Mayor Adler, Gov. Abbott And Sen. Cruz Win Re-election
Turnout was strong across Texas during early voting, far surpassing participation in the 2014 midterms. That momentum continued on Election Day. Nearly 100,000 people in Travis County cast ballots today.
Polls have been closed now for nearly an hour. Here are races we're watching; we'll update with results as they come in:
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9:45 p.m. — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is projected to win re-election in Texas, fending off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke, NPR reports. Find more on the race here.
8:27 p.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has won a second term, defeating Democrat Lupe Valdez. Find more statewide results here.
8:01 p.m. — Incumbent Steve Adler says his closest opponent in the mayoral race, Laura Morrison, has conceded.
7:29 p.m. — We're updating results in the mayor and City Council races here.
7:20 p.m. — Early voting totals put incumbent Steve Adler in the lead in the race for mayor, with 61 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger, Laura Morrison, had 19 percent.
6:27 p.m. — With an hour to go, 96,509 people have voted in Travis County today.
5:01 p.m. — KUT's Ben Philpott is in Houston following the Cruz campaign.
Ashley Lopez is following Beto O'Rourke in El Paso.
4:17 p.m. — Houston-native Beyonce is making some news this evening, posting an endorsement of Beto O'Rourke in his race to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz.
View this post on Instagram I’m feeling grateful for everyone before me who fought so hard to give us all the right to have a voice. We can’t voice our frustrations and complain about what’s wrong without voting and exercising our power to make it right. We need you. We all need each other, because when we are truly united we are unstoppable. Sending you all love and positivity on this happy voting day! Every vote counts Every race matters Everywhere. A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Nov 6, 2018 at 2:08pm PST
4:14 p.m. – Travis County is reporting that 78,456 voters have cast ballots so far today.
3:22 p.m. – KUT's Nadia Hamdan met Lynne and Jim Tucker at a polling place in Round Rock.
Lynne and Jim Tucker voted early but decided to spend #ElectionDay outside a polling place in Round Rock, TX to support their party. They say they live in this area and want their neighbors to know that they’re proud conservatives. #TXDecides pic.twitter.com/rZxafFKGHa— Nadia Hamdan | نادية حمدان (@nadzhamz) November 6, 2018
Jim Tucker, a retired police officer from San Diego, said they had to move to Texas because of "what the liberals have done" to California.
3:05 p.m. – Travis County Election Clerk Ambrose Gonzales, who was working the polls at the North Village Branch Library in North Austin, told KUT's Joseph Leahy he has been seeing a surprising number of first-time voters, both during early voting and today.
Sarah Callia, 18, was one of those first-time voters:
1:13 p.m. – Travis County has crossed 50,000 Election Day voters.
In Williamson County, more than 20,000 voters have cast ballots.
12:28 p.m. – Just after noon, Travis County says nearly 45,000 voters have cast ballots on Election Day, with nearly 10,000 checking in at the polls between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Meanwhile in Williamson County, over 17,000 voters have cast ballots this morning, according to the county's elections office.
KUT's Nadia Hamdan spoke with a couple of those voters earlier this morning.
11:54 a.m. – As the morning comes to a close, the Travis County Clerk says nearly 35,000 people have voted so far on Election Day. And, it appears, the county's real-time map of wait times at polling locations is back online.
In East Austin, KUT's Mose Buchele asked voters outside the Pan-Am Center what's motivating them as they head to the polls – including first-time voters Evan Kinney and Amanda Sanchez.
KUT's Claire McInerny spoke with Huston-Tillotson University students outside the Carver Center before they headed in to vote and ran into Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson, who's on the ballot today against Republican challenger George Hindman and Libertarian Micah M. Verlander.
In South Austin, some voters report waiting as long as an hour in the line at the Randall's at Ben White and Manchaca Road.
Meanwhile, KUT's Ben Philpott is headed down to Houston to cover Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign as the election returns roll in, while Ashley Lopez covers Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke in El Paso.
10:27 a.m. – The Travis County Clerk says, so far, 25,147 voters have cast ballots this morning.
In Austin, a couple of City Council candidates have joined voters at their in-district polling places.
District 8 candidate Frank Ward met voters at the Circle C Community Center in Southeast Austin. He was joined by outgoing District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair.
District 1 candidate Reedy Spigner continued outreach efforts at the Fiesta at 38th Street and I-35.
Jimmy Maas reports half-hour wait times at Wheatsville Co-Op on Lamar Boulevard, where he also happened upon a choir serenading voters.
Earlier this morning, Syeda Hasan reported some technical difficulties led to slow-moving lines at the Church of Christ in Hyde Park.
Some technical issues at the Church of Christ in Hyde Park, where the line to vote is moving slowly - a poll worker says a printer is down, which has slowed the voting process - but she’s reminding folks that in Travis County, you can vote anywhere on Election Day. #TXDecides pic.twitter.com/ZgQi0mlnlj— Syeda Hasan (@syedareports) November 6, 2018
9:13 a.m. – The Travis County Clerk's office says its website is back online. Its real-time map of wait times at polling locations is still not functional
8:28 a.m. – The Travis County Clerk is advising would-be voters to look up their nearest polling place on the county website until it's real-time map of polling places is fully functional. You can find that here, or in the embed below.
The county's map and website have been intermittently functional since polls opened this morning.
7:38 a.m. – Less than an hour after polls opened, the Travis County Clerk's office says its official website is down.
However, you can still find all the Election Day-related information you need at VoteTravis.com.
7:30 a.m. – Polls are open, and Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir tells KUT's Syeda Hasan that the Austin area could see as many 100,000 voters on Election Day – that's in addition to the 372,000 voters who cast ballots during early voting.
With that glut of voters, DeBeauvoir told voters to avoid perennially congested voting lines at grocery stores and find a less busy voting location on the county's real-time map of voting locations. She expects a mid-morning lull at voting places after polls open, then a lunch rush, but things will get really busy after 4 p.m. until polls close at 7 p.m.
Keep in mind, if you're in line before a poll closes, you can still vote.