Live Blog: Election Day in North Texas and Around the Lone Star State

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This story will be updated throughout the day with breaking election news and developments. Check back and refresh this page for the latest updates.

Unusually tight races were expected Tuesday in Texas following a record-breaking three weeks of early voting, and Democrats were eyeing possible inroads to power in what has been the nation’s largest Republican stronghold.

Nearly 10 million of the state’s 16.9 million registered voters had voted in Texas before Election Day, with early voting extended because of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 18,000 people in the state. That surpassed the total number of votes from the 2016 general election.

The Texas House is in play for the first time in nearly two decades, while there is tighter than usual competition for multiple congressional seats in historically red districts. Democrats are even eyeing GOP Sen. John Cornyn’s seat and think they have a chance to carry the state in the presidential race.

Meanwhile, mail ballots continue to pour in from across the state after months of legal challenges from state and party officials on the absentee votes, including who was eligible and where they could be dropped off.

In Texas, voters must be 65 years or older; disabled or out of the county on Election Day and during early voting to apply for a mail ballot. Officials from the U.S. Postal Service warned the Texas Secretary of State’s office that given the state’s current ballot deadlines, they could not guarantee some ballots would make it to voters or be mailed in on time.

NBC 5's special coverage of the 2020 General Election will begin at 7 p.m. on and the NBC DFW app.

Live Updates

5:18 p.m. from NBC 5's Diana Zoga - Several people are standing outside the University Park United Methodist Church in Dallas County, a polling place for Tuesday's election, warning voters that the judge inside is refusing to wear a mask while directing them to the nearest alternate polling place. According to the Dallas County Republican Party, the chairman has asked the election judge to wear a mask and she declined. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has issued mandate requiring people wear masks in public places, but polling places are exempt from that mandate. Being a busy election day, the Dallas County GOP said they do not plan on replacing the election judge for this location. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the election judge is technically a Dallas County contract employee but that it's the Dallas County GOP's call on whether or not she were to be moved or relieved. No one has reported having any issue voting related to the dispute.

Several people are standing outside the University Park United Methodist Church in Dallas County, a polling place for Tuesday’s election, warning voters that the judge inside is refusing to wear a mask.

5:10 p.m. from Maria Guerrero and Meredith Yeomans - Five candidates are vying for Texas Congressional District 24 the seat left open by Rep. Kenny Marchant, and one Democrats believe they can flip. The two front-runners are Democrat Candace Valenzuela and Republican Beth Van Duyne. Van Duyne spent Election Day greeting voters across Dist. 24, including people in Carrollton and Colleyville. Valenzuela stopped by about a half dozen polling locations on Election Day as she criss crossed the district.

Democrat Candace Valenzuela is hoping to flip U.S. House District 24 by defeating former Irving mayor Beth Van Dyne, it’s a race where lots of money has been spent on advertising. NBC 5’s Meredith Yeomans and Maria Guerrero have the latest on how both campaigns spent their last day.

5:01 p.m. from NBC 5's Allie Spillyards - Tarrant County voters reported waiting about 45 minutes to vote, while others reported little to no wait times. More than 78,000 people have cast their ballots in Tarrant County, that's just a fraction of the 666,000 voters went to the polls early and hellped shatter records for 2016 voting.

Tarrant County voters reported waiting about 45 minutes to vote, while others reported little to no wait times.

4:48 p.m. from NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff - Dallas County reported around 60,000 in-person voters cast ballots by mid-day on election day. That's a small fraction of more than 800,000 that voted early. Around 74,000 mail-in ballots have been received in Dallas County and were being tabulated for results Tuesday night. Many Dallas County polling places had very short wait times for in-person voting on election day, perhaps because so many voted early. Dallas County has 463 polling locations open until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Dallas County voters can cast their ballot at any polling location, not just the one in their home neighborhood.

Even though a record number of Texans voted early, NBC 5’s Ken Kalthoff reports there was a steady stream of voters in Dallas County casting a ballot on Election Day.

4:30 p.m. from NBC 5's Noelle Walker - Business owners in Deep Ellum were boarding up out of an abundance of caution ahead of the results of the 2020 election. About a half dozen businesses were boarding up on Main Street at Elm Street. Some of the businesses never took down their boards from the protests earlier this year. They're preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

While we’ve seen a lot of people voting on Election Day, some business owners in Deep Ellum were busy preparing for the outcome. NBC 5’s Noelle Walker reports some are worried about the potential for protests.

4:06 p.m. from NBC 5's Scott Gordon and Sophia Beausoleil - Sen. John Cornyn's campaign says he has nothing public on his schedule today. He'll watch returns come in tonight at an Austin hotel with family and a few campaign aides. The first we'll see him will be on a Zoom call AFTER the results are known. Meanwhile, MJ Hegar's communication director says the campaign is encouraged by voter turnout and tonight might be her night. Hegar spent Election Day helping her 6-year-old son with virtual school and called supporters and voters. Hegar's watch party will be virtual and she's expected to speak from her home in Round Rock later tonight.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn is facing his toughest reelection bid in 18 years against Democrat MJ Hegar. NBC 5 Reporters Scott Gordon and Sophia Beausoleil have the latest from both campaigns.

12:25 p.m. from NBC 5's Larry Collins - Dallas County’s largest polling location, the American Airlines Center, saw voters waiting for the polls to open two hours before the scheduled 7 a.m. opening. While there was a socially distanced line that stretched out in front of the arena for part of the morning, it subsided by the traditional lunch rush hour at the polls. Voters in line theorize the smaller line could be due to the record numbers that early voted or mailed-in ballots. 

10:20 a.m. from NBC 5's Ben Russell - In Collin County, there were no lines to speak of for much of Tuesday morning at the Allen Events Center, the county’s largest polling place

Several voters spoke about their level of concern following what has been an especially contentious presidential campaign.

“It is not today that worries me. I want tomorrow and the next day to be safe and [hope] everyone is forced to come back together as the great United States that we are,” said Frederick Nickens.“I think there is obviously concern it is going to be a tight race, and I think a lot is riding on this particular election, maybe more so than any voting I’ve ever done,” said Dennis Stifler, with a laugh. “I’ve done this for a long, long time.”

9:40 a.m. from NBC 5's Brian Curtis - Even after massive turnout for early voting, there still seems to be a lot of energy left for #ElectionDay. The line wrapped around the library in Oak Lawn.

9:35 a.m. from NBC 5's Alanna Quillen - Grand Prairie ISD is allowing for several school campuses to serve as polling places today. Those schools are also still open for students. Schools in GPISD are normally used as polling places in addition to other sites used by the city of Grand Prairie.

The district told NBC 5 that they have a plan for security that involves their internal security team, school resource officers, and central administrators who will all be monitoring campuses and traffic related to Election Day. The actual voting locations in the schools are away from staff and students. The district said at no time will there be interaction between voters and staff or active classrooms.

While Dallas County does provide guidance on health protocols for voters, the GPISD said crews will come in at the end of the day and clean the campuses per their own district-defined protocols.

9:15 a.m. - Tarrant County Elections Administrator Heider Garcia says his office was aware of issues at Keller Town Hall. Garcia said a technician was dispatched to the location and the problem was later fixed.

7 a.m. - Polls are open! Click here to check our voter guide with key things to know before you go to the polls.

6:30 a.m. - Lines are already forming at polling locations across Dallas-Fort Worth. Click here to find your polling place and check wait times, if available.

4:30 a.m. - NBC 5 Meteorologist Grant Johnston forecasts beautiful weather for Election Day. Today's high will be in the mid to upper 70s with mostly sunny skies here in North Texas. Click here to see the full forecast.

Copyright NBC 5 News and The Associated Press
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