It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Ross Ramsey, executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune.
On Thursday, a new development in the legal back-and-forth over mail-in ballot drop-offs: a Travis county judge ruled that counties can have multiple locations to hand-deliver absentee ballots. Not wasting any time, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an appeal of that ruling.
“Before the ink was dry on [the ruling], the state appealed it, so we’ll see how this goes through federal courts,” Ramsey said. “A federal judge said you can open more sites; the appeals court said, ‘No, one per county is enough.’ Now, we’ve got a state court saying you can open more sites, and we’ve got the state appealing. It’s confusing.”
Despite that, enthusiasm during the first week of early voting has been high.
“Election Day is more like election month, and 2 million people have already voted,” Ramsey said. “Only 9 million people voted in the last presidential election. So a lot of the vote has been front-loaded. It’s hard to tell whether that means a giant turnout for the whole election or whether it just means there was a lot of pent up demand and people went during the first week.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Rebeca Huddle to fill the Texas Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Paul Green, who retired in August.
“What’s unusual about this appointment is that Green resigned late enough that Huddle won’t have to run for election for two years,” Ramsey said. “She’ll hold the seat that Green had on the court for a couple of years. She’ll be on the ballot if she wants to run again in 2022.”