Texas voting

Texas House Appears To Remain In Republican Control

Nov 4, 2020

It would be the biggest political shakeup in Texas in nearly two decades – snapping Republicans’ long control of the House, Senate and governor’s office. And it seemed like it might be within reach.

Democrats needed to hold the 12 seats they picked up in 2018 – and win nine more. They poured money into races around the state.

"Democrats gave it a really good try," Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said. "The difficulty is they’re still in a Republican state and a majority of the voters in many of these districts are still Republican-leaning."

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Below are results for statewide races and Texas Legislature elections in Central Texas, courtesy of The Texas Tribune.

There’s been a record turnout of voters in Texas. The number of ballots cast during early voting has already surpassed the total turnout of voters from the 2016 General Election.

This high turnout has Democrats hopeful that this could be the year Texas turns blue, and the Biden campaign spent the weekend trying to further mobilize the Texas electorate to come out and vote.

Updated on Nov. 3 at 7:55 a.m. ET

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a bid by Texas Republicans to block Election Day drive-through voting in Harris County.

In a terse order, the three-judge panel wrote: "It is ordered that appellants' motion for injunctive relief to issue a preliminary injunction banning drive-thru voting on Election Day, November 3, 2020, is denied." No explanation was given.

Juan Venancio and his parents flipped through an old photo album in their home in Southwest Houston, reflecting on the chaos of 2020. A first time voter, Venancio keeps COVID-19 and the economic fallout in mind as the election approaches.

“Most people, when they turn 18, they’re really happy you know to get a car or go to college,” Venancio said. “I was obviously happy to go to college and do these things and become more independent, but one of the things I was most excited about about turning 18 is being able to vote.”

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From Texas Standard:

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA. It bars discrimination in public accommodations and is supposed to allow for full participation for people with disabilities.

But even with something as fundamental as voting, people with disabilities sometimes face limited access.

In what’s expected to be the final ruling on the matter, the Texas Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting Texas counties to only one drop-off location for voters to hand deliver their absentee ballots during the pandemic.


Texas voters are now required to wear face masks when casting ballots during the pandemic, a federal district judge ruled Tuesday, invalidating an exemption for polling places that Gov. Greg Abbott had included in his statewide mask mandate.

Sylvia Cervantes is 74 years old, retired and spends a lot of time tending to her front garden in Laredo.

“These are my pride in joy,” she said in Spanglish. “These are my Angel Trumpets. See how beautiful they open up.”

Her garden is filled with flowers like Angel Trumpets, Plumerias and Hibiscuses. The upkeep can be grueling work.

“When you’re poor, you have to work very hard because you don’t have to get a gardener. I don’t have the money,” she said.

But she’s used to hard work.

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From Texas Standard:

On Election Day, members of the Texas Army National Guard will be in the streets of some Texas cities. According to reporting on Monday, the order came from Gov. Greg Abbott. The troops are said to have been called in case of disturbances that arise during the Nov. 3 election.

But many questions remain about where exactly troops will be, and what they'll be doing. 

Texas voters are on pace to break records this year: The state already has surpassed 80% of its total 2016 vote total.

But while Texas is among those states leading the country this election cycle, it's long been notorious for low voter turnout – and rules that make it harder to vote here than in most other states. A recent University of Northern Illinois analysis ranked Texas dead last in terms of access to the ballot.

Texas native Chuck Rocha knows a lot about how to reach Latino voters.

The former senior adviser for Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign was pivotal in helping garner an unexpected amount of Latino support. That success has lead to him being seen within the political world as an expert in engaging Latino voters.

Voters are seeking as little human contact as possible for this risky election. But there’s a low-contact method that’s getting less publicity than mail-in ballots — curbside voting.

Right after early voting started in Dallas, the line in front of Fretz Park Library stretched hundreds of yards. Mask-wearing voters stood patiently waiting their turn.

But not everyone is able to stand. A car pulled up at a sign that reads “curbside voting.” Lisa Jackson was inside.


