Just 13 votes separated Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) and Red Brown when all the votes had been counted on March 1, and Simpson was poised to meet Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) in the runoff.
But all of the votes have not yet been counted.
Voters are permitted to vote a provisional ballot when their registrations cannot be verified at the polling site or if they do not present a legally required photo ID. Those voters must present their ID within six days, and the county voter registrar will research unverified registrations. In addition, overseas voters’ ballots must be counted so long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received within five days.
While these often result in few actual ballots being counted, only a few ballots could change Hughes’ runoff opponent.
Smith Co. will convene a committee on Tuesday (March 8) to evaluate as many as 482 provisional ballots cast there. The county’s elections administrator told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that she hopes to count the approved ballots by the end of the day. Brown received 4,003 more votes than Simpson in Smith Co. Gregg Co. election officials are expected to meet Wednesday to evaluate at least 97 provisional ballots. Simpson received 2,409 more votes than Brown in Gregg Co. There are at least 232 provisional ballots spread across the district’s other 14 counties, which are expected to finalize their results this week.
We have not seen any reports about the number of overseas ballots received by the counties.
Even these final counts are not expected to be the final tally. A recount is highly likely.