Live blog: Texas midterm election day 2022

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AP

Voters wait in line at a polling place at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas, on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

By Haeven Gibbons, Executive Editor, TCU 360

Texans head to the polls today to cast their votes in the 2022 midterm election. Please check back for Politifrog’s ongoing coverage throughout the day and night.

11:00 p.m.: Stacey Abrams concedes to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

9:58 p.m.: AP projects Abbott victory

With 63% of the vote in, the Associated Press is projecting that Abbott will be elected to a third term.

9:00 p.m.: Abbott leading over O’Rourke

8:00 p.m.: Early returns

7:00 p.m.: Update from Southwest Subcourthouse

6:30 p.m.: Update from Southwest Subcourthouse

6 p.m.: One hour left until polls close. Follow Politifrog’s ongoing coverage for updates

3:00 p.m.: TCU alum, students vote at local school

Reporting by Matt Salotti

Outside of McLean Sixth Grade Center, near TCU’s campus, one TCU alumnus said that he based his vote on which candidate he thought would be best for stabilizing the economy.

“I look for someone who can strengthen our borders and our economy,” the alum said. He also said that he votes every year and feels that there has been more pressure to vote this year than in years past.

A local business man and TCU alum said he votes for candidates who share the qualities of a businessman. He said he feels no pressure to vote, which he does every year. “I am actually the one that pressures everyone else to vote,” he said. 

One TCU student said several issues are important to her for this election. First, property and energy taxes are rising. Second, she believes that Texas needs to get rid of its abortion ban due to the high maternal mortality rate. She also said an important issue to her was gun control, and how there needs to be some regulation. She cited the Uvalde shooting as the main reason for her concern.

School’s out for voting

Reporting by Micah Pearce

Students were not in class for Election Day. Fort Worth ISD made it a student holiday and professional development day for faculty and staff. 

McLean Sixth Grade school is one of the schools that was turned into a voting location for the day. 

Larry and Beverly Barnes have been voting at McLean for eight years, but this year is the first time that students haven’t been there. 

“I don’t know why the students couldn’t be there,” said Beverly Barnes. “I didn’t even know [the school] was closed.”

However, with school pick-up and drop-off, the traffic would fill up the small streets of the neighborhood where the school is located.

“If you come when it’s about ready for them to get out, there will be a line of cars down to the ACE [Hardware], you can’t even get in and out,” said Beverly Barnes.

It’s a problem the Barneses don’t have to worry about.

“We just don’t come at that time because we’re retired,” said Larry Barnes. 

“But people that work would have to come right when all of that is going on,” said Beverly Barnes. 

Less traffic has made it more convenient for those driving to the polls, but the location of McLean also accommodates pedestrian traffic.

Asher Georges just moved to the area. He said voting locations were hard to come by where he used to live. 

“I used to live in an area where it was hard because you could only vote on election days, so there was no early voting,” said Georges. 

He made the short walk to the school to vote. “I was very ecstatic to see there was a place near me,” said Georges. 

McLean will remain open until 7 p.m. and classes will resume as usual on Wednesday. 

If voters are in line before 7 p.m., they will be allowed to vote.

2:00 p.m.: Voters discuss their views on the governor’s race

Reporting by Breana Adams

There are an estimated 260 offices up for election in the 2022 midterms in the state of Texas, but the governor’s race has many voters’ attention.

Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, who has been in office since 2015, is running against Democrat candidate Beto O’Rourke, who served as a U.S. Representative from 2013-2019.

Both candidates have expressed their opinions on controversial topics such as abortion and gun laws. 

“I’m hoping the governor is going to be the one that upholds the law and takes care of things,” said Craig Elders, who voted in Tarrant County on Tuesday. 

Maura Teer, a sophomore accounting major, said she is very passionate about who she wants to be the governor because he “makes a lot of decisions.”

“That’s why I came out here and voted,” Teer said.  

But some voters said every race is important to them.

“All races are important because every level affects everything else,” said Megan Maxwell, a Tarrant County voter.  “And so I feel like we have a responsibility to know who we’re voting for and what they stand for.”

1:30 p.m.: Texas projected to stay red after today’s election

Reporting by Ella Gonzales

Texas is projected to stay red after today’s election, including in the House. 

Texas’ current governor, Greg Abbott, is re-running for his third term. His campaign has focused on the current economical state of the country. Many older Texans plan to vote for Abbott because of his conservative values. 

“I’m a conservative, and most conservatives would like to see Abbott as governor for longer,” said Roy Thomas who voted on Tuesday. 

Beto O’Rourke is running against the incumbent for the Democratic party. His campaign has focused on gun control in response to the recent Uvalde tragedy and abortion access in Texas following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Some younger Texans are voting for O’Rourke because of the issues he says he would address in office. 

“On a scale from one to ten, ten being the most important, I would say that this election is very close to ten,” said one voter.  

1:15 p.m.: Voting day weather update

Reporting by Dru Kennedy Hawkins

It is 77 degrees with 75% humidity and mostly cloudy conditions.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, patchy fog cleared up, but cloudy conditions are expected to last throughout the rest of the day with wind gusts up to 17 mph. 

Later this evening, it is expected to cool down, so be sure to get out and get in line by 7 p.m. to cast your ballot.

1:00 p.m.: Tarrant County mirrors the state with drops in early voting turnout

Reporting by Sarah Walter

While many TCU students chose to vote early in this year’s midterm elections, early voting numbers in Tarrant County were down from 2018. 

In Texas, early voting begins 17 days before Election Day and ends four days before Election Day, according to the Texas Secretary of State

For students registered to vote in Fort Worth, early voting can accommodate their busy schedules. 

“Voting early’s convenient and I feel like you have more opportunities to vote if you can’t go on that day,” said junior nursing major Linda Kim. “I have a really busy day on election day, so it gave me the opportunity to still vote.”

Other students said voting early gives them assurance their voice will be heard.

“I feel like there’s a sense of vote security with early voting since I don’t have to worry about polls closing before I can get there or about what would happen if they need some document from me I didn’t have,” said Madelin Manquero, a sophomore business major.

While many TCU students voted prior to election day, this year less Tarrant County voters are heading to the polls early.

In the 2018 election, nearly 39% of registered voters in Tarrant County voted early in person, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. This year, only 31% did, according to the Tarrant County Elections Administration.

Tarrant County mirrors the state, which saw a drop in early voting turnout. 

In 2018, almost 37% of Texas’s 12.3 million registered voters turned out to cast their ballot early, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. This year, that number dropped to 29%. 

Right now, it’s unclear whether this is due to an increase in election day voting or a lower overall turnout.

12:00 p.m.: Voters discuss want for less polarization

Reporting by Mattie Elder

At Paschal High School, one of the polling stations in Fort Worth, many voters make their way in and out of the building to cast their vote.

Many voters said they hope to see changes after the election including less polarization in the country. 

“I would like to see the two political parties getting along a little bit better," one voter said. "I think this has been a horrible ordeal here lately where nobody can get a long and alot of personal attacks. I’d just like to see all that go away." 

Another voter mentioned how she would like to see “a greater sense of community within the nation and state." 

One voter said he would like to see Tarrant County become more "purple."

11:30 a.m.: Multiple locations to vote near TCU's campus

Reporting by Meghan Carolan 

There are multiple locations nearby TCU if students want to vote today. 

The first reports of the outcome of the midterm elections are expected to be released not long after the polls close at 7 p.m. These postings can be found on major news networks and on different social media platforms. 

Republican candidate Gov. Greg Abbott will be running for reelection seeking a third term as the governor of Texas against Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, who ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination for president in 2020. 

Other polls open today include the race for county judge, Tarrant County district attorney, as well as Tarrant County judge. 

How to find a polling site near you

Reporting by Allie Brown

Registered voters can easily find a nearby polling location by searching “polling locations near me,” which will pull up a list of several locations nearest their home address. All a voter needs to bring is a valid driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification.

