TEXAS (KFDX/KJTL) — Voters in Texas will make multiple decisions in the November 2022 midterm elections that will impact the state’s government on multiple levels, but when will Texans know the results of the state’s key races?
On the ballot in 2022 are several key seats in the Texas state government, including:
- Governor of Texas
- Lieutenant Governor of Texas
- Attorney General of Texas
- Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- Texas Railroad Commissioner
- Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
When will the races be called, and when will we know election results in Texas?
First, it’s helpful to know what it means when a race is “called.” The Associated Press will call a race in an election when the trailing candidate no longer has a clear path to victory. When a race is called, the trailing candidate typically will concede the race, leaving only the front runner in the race, thus ending the contest.
During the 2020 election cycle, we saw many statewide races called around midnight, and election officials said they expect a similar pace in 2022.
However, as is the case with all midterm elections, voter turnout is expected to be lower, as is the number of mail-in ballots, which may lead to results pacing slightly faster than in the 2020 presidential election.
A few key factors will contribute to the speed at which races can be called by The Associated Press:
How long lines are at polling locations
On Election Day, all polling locations in all counties in Texas open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Voters must be in line at a polling location by 7 p.m. in order to cast their vote, and if a prospective voter is in line to vote by 7 p.m., they cannot be denied the right to vote.
This means that if polling lines are long, as they were in the 2020 election, it could take several hours past 7 p.m. for all the votes to be cast.
How fast precincts report unofficial vote counts
Election laws in Texas require precincts to report their unofficial vote count within 24 hours of polls closing, meaning in theory, the latest Texans would learn the results of the election would be 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
However, some logistical issues in Harris County during the March 2022 primary elections caused them to seek an extension after over 10,000 mail-in ballots were not included in Texas’ most populous county’s election results.
In some states, election laws do not allow for mail-in ballots to be processed until Election Day; however, mail-in ballots in Texas can be processed early.
How close the races end up being
After votes are counted, how close the tally is will influence how long it takes for that race to be called.
In some circumstances, a race is so close that a recount is requested. If that recount is granted by the Secretary of State, precincts will then need to count all votes again to ensure an accurate number is given to the Secretary of State.
In other circumstances, in which third-party candidates are running for political office, it is possible for no candidate to receive an outright majority of the votes, in which case a runoff election will be declared.
A runoff election would call for the two candidates receiving the most votes to go head-to-head, likely sometime in December.
Where to find election results
While several factors will be at play when determining the winner of the 2022 midterm elections in Texas, you can count on Your Local Election Headquarters to keep you updated with the latest results from around the state.
After polling locations close at 7 p.m., make sure you’re following Your Local Election Headquarters on social media, and that you’ve downloaded the official app to receive push alerts when races are called, both on the local and state level.