The U.S. Postal Service warned Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughes that there is a “significant risk” that lawfully requested mail ballots will not be returned in time to be counted. Voters “should submit their ballot request early enough so it is received by their election officials at least 15 days before Election Day at a minimum, and preferably long before that time,” advised Thomas Marshall, general counsel of the U.S. Postal Service.

In a letter to Hughs dated July 30 (PDF), Marshall advised that “certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards.”

Since most requests for absentee ballots are themselves mailed, the USPS is essentially recommending voters to send in their requests for an absentee ballot by October 12, 10 days before the state’s statutory deadline.

Marshall said the USPS recommends election officials use First-Class Mail instead of Marketing Mail to send ballots to voters. Officials should “allow 1 week for delivery to voters.” Use of Marketing Mail, a less expensive option, “will increase the risk that voters will not receive their ballots in time to return them by mail.”

Voters should mail their completed ballots at least one week before the state’s due date, which for most Texans would be October 27, which is a week before the November 3 deadline.

SEN: The campaign of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) released a new ad, “Cares,” focused on making schools safe to reopen.

CD3: A Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano) shows the incumbent leading Lulu Seikaly, 48%-35%. The poll of 500 “likely voters” was in the field August 1-4. No other information was provided.

Independent Candidates: The Secretary of State has certified nine independent candidates for Congressional offices:

  • CD18 – Houston carpenter Vince Duncan
  • CD24 open – Irving journalist Mark Bauer and Grapevine attorney Steve Kuzmich
  • CD30 – Dallas filmmaker Eric Williams
  • CD32 – Dallas consultant Jason Sigmon
  • CD33 – Dallas activist Carlos Quintanilla and Fort Worth educator Renedria Welton
  • CD34 – Brownsville educator Chris Royal; and
  • CD35 – San Antonio nonprofit executive Jason Mata Sr.

Four others, as well as an independent running for SD29, had their applications rejected. Another 26 independent candidates who filed declarations of intent to run for Congress do not appear to have submitted signatures for certification.

Harris County: Democratic precinct chairs selected Deputy County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth to be the party’s nominee for county clerk. She faces former County Clerk Stan Stanert (R) in the general election. The special election was triggered by the resignation of Diane Trautman (D).

Travis County: Democratic precinct chairs selected attorney and longtime Democratic activist Andy Brown as the party’s nominee for county judge. He was selected over Travis Co. Comm. Jeff Travillion (D) and former party chair Dyana Limon-Mercado, who recently stepped down to seek this nomination. The seat was not up for election in 2020, so a November special election will fill the remaining unexpired term of former County Judge Sarah Eckhardt (D) resigned to run in the SD14 special election, which she won after Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) withdrew from the runoff. Travis Co. Republicans are expected to select a nominee before the August 24 deadline.

Filing Deadline: Tomorrow (Monday) is the deadline for candidates to file for election to local offices that were always scheduled to be held on November 3. These include elections in Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Laredo, Odessa, San Marcos, Wichita Falls and The Woodlands.

The filing period for offices for which elections were postponed to November from May did not reopen.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC