Voter Fraud: The Dallas Co. District Attorney has opened a criminal investigation into complaints of mail-ballot fraud that could impact two city council races. At least 670 mail-in ballots received from residents of council Districts 2 and 6 have been sequestered by court order and remain unopened. The DA’s office received numerous complaints from voters who said they received mail-in ballots without asking for them or were told they had already voted by mail when they attempted to vote in person (The latter group of voters cast provisional ballots.). Meanwhile, Dallas Co. elections officials hope to count the valid mail-in ballots by mid-week.

Single-punch Elimination: The House on Saturday gave final approval along a mostly party-line, 88-57 vote to House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton), which would end the practice of using a single punch, mark or other action to vote for all candidates of a political party. Six Republicans against the bill: Reps. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell), Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches), Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), Mike Schofield (R-Katy) and Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford). Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) was the lone Democrat to vote for the bill. The bill moves on to the Senate, which has thus far taken no action on its companion, Senate Bill 2175 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola).

CD2: Houston education non-profit executive director Todd Litton filed paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential challenge of U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble) as a Democrat.

Collin Co.: County Judge Keith Self will not seek re-election to a fourth term. Self formed an exploratory committee for a potential race for open CD3 but decided against it. Collin Co. Comm. Chris Hill said he would explore running for county judge.

San Antonio: Mayor Ivy Taylor has hired Democratic operative Colin Strother as her campaign’s new general consultant. Strother worked for Tommy Adkisson during his unsuccessful 2015 mayoral campaign and was critical of Democratic turnout after the 2015 runoff, when Taylor defeated former Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio).

Note: Jeff Blaylock, publisher of Texas Election Source, is on record as being in favor of House Bill 25.

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