Texas election officials may continue rejecting mail-in ballots if they decide the signature on the ballot can't be verified, without notifying voters until after the election that their ballot wasn't counted, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday.

Voters Have Two Very Different Choices For Texas' Next Oil And Gas Regulator

Oct 15, 2020

Texas voters have the opportunity to choose the next state oil and gas regulator – and the two candidates in the race would have very different approaches to that role.

Many Texans who were hoping to vote by mail during this election are instead having to vote in person.

So far, about a million Texans have cast a ballot during the state's extended early voting period, which started Tuesday.

Texans were put into this position thanks to a confluence of events that includes the solidly Republican state becoming more competitive and the nation's federal courts becoming more conservative.

In Texas, the pool of potential voters is dramatically different now than it was just a decade ago.

First things first: Most votes don't get counted until Election Day. To be even more clear, those votes aren’t counted until the polls close that evening.

Texas counties may collect mail-in ballots at only one location, a federal appeals court ruled late Monday, once again upholding an order from Gov. Greg Abbott that restricts voting options.

Texas can limit absentee ballot drop-off spots to one per county, a federal appeals court said, reversing a lower court's ruling from days ago. Democrats said Gov. Greg Abbott's order could suppress voters; the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, saying, "[O]ne strains to see how it burdens voting at all."

Early voting in Texas can begin Oct. 13, following the timeline the governor laid out months ago, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, rejecting a request from several top Texas Republicans to limit the timeframe for voters to cast their ballots.

Voting rights advocates and civic groups have rushed to the courthouse in a bid to block Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's Oct. 1 order allowing Texas counties no more than one drop-off location for voters casting absentee ballots, calling the directive an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote that will disproportionately impact voters of color in the state’s biggest cities.

Local officials in Texas say they plan to fight a new order from Gov. Greg Abbott to limit the number of places where voters can hand deliver mail-in ballots.

Abbott announced the order Thursday, the same day local election officials opened the drop-off sites.

Starting Friday, Abbott said in a statement, "mail ballots that are delivered in person by voters who are eligible to vote by mail must be delivered to a single early voting clerk's office location as publicly designated by a county's early voting clerk."

Texas voters will not be able to select every candidate of a major political party with one punch, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, upholding a 2017 state law that ends the popular practice of straight-ticket voting for this year’s general election.

A new poll from the University of Houston and Univision found that 90% of Texas Latino voters will or will probably vote in the 2020 presidential election.

These voters also perceive this upcoming election as highly consequential: 79% said it was more important to vote in 2020 than in the 2016 presidential election.

A federal appeals court on Monday put a temporary hold on a lower court’s ruling last week that reinstated the practice of straight-ticket voting, again casting into uncertainty whether Texas voters will have the option in the Nov. 3 election to vote for every candidate of a political party with one punch. A final ruling is expected after the court weighs the arguments more thoroughly.

When Jarrod Stringer updated his driver’s license address in 2014, the Texas Department of Public Safety website asked if he wanted to register to vote. He clicked yes and thought he was registered. That fall, when he went to vote in San Antonio, he was denied. According to the system, he had never registered. It was past the registration deadline, so he couldn’t vote.

That kicked off a six-year legal battle that included two lawsuits for the right for Texans to register to vote online while updating their licenses.

Federal Judge Blocks Texas’ Elimination Of Straight-Ticket Voting

Sep 28, 2020

Less than three weeks before early voting begins in Texas, a U.S. district judge has blocked the state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as an option for people who go to the polls this November.

In a ruling issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic, saying the elimination of the voting practice would “cause irreparable injury” to voters “by creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19.”

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is facing a lawsuit over his extension of early voting for the November election from prominent members of his own party — including state party Chairman Allen West, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and members of the Texas Legislature.

Kathy Schneider worked as a Dallas County election clerk in 2018, but out of concern about the coronavirus, she’s choosing not to this year.

“I am 64 and really not interested in exposing myself to coronavirus any more than I need to do,” Schneider said.

Instead, she’s volunteering as a poll watcher for the Democratic party, which she can do outdoors and distanced in a parking lot.

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