Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Texans Need To Know For The Election

Our democracy is stronger when our communities are educated and equipped with the tools they need to cast a ballot that counts:

1. What Kind Of ID Do I Need When I Go Vote?

The following are acceptable forms of ID to take with you to the polls:

  • Texas Drivers License
  • Texas Election ID Certificate
  • Texas Personal ID Card
  • Texas Handgun License
  • US Military ID (with photo)
  • US Citizenship Certificate (with photo)
  • US Passport (book or card)

If you can’t get one of those, you can sign something called a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and use a non-photo ID, like a utility bill or your voter registration certificate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Russ Feingold - Why It’s Appropriate to Expand the Supreme Court

Former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has thought longer and harder than most Americans about the US Senate’s handling of Supreme Court nominations, and he knows something has got to change. As the former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, and as the current president of the American Constitution Society, he has fought to maintain the deliberative process by which the Senate is supposed to provide advice and consent in a finely balanced system of checks and balances.

But as Republicans coalesce in support of a drive by President Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to seat a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before or immediately after the November 3 election, Feingold says, “What’s happening now is a mockery of what everybody believed was the appropriate way to handle those nominations.” Like most progressives, the former senator from Wisconsin supports delaying action to replace Justice Ginsburg until after a president is sworn in on January 20, 2021. 

If Senate Republicans succeed in “ramming through” a nominee to succeed the justice, as many now fear is likely, Feingold says there will need to be “a very serious and public discussion about the need to take serious measures to provide reparations for what could be the theft of a second Supreme Court seat.” As part of that discussion, the ACS president says, there has to be recognition of “the fact that it is perfectly appropriate for the Congress to determine that there should be more justices on the Court.”

Here’s The Nation’s discussion with Russ Feingold on Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, the current nomination fight and the future of the high court — Click Here

Monday, September 21, 2020

Youth Vote Enthusiasm Highest Since 2008

A national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds released today by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School found significant interest in the upcoming election with the likelihood of turning out to vote at levels not seen since the 2008 presidential election. The poll found 63% of respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” compared to 47% during this same time before the 2016 presidential election.

“More than 15 million young Americans have turned 18 since the last presidential election. The Gen-Z generation is facing a once in a lifetime experience of a global pandemic, economic instability, and racial reckoning,” said Mark Gearan, Director, Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. “Young Americans are seeing first hand how their government impacts their day to day lives and they are ready to make their voice heard in this election.”

Biden expanded on Hillary Clinton's youth vote lead in 2016, in the Harvard Youth Poll, and even on President Obama’s performance in 2008. Among likely voters, 60% support the 2020 Democratic candidate, compared to 27% for Trump this election and 49% for Clinton in 2016. 

The last time likely young voters were this supportive of a candidate was President Obama’s 2008 election, in which our poll found likely voters broke 59% for President Obama and 30% for Senator McCain. Part of this can be attributed to the fact that approximately 19% of likely voters indicated they would vote third party in a four-way horse race in 2016, while only 6% have said the same in 2020.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Can The GOP Lose Texas In 2020?

This is not one those election years when the issues seem esoteric and disconnected from real life. This one is about the issues each voter is struggling with every day, about threats to personal and economic health, to the family and friends and institutions that stitch together into what we all refer to now as normal life. 

What’s happening nationally with the coronavirus — in terms of the issues at stake, problems with response, what it means for family, schools, commerce, recreation, voting, culture, retirees, life and death itself — is reflected in Texas politics today. 

The referendum on the ballot this year is whether voter sentiment against Trumpism in Texas, as across the nation, has reached a tipping point favoring a new political direction for the nation — and Texas. The political question for Texas Democrats is whether they have rebuilt enough of a political ecosystem across the state, or at least up and down the increasingly left-leaning urban/suburban corridor between Houson and Dallas / Fort Worth, that they can turn out a winning share of voters. 

Texas Republicans on the ballot this year are looking at cracks in their political base as the Republican advantage in this reliably conservative state is at risk because of a volatile president, a weak economy, and a Covid-19 pandemic allowed to run rampant by national and state Republican leaders. Republicans can read election results as well as Democrats, and they can clearly read the trend was not their friend from 2012 to 2018. 

Republicans have good reason to fret Texas may be slipping from their grasp sooner - as in this year - rather than later.

Monday, September 7, 2020

A New National Poll Shows Biden Leads Trump by 10 Points

A new national CBS/YouGov poll puts Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump 52% to 42%, with only 6% undecided or planning to vote for a third-party candidate. That 52% is a scary number for Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien. It means that even if everyone else votes for Trump—which is unlikely— Biden still wins the popular vote by 4 points. Having the challenger be above 50% is terrible news for any incumbent.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

November 2020 Texas Voter Turnout First Look

The Texas early voting period this year runs for 18 days, from Tuesday, October 13, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020 and includes two weekends. Normally, the early voting period runs for 12 days and includes just one weekend. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period for the November election by six days, moving the start date to Oct. 13 instead of Oct. 19, citing continued challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Analyzing day by day early in-person and mail ballot return voter turnout, and Election Day turnout, for Collin County, Texas - and all of Texas - will be more challenging this year for many reasons. Comparing 2020 turnout to 2016 turnout will be like comparing apples to oranges any way we look at it.

Friday, September 4, 2020

What You Need to Know About Mail Voting

Make your absentee mail ballot count! Texas and most states can reject your mail-in ballot for poor penmanship. Yes, it happens to far too many times. Here’s how to make your mail-in vote count, starting with your mail ballot application.

Make sure your signature on your mail ballot application and your mail ballot return envelope exactly match, and matches the signature on your original voter registration application. It’s best if you use the same good quality pen to sign both your mail ballot application and your mail ballot return envelope.