Single-punch, straight-party voting is back … for now.
With 17 days to go before voters will begin going to the polls (assuming that lawsuit fails), a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing a state law, enacted in 2017, that eliminated the ability to vote for all candidates of a party with a single mark, punch or other action.
“Administering in-person voting the same way it has been administered for almost 100 years is not about a mere convenience to voters,” wrote U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. “It is about running an efficient electoral process that guarantees Texans a more effective opportunity to cast a ballot in a time where any additional time spent in line endangers the safety of voters, poll workers and others not at the polls.”
Garcia Marmolejo agreed with plaintiffs that eliminating the single-punch, straight-party option would result in longer wait times at the polls, placing a “greater than minimal burden on Texans’ right to vote and right to associate.” Two out of every three voters cast straight-party ballots in the 2018 general election.
The state is expected to appeal the decision to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
If the preliminary injunction stands, it will be the second time in two weeks that a judge has ordered the reprinting of ballots. Last week, all 254 counties were required to reprint ballots and reprogram machines to restore Green Party candidates to the ballot.
SD30 special (Safe Republican): Early voting concluded today (Friday) for Tuesday’s special election. Through yesterday (Thursday), just under 35K people have voted in person or by mail, which is roughly 6% of registered voters.
HD29 (Lean Republican): Democratic challenger Travis Boldt’s campaign released a new ad focusing on health care.
HD45 (Lean Democratic): Rep. Erin Zwiener’s (D-Driftwood) campaign released a new ad focused on a metaphor of mucking stalls.
HD106 (Likely Republican): The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco).
HD107 (Likely Democratic): The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas).
HD126 (Lean Republican): Democratic challenger Natali Hurtado’s campaign released a new ad about general policy positions she would hold if elected.
So excited to launch our first TV ad! Check it out. pic.twitter.com/hp8A3HUAlq
— Natali Hurtado (@NataliforTexas) September 25, 2020
HD132 (Lean Democratic): Rep. Gina Calanni’s (D-Katy) campaign released a new ad highlighting her first-term accomplishments and “beating the odds.”
HD134 (Lean Democratic): The campaign of Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) released a new ad focusing on not politicizing COVID-19 response.
HD139 (Safe Democratic): The Houston Chronicle endorsed Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston).
PRES (Lean Republican): A new Data for Progress poll shows President Trump leading Democratic challenger Joe Biden, 46%-45%. No other information was provided.
SEN (Lean Republican): Former President Barack Obama endorsed Democratic challenger M.J. Hegar. She was not included in Obama’s “first wave” of endorsements, which included 27 Texas candidates.
A new Data for Progress poll shows U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) leading Hegar, 40%-38%. No other information was provided.
CD2 (Lean Republican): U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s (R-Houston) campaign released a four-minute ad, “Texas Reloaded,” mashing up Mission Impossible, the Avengers and candidate recruitment in what he billed as the “greatest joint campaign ad in history.”
©2020 Texas Election Source LLC