It’s already midnight as I start writing this. I’m just going to do the highlights with the best information I have at this time.
– Nationally, Dems are doing pretty well, all things considered. As of this writing, Dems had picked up the Pennsylvania Senate seat and they were leading in Georgia and Arizona. They held on in a bunch of close House races. The GOP is still expected to have a majority in the House, but not by much. The Senate remains very close.
– Some tweets to sum up the national scene:
My best guess is 220R-215D, but uh…yeah, some wide error bands there.
— Lakshya Jain (@lxeagle17) 11:30 PM – 08 November 2022
Our estimate is that the GOP has a 73% chance to win. That’s not very different from the beginning of the night.
But the nature of this chance is very different.
Here’s an analogy
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) 11:32 PM – 08 November 2022
(it’s the 4th quarter in the second half of this analogy, btw)
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) 11:32 PM – 08 November 2022
– On that score, Republicans appear to have picked up CD15, which they drew to be slightly red, while the Dems took back CD34. Henry Cuellar is still with us, holding onto CD28.
– Statewide, well. It just wasn’t to be. The running tallies on the SOS Election Result site are a bit skewed as many smaller red counties have their full results in while the big urban counties have mostly just the early votes counted. Heck, they didn’t even have Harris County early results there until after 10:30 PM (the point at which I went and snoozed on the couch for an hour because I was driving myself crazy). It will be a ten-point or more win for Abbott, I just can’t say yet what. A survey of some county results early on suggested Beto was around where he’d been percentage-wise in most of the big counties (Tarrant, where he was a few points behind, being an exception) but was going to need some decent Election Day numbers to approach his raw vote margins. He didn’t do as well as he had done in 2018 in some of the larger suburban counties like Collin and Denton and didn’t do as well in South Texas.
– He also didn’t do as well in Harris, which made for some close races and a few Republican judicial candidates with early leads. A couple of those had eroded by the 11:30 addition of more Election Day and mail ballots, but we might see a few Republican judges on the bench next year. As of that 11:30 PM vote dump, Beto was leading Harris County by nine points, well short of where he had been in 2018.
– But as of this time, and with the proviso that I don’t know which voting centers have reported and which are still out, the Harris County Democratic delegation was all ahead, though not be a lot. This includes Lesley Briones for County Commissioner, which if it all holds would give Dems the 4-1 margin on Commissioners Court that they sought. There are still a lot of votes to be counted as I type this.
– Going back to the state races, Republicans may pick up a seat or two in the Lege. HD37 was leaning their way, and they may hold onto HD118. Dems were leading in HDs 70 (by a little) and 92 (by a more comfortable amount), two seats that had been drawn to siphon off Dem voters in formerly red areas. As of this writing, the open SD27 (Eddie Lucio’s former fiefdom) was super close but all of the remaining votes were from Hidalgo County, where Dem Morgan LaMantia had a good lead in early voting. That one will likely be a hold for Dems. On the other hand, SBOE2 was leaning Republican, so Dems may be back to only five members on the SBOE.
– There were of course some technical issues.
Tight races in Harris County, where around 1 million votes will be tallied, could hinge on whether ballots cast after 7 p.m. will be included in the count, after an Election Day filled with glitches and uncertainty for voters and poll workers alike.
Harris County District Court Judge Dawn Rogers signed an order keeping all county voting sites open until 8 p.m., only to have the Texas Supreme Court stay her order just in time to create confusion at voting locations letting voters arrive late.
In a three-sentence order, the court said voting “should occur only as permitted by Texas Election Code.” The high court also ruled that votes cast in the final hour should be segregated. That means those votes can’t be counted until the court issues a final ruling.
That ruling could be critical in the event that certain county races, including the hard-fought battle for county judge between Democratic incumbent Lina Hidalgo and Republican challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer, are close enough to be decided by those set-aside votes.
“Every single vote counts,” said Laila Khalili, a director at the voter engagement group Houston in Action. “Some elections can be won by just a couple of votes.”
Khalili watched a handful of voters file provisional ballots at the Moody Park voting location.
The request to keep the polling sites open late was made by the Texas Organizing Project, Texas Civil Rights Project and ACLU of Texas, citing what they said were late election location openings and poor planning that disenfranchised some voters.
“These delays have forced countless voters to leave polling places without being able to vote,” the groups said.
Harris County was unable to estimate or confirm how many votes were cast after the typical 7 p.m. cutoff that allows for anyone in line by that time to cast a ballot.
Voters who arrived between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. cast a provisional ballot, according to the county attorney’s office. Some voters, later in the evening, complained that election workers even denied them that option, as the Supreme Court stay was broadcast to the 782 polling locations.
There were some issues with temporarily running out of paper at some locations and some long lines at others. We’ll just have to see how many provisional votes there are.
– Finally, for now, all of the county and city bond issues were passing. The closest ones as of this time were city of Houston prop E, up by eight points, and Harris County prop A, up by 11.
I’m going to hit Publish on this now and go to bed. I’ll make updates in the morning, either here or in a new post.
UPDATE: It’s 2:30 and I never actually got to sleep. With 334 of 782 voting centers reporting, Dems have gained some more ground in Harris County. Beto leads by nine points, while Judge Hidalgo is up by almost two full points and over 15K votes. She has led each aspect of voting. A couple of Dem judges who trailed early on are now leading, with a couple more in striking distance. There will be some Republican judges next year barring something very unexpected, but the losses are modest. All things considered, and again while acknowledging there are still a lot of votes out there, not too bad.
A new batch of #ElectionDay results for #HarrisCounty are in and have been posted.
👉 View the results at https://bit.ly/3G0ETsV
👉 All Polls have been Received and Certified and 774 have been Tabulated.
— Harris County Elections (@HarrisVotes) 05:11 AM – 09 November 2022
An email with the summary file hit my inbox at 4:51 AM. Democrats officially have a 4-1 majority on Harris County Commissioners Court. By my count, Republicans won five judicial races in Harris County.