Election Day News From Across Texas
If all goes according to plan, the biggest news stories won't be written until after the polls close at 7 o'clock tonight. But here's some of what's being reported across Texas right now.
Texas Monthly columnist Paul Burka has numbers from a Republican consultant suggesting double digit losses for House Democrats. Nothing shocking to hear that from a GOP operative, but the post is making the rounds today and is worth a glance.
The Dallas Morning News reports on software glitches causing delays of up to 90 minutes at polls in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Collin County.
Elections Administrator Sharon Rowe said technicians had to be sent out to at least three of the county’s 72 polling stations after workers set up voting machines incorrectly. She said the issue has since been resolved. "Technicians had to be sent out to reset [machines] during the morning rush hour during heavy turnout," she said.
The Collin County Observer claims it has been "sounding the warning bell on this issue for years," and points us to their coverage here and here.
The Austin-area had some minor problems at the polls this morning after one poll worker slept in and another had problems with a power cord. Otherwise, no major problems have been reported in Travis County.
The rain fell in Dallas over lunchtime, and the Texas Observer reports that the bad weather could help Republicans, citing an academic study that found one inch of rain increases the GOP vote share by 2.5 percent. (It's also raining in Houston today, and rain is forecast for Austin too.)
Meanwhile, voting is said to be going smoothly in Fort-Worth, according to the Star Telegram.
Despite emotions running high, Skogsberg said that so far there have been no incidents of violations like campaigning inside the polling station. That was the case for all of the precincts contacted as of 1:30 p.m. There have been no reports of voting system glitches or power outages at the precincts.
Harris County is worth watching tonight, and not just because it will take longer to count all those paper ballots. Texas Watchdog says it's attracting the national spotlight because of the debate there over voter fraud.
The attention on voting issues stems from a dispute this summer, when the conservative King Street Patriots researched voter records and concluded that the liberal Houston Votes had submitted flawed applications for new voters. The state Democratic party sued Harris County Voter Registrar Leo Vasquez, who announced his office had used the King Street’s group research to find thousands of faulty registrations, adding the King Street Patriots to the suit. During early voting, Houston Votes said the King Street group intimidated voters, though county officials found no proof of such.
There are also a couple exciting races down I-35 in the San Antonio-area, reports the Express-News.
[I]n Bexar County, where Democrats still outnumber Republicans, it's unclear how much of that conservative surge will come to bear on two of the highest profile local races — for district attorney and Precinct 4 county commissioner.
The Bexar County District Attorney race remained bitterly fought until the very end. As recently as yesterday, challenger Nicholas Hood accused incumbent Susan Reed of lying about her record. San Antonio ABC affiliate KENS reports:
"Susan Reed claims in her latest ad that she has a 99% conviction rate. That unfortunately is an outright lie," said Lahood. Lahood said statistics show Reed had less than a 40% conviction rate when it came to indecency with or sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of an adult, and burglary cases. Reed fired back at LaHood’s accusation calling it a desperate last-minute attempt to divert the attention away from Lahood’s criminal past. Reed said she calculated her conviction rate the same way as nearly every other district attorney in the state does.
Finally, our political reporting partners, the Texas Tribune, always have some fancy data visualization trick up their sleeves. This time, they plotted all their election stories on a timeline to paint a complete narrative of this election cycle.