Some polling locations are less crowded than others.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church is a polling location just off Granbury Road, about 5 minutes from the Walmart on Hulen Street.

Around 11:30 a.m., the church was practically empty. In the course of about 30 minutes, roughly five people came and went, all of which were aged 30 or above.

Voters could enter and immediately get checked in with no wait. The entire process could take place in less than 10 minutes, depending on how long it takes a person to actually cast their vote.

11:15 a.m.: Tarrant County voters discuss the importance of voting in midterm election

Reporting by Peyton Collins

Pam Birmingham headed to The Como Community Center to cast her ballot this morning. She said she is not happy with the country we live in today and stressed the importance of voting instead of complaining without trying to take action for change.

“I am voting to voice my opinion on the horrible direction our country is going in these last few years. If we don’t vote, we can’t sit back and complain,” said Birmingham.

Robert Scott also voted at the community center. He said he believes that it is important for everyone to vote if we want a better future.

“I vote every year, but I feel that it is especially important this year because the country is in a very bad place in several ways," Scott said. "We need to change otherwise we are doomed."

“I’m voting to hopefully save this country for my kids and grandkids," said voter Kim McCollugh. "This is probably going to be the most important election in my lifetime. Our current leadership has run us into the ground. Look at food, gas, rent, illegal immigration -- it’s destroying us."

McCollugh wants to ensure a better world for her family members to live in and hope they do not have to endure some of the hardships many are facing currently in the United States.

While several voters had a range of opinions on why they chose to vote in this election, they all had one reason in common: the want for a better future and change in the country.

Reporting by Meghan Carolan 

A steady flow of voters came in and out of the Parish Hall at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church on 2700 McPherson Ave. many said that they feel voting in the midterm election is extremely important.

Voter, Carolyn Poirot said she believes it's important to vote right now because of “the mess that everything is in right now. I think it always been terribly important, but people are just starting to realize it.” 

Voter, Jack Strickland said individuals who choose not to go to the polls today "perpetuates the mess.”

Another voter said he felt encouraged to vote by his friends. He said it is it is important to vote because “the world is changing a lot.” 

11:00 a.m.: 'I want to have my voice heard.' Voters hope casting a ballot will lead to change

Reporting by Gracie Reinhardt

Many voters at Paschal High School said they hope casting a ballot will lead to change. 

“I want to have my voice heard and this is one of the best ways we can effect change and have our opinion count for the issues and the things we believe in,” said one voter. 

Another voter said they have done a lot of complaining over the last two years and figured voting was the way to start changing something.

Several people spoke about how voting is a constitutional right, and people should take advantage of the opportunity to exercise that freedom. 

“Well I think it’s everybody's right to participate in this part of democracy and vote for candidates that share our individual beliefs and ideas,” one voter said.

Voters must be in a polling station line before 7 p.m. if they want their ballot to be counted. 

10:30 a.m.: Polls pick-up

Reporting by Sophia Allen and Sara Honda

A steady stream of voters walked in and out of Tanglewood Elementary, some were parents accompanied by children who had the day off from school. Several voters said they voted to fulfill their basic civic duty but have additional reasons that brought them out to the polls this year. 

The economy, specifically inflation, was a leading concern for some voters. 

One voter was a stay-at-home mom, accompanied by her son. She was voting for the first time. The woman said she moved to Texas five years ago from California because of policies in that state. 

“It’s a mess with the crime and cost of living,” she said. “I think if we get a fair election, there will be a switch [in Texas policy]. I think Texans see what’s happening with other states in the country and we don’t want it to happen to Texas.” 

Another voter, who owns a produce company, said he was worried about inflation and its effect on him personally, as well as his business. 

“Everything I do, every material I buy is 40 to 200% higher,” he said. “I think Texas politics is gonna get redder. I do a lot of business in Mexico, and I have warehouses in the Texas valley, and we’re already seeing precedents flip red because of the lack of action down there.”

Election judge Brad Anderson is a regular poll worker, and culture, faith and family values are what bring him to the polls.

