The 38 Texas presidential electors cast their ballots for President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump won the state’s electoral votes by defeating President-elect Joe Biden, 52%-46%, in the general election.

By a 34-4 vote, the electors passed a resolution urging the legislatures of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to appoint their own electors, thus overturning the results of the election. The resolution also “condemn[ed] the lack of action by the U.S. Supreme Court” to rule in favor of legal actions raised by the Trump campaign and allies, including Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R).

It was unclear that the electors had the power to do this. 3 U.S. Code §§7-11 provide that electors shall:

  • “Meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday.”
  • “Vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution”
  • “Make and sign six certificates of all the votes given by them”
  • “Seal up the certificates … and certify upon each that the lists of all the votes” given for President and Vice President are separately contained in each; and
  • Mail the certificates to the Vice President, the Texas Secretary of State (2 copies), the U.S. Archivist (2 copies) and the “judge of the district in which the electors shall have assembled.”

No other powers or duties are enumerated, and no state law provides any additional authority to the electors. Section 192.006, Election Code, provides that the electors “perform their duties as prescribed by federal law.” Ironically, Paxton’s lawsuit included complaints about state officials using procedures and deadlines that were not specifically approved by their respective legislatures.

SD30 special: Early voting concludes tomorrow (Tuesday) for Saturday’s runoff election for the remainder of Sen. Pat Fallon’s (R-Prosper) unexpired term. Through yesterday (Sunday), nearly 25K people have voted early in person or by mail, representing around 7.5% of registered voters.

Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) filed a corrected runoff report to disclose $162K in in-kind contributions from Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) campaign. This brings Springer’s total contributions for the period (October 25-December 9) to $937K. Springer reported an additional $107K in contributions in a pair of daily reports.

Springer’s opponent, Pilot Point salon owner Shelley Luther, criticized Abbott for backing Springer. She tweeted that she “got thrown in jail” by Abbott, who is now “donating over $250K to help a RINO swamp monster.”

Abbott’s campaign has spent at least $2.1M since July 1 to support more than two dozen Republican incumbents and legislative candidates.

Local Elections

Tomorrow (Tuesday) in runoff Election Day in various jurisdictions around the state.

Austin: Incumbent council member Alison Alter faces Jennifer Virden and council member

Jimmy Flannigan faces Mackenzie Kelly.

College Station: Incumbent council member John Nichols faces Craig Regan

Corpus Christi: Mayor Joe McComb faces council member Paulette Guajardo. Incumbent council member Greg Smith faces Kaylynn Paxson.

Galveston: Voters will elect a new mayor. Council member Bo Quiroga faces council member/mayor pro tem Craig Brown. Council members David Collins and Paul Listowski face challengers.

Odessa: Council member Dewey Bryant faces Javier Joven in the mayoral runoff. Incumbent council member Michael Shelton faces Mark Matta.

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