Votes continue to trickle in, so we can't really report any final scores yet. However, I am fairly confident something about which I can humblebrag: in Texas's 2020 US Senate race, None of the Above outpolled me.
As of now, the Secretary of State's tally shows more than 80,000 votes in the Green column. The difference in total votes cast for president and US senator is about double that. I can't provide a link to it here, since the SOS elections results page is temporary, to be replaced eventually by the standard archival HTML page (like this one from 2018).
This is eerily reminiscent of 2014, the tale of which I have recounted numerous times since then. In that general election, incumbent county judge Ed Emmett received 403,763 votes to my 80,486; the undervote for county judge was over 203,000. This is not a case of 200,000 Harris County residents saying we don't like either of those clowns, but rather, we voted the straight Democratic ticket and totally didn't notice that there was no Democrat in that race.
The Republican-dominated Texas Legislature retired one-punch voting back during the 2017 session, to the great disgruntlement of Democrats on Austin's Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Very few other states even allow it.
At least Libertarian Kerr McKennon, with his 207,000 votes, can claim to have defeated NOTA. He didn't earn the necessary 2% to extend ballot access for his party, but four other Libertarian candidates did in their statewide races. The undervote totals were considerably larger in those races, in the range of 300,000.
In Maine's US Senate race, Green-Independent nominee Lisa Savage drew 4% of the vote, which is pretty respectable for a third-party run but far less than we'd forecast. With four candidates on the ballot there, Ranked Choice Voting would have kicked in if incumbent Susan Collins (no relation) had not polled more than 50%. Collins's tally hovered around 59% for much of Election Night, but as late returns came in, her share drifted below that 50% level. She rebounded to claim a bit less than 51%.
If independent candidate Max Linn's second-choice ballots had been distributed, I'm fairly sure they would have put Collins back over 50%; if they didn't and it came down to Savage's second-choices, Democrat Sara Gideon may have made it a tight squeeze for New England's sole Republican in Congress.
For left-of-center folks, it's almost an autonomic response to oppose any legislation or programs supported by Republicans. Here in Texas, Republicans in the Legislature enthusiastically supported HB 25, "an act relating to the elimination of straight-party voting." Fifteen of the bill's 16 sponsors are Republicans. The Democratic minority in the House argued vociferously against it, especially African American legislators.
The bill passed the House 89-45 (with 16 either abstaining or not voting). The Senate vote was 24-6, with one abstention. Interestingly, all the Nay votes in the Senate came from Republicans. My own senator, Democrat Borris Miles, voted Yea; my freshperson rep Shawn Thierry was one of ten House Democrats voting in favor.
That leaves the bill in the hands of Governor Abbott, who may still shock everyone by not signing it.
(By the way, stay tuned for an entry on the recent court decision on Maine's Ranked Choice Voting referendum. I wanted to include it here, but this story is huge.)
As early voting begins today in Harris County and around the state, I would like to issue a reminder about Straight Party voting:
Don't Do It!
More specifically, don't just walk up to the voting machine, enter your PIN, push a button to vote for the party of your preference, and have done with it. If you do, here is what it means:
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.