North Texas’ Adoption of Bar Opening Powers Is Indeed Piecemeal. Rosin told you earlier this week that Gov. Greg Abbott was allowing bars to reopen, but ceded the ultimate decision to county judges. It was not surprising that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was fast to decline the offer, citing public health concerns from the doctors he collaborates with. But his fear quickly came true; surrounding counties soon announced they’d allow theirs to open. Bars in Denton and Collin counties got the green light while Tarrant is still deciding. Locally, bar owners want more guidance about a plan going forward. Many have been operating as restaurants, which means they can’t sell as much alcohol. But the only thing we really know for sure is this virus isn’t going anywhere; infections are on the rise, as are hospitalizations and ER visits. And listening to Jenkins and Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang beg people not to go trick or treating was eerily familiar to when they begged people not to gather for Memorial Day. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
Carrollton Mayoral Candidate Charged With Voter Fraud. This is a remarkably dumb thing to do, if he did it. Zul Mirza Mohamed is accused of harvesting mail-in ballots by requesting several be sent to a post office box that apparently belonged to a Lewisville nursing home. That raised some red flags. Investigators contacted residents and found they had not requested said ballots. Then they learned that it was registered using a fake driver’s license and a University of North Texas student ID. Police waited inside and watched. In walked Mohamed to retrieve the ballots. He was followed to his home, where, after getting a warrant, they found the ballots and the fake ID. He faces 25 counts of unlawful possession of a ballot and 84 counts of fraudulent use of a mail ballot application. Meanwhile, Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree used the moment to say that voter fraud is a “widespread issue” when it absolutely is not. Even the FBI has said so. The real risk is in small elections with low turnout; and it’s often upended, because it’s difficult to pull this off without a paper trail.
Trump Up by Five Points in Texas, Gov. Abbott Loses Popularity During Pandemic. Both of those come from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. The two found a 50/45 split between the two presidential candidates, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent. White and male voters both sided with the incumbent while Biden has an edge among women, Black, and Hispanic voters. Meanwhile, 17 percent of voters switched to an unfavorable view of Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus response between April and October, bringing the total to 46 percent.
Dry, Warm Weekend Ahead. Expect the upper 80s on Saturday and a high in the 90s on Sunday. Today, expect clouds and humidity from Hurricane Delta. Summer is back like it never left.