Voter, Greg Shannon, said that the growing pessimism surrounding politics is what pushed him to participate in voting.

“I’ve gotten tired of the negative discourse in politics and I looked  for candidates that have been focused less on negativity,” he said.

Jaedon Contreras, a TCU student, said he voted to set an example for his peers. He said he believes that people should exercise their right to vote as soon as they are of age. 

“We have a stigma that people that are voting should be older but that’s not the case,” he added. 

The majority of voters said the governor’s election is the race they are most interested in. All of them said they intend to closely follow the election at home later tonight.

10:00 a.m.: Polarization of parties, lack of options

Reporting by Emma Watson

As Tarrant County residents headed to the polls to vote this morning, some were concerned about the polarization of political parties and lack of options. 

“I’m primarily concerned with just the dysfunction and bitterness that exists between both parties,” said Chris Stenholm, who voted at The Saint Stephen Presbyterian Church this morning.

Stenholm wants a more peaceful political atmosphere.

“I want my vote to count to try to bring people that are going to not be on the borders, not be so extreme and try to find some solutions,” said Stenholm.

Charlie Nelson, a sophomore music major, voted this morning too. He said he believes that, in the United States, there’s not much variety to political thoughts and discussion.

“I don’t know if it would be solved by adding […] another major party, but I do think we have a severe lack of options in what we’re actually allowed to vote for,” Nelson said.

With polar-opposite candidates, casting the ballot can be difficult.

“I’m trying to find people that have some solutions that want to try to make us better, not just try to get elected or to try to keep us divided,” said Stenholm.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

8:15 a.m.: Voters cast ballots at 316 polling locations across Tarrant County

Reporting by Natalie Mitchell

Tarrant County voters are heading to the polls to cast their ballots as the 2022 midterm elections ensue.

The midterm elections decide who will control Congress as well as state legislatures. In addition, each state has government office elections.

In Texas, Beto O’Rourke, former El Paso Congressman, is on his second attempt at a statewide office. He previously ran against Ted Cruz for Senate in 2018 and lost. In 2020, he ran in the Democratic primary in 2020 and ultimately withdrew. This election, he is up against current Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott who has been in office since 2015.

Outside the Trader Joe's off Hulen Street, some voters, like Taylor Anderson, said she participated in early voting.

“I always get nervous submitting my ballot on election day, so I dropped mine off a couple of days ago,” Anderson said. “I voted for Beto not because I feel that strongly for him but because Abbott was the alternative, and I didn’t want to see him in the office again.”

Other voters felt like this midterm election was different than years before, as polarizing issues such abortion and guns are being discussed.

“As a woman, I feel like a lot of my rights are at stake this election; I did not want my vote to go to waste," said voter Cassidy Carter. "I think that's how a lot of women across America feel today.”

“I didn’t want to miss out on voting this election," Creed Carter said. "It seems like there are a lot of important issues at stake when it comes to laws, and it really matters who’s in control of the government.” 

On Tuesday, Tarrant County voters have 316 polling places to choose from across the county to cast their ballot. 

8:00 a.m.: Many polling locations empty on Tuesday morning

Reporting by Emmaday Ormond 

Many polling locations were empty on Tuesday morning.

For the first hour of polls being open, Victory Forest Community Center had several people going to the gym or dropping off children for daycare, but less than 10 people went to the center to vote. 

Between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., the polling area at Worth Heights Elementary School was empty. The only people walking into the building were teachers.

Finally, a line formed outside Tanglewood Elementary between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. It is likely more people planned to vote at these polling locations during their lunch breaks or after work before the polls close at 7 p.m.

7:00 a.m.: No lines at some polling locations

Reporting by Chaelie DeJohn

From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., there were very few voters casting their ballot at Victory Forest Community Center, a polling site located off of Hemphill Street, about 11 minutes from TCU's campus.  

Polls opened at 7 a.m., and there was no line. 

Since the poll site is a community center, most people were either dropping their kids off at the daycare or going to the gym.