Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the early voting period for the July 14 runoffs by one week. Early voting will begin June 29 (instead of July 6) and conclude July 10. In his proclamation, Abbott said it was necessary so that “election officials can implement appropriate social distancing and safe hygiene practices.” In an advisory, the Secretary of State’s office said it would issue guidance, included recommendations to protect the health and safety of poll workers and voters, by early next week.

SD14 special: The campaign of former Austin council member Don Zimmerman announced he filed for the July 14 special election today (Monday) as a Republican. Austin public policy analyst Adryana Aldeen tweeted that she would be making “my special announcement” about the race on Tuesday. She is expected to run as a Republican if she enters the race.

Mail Ballot Lawsuit: A group of voters and civil rights groups have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the process of voting by mail in Texas. While other lawsuits are seeking to expand the eligibility to vote by mail, this suit challenges several provisions of Texas law that define how voters register for and return ballots by mail. “Even if all registered voters are eligible to vote by mail in Texas in the November election, that would not be sufficient to prevent the serious risk of disenfranchisement and threats to public health that will occur” if current laws are retained.

Specifically, the lawsuit is challenging these requirements:

  • Voters must supply postage to return a ballot by mail
  • Mail ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day and received by the county election office by 5 p.m. the next day; and
  • Signatures on the ballot envelope and the application for a ballot by mail must match

The suit also challenges what it calls a “voter assistance ban” that limits the type of help others can provide to voters casting ballots by mail.

Emerson Poll: President Trump leads Joe Biden, 47%-41%, according to a new Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll. Asked how excited they were to vote for their candidate of choice, 67% of Trump supporters said they were “extremely excited” (42%) or “very excited” (25%) to vote for him. Biden supporters were less ardent: 40% of Biden supporters said they were “extremely excited” (15%) or “very excited” (25%) to vote for him.

Respondents were almost evenly split between whether they would prefer to vote by mail (51%) or in person (48%).

One in five respondents said they personally knew someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and slightly more than a quarter said they or someone in their household had lost their job to the pandemic.

The poll of 800 registered voters was in the field May 8-10 using a mix of landline phone and online interviews. Its stated margin of error is ±3.4%. Links to our coverage of recent presidential polls is below.

SEN: Democratic runoff candidates M.J. Hegar and Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) will debate June 2 as part of the Texas Democratic Party’s virtual convention. It is expected to be carried by Nexstar stations in the state.

CD22 open: The National Assoc. for Gun Rights released a new ad, “Troy Nehls Attacks the Second Amendment,” criticizing the Fort Bend Co. Sheriff for remarks he made several years ago opposing open carry.

Recent Presidential Polls

  • Trump 43, Biden 43 – DMN/UT-Tyler (May)
  • Biden 47, Trump 46 – Public Policy Polling (April)
  • Trump 49, Biden 44 – UT/Texas Tribune (April)
  • Trump 45, Biden 44 – DMN/UT-Tyler (March)
  • Trump 46, Biden 43 – Univision/Univ. of Houston (February)
  • Biden 48, Trump 47 – CNN/SSRS (February)
  • Trump 47, Biden 43 – UT/Texas Tribune (February)
  • Trump 44, Biden 42 – DMN/UT-Tyler (February)
  • Trump 51, Biden 46 – Texas Lyceum (January)
  • Trump 48, Biden 47 – CNN/SSRS (December 2019)
  • Trump 45, Biden 39 – DMN/UT-Tyler (November 2019)
  • Trump 46, Biden 39 – UT/Texas Tribune (November 2019)

Links go to our coverage or commentary on the polls.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC