Bongo" Joe Coleman. Joe was a street musician in Texas for decades, including 16 years in San Antonio. He sounded like this : https://t.co/tKYjSCNlA8 via @YouTube pic.twitter.com/RdF63zZYxQ— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) June 26, 2020