voting en The Life of the Civic Party: Austin-Based Institute Works to Get People More Involved <p>Voting in elections. Volunteering. Calling up elected officials. All ways to be civically involved. All things that Texans don't exactly do in large numbers.</p><p>A study earlier this year by the <a href="">Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life</a> at the University of Texas at Austin found Texas ranks near the bottom on almost every aspect of civic engagement. The state's civic health is bad. The Institute is gathering people together Saturday, Nov. 9, to try to come up with some good medicine.</p><p>Institute Director Regina Lawrence talked with KUT's Jennifer Stayton before the conference about how to best get people off the civic sidelines and into the game:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 08 Nov 2013 13:59:35 +0000 Jennifer Stayton 9135 at The Life of the Civic Party: Austin-Based Institute Works to Get People More Involved Obama Forms Presidential Commission To Study Voting Problems President Obama has established a new bipartisan commission on election administration, something he promised to do in his Feb. 12 State of the Union address. He <a href="" target="_blank">signed an executive order</a> Thursday making it official.<p>The Presidential Commission on Election Administration is being headed by two longtime Washington attorneys, Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg. Bauer was general counsel to the president's re-election campaign and is also Obama's former White House counsel. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 19:54:06 +0000 Pam Fessler, NPR 7125 at Obama Forms Presidential Commission To Study Voting Problems Texas Minority Lawmakers: Keep Voting Rights Act <p></p><p>Representatives from minority groups are asking Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop fighting&nbsp;<a href="">Section Five of the Voting Rights Act.</a></p><p>This Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will&nbsp;<a href="">hear oral arguments</a>&nbsp;on the<a href="">&nbsp;Shelby County v. Holder case</a>, which challenges Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. That's the part of the act that requires federal approval of any changes to voting requirements.</p><p>While the Shelby County v. Holder case originated in Alabama, Texas State Representative Trey Martinez Fisher said this case resembles Texas cases that might be heard by the Supreme Court. Abbott's appeal of a decision that deeming Texas’ new redistricting maps discriminatory also challenges Section Five.</p><p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 00:45:02 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 6738 at Texas Minority Lawmakers: Keep Voting Rights Act Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act The Supreme Court <a href="" target="_blank">has agreed</a> to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.<p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog</a>:<p><blockquote><p>"Specially at issue is th Fri, 09 Nov 2012 22:08:03 +0000 Mark Memmott, NPR 5602 at Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act Election Day: Six Things Austin Voters Should Know <p>Election Day is here and hundreds of thousands are expected to head to the polls in Travis County. More than 237,000 Travis County voters cast a ballot during early voting—that's a little over 37 percent of registered voters. Traditional voting patterns show that half of registered voters don't vote until Election Day.</p><p>More Texans than ever before are registered to vote in this election—13.64 million people. Presidential elections typically bring more voters to the polls. In 2008, more than 402,000 Travis County residents voted in the presidential election.</p><p>Here are six things you should know if <em>you're</em> headed to the polls today:</p><p><strong>1. Registered Travis County Voters Can Vote Anywhere in the County:</strong></p><p>For this election, <a href="" target="_blank">Travis County Commissioners approved vote centers</a>. That means registered voters can forget about their precincts and cast a ballot anywhere in the county with a 'vote here' sign. These places include schools and libraries along with locations used for early voting such as grocery stores. Tue, 06 Nov 2012 12:49:34 +0000 Laura Rice 5531 at Election Day: Six Things Austin Voters Should Know Swing-State Billboards Warning Against Voter Fraud Stir Backlash Dozens of anonymous billboards have popped up in urban areas in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin. The signs note that voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.<p>Civil rights groups and Democrats complain that the billboards are meant to intimidate voters.<p>The billboards began appearing two weeks ago — 85 of them in and around Milwaukee, and an additional 60 in Cleveland and Columbus. Thu, 18 Oct 2012 19:54:32 +0000 Pam Fessler, NPR 5379 at Swing-State Billboards Warning Against Voter Fraud Stir Backlash The Lead: Aerial Surveillance, Cyber Warfare, Cuts Coming at AMD? <p>Good morning. Austin can expect cloud coverage for most of the day, and the occasional shower. The National Weather Service says <a href=";lon=-97.76883579999998&amp;site=all&amp;smap=1&amp;searchresult=Austin%2C%20TX%2078704%2C%20USA">we can a 40 percent chance of rain today</a>. Here's some of KUT’s top stories this morning:</p><ul><li><a href=""><strong>City Gets Grant to Study Rosewood Renovation</strong></a></li><li><a href="" title="Texas DPS Has a New High-Tech Eye in the Sky"><strong>Texas DPS Has a New High-Tech Eye in the Sky</strong></a></li><li><a href=""><strong>State to Exercise Disaster Preparedness, Needs 1,000 Volunteers</strong></a></li><li><a href="" title="Texans Won’t Vote Without a Reason and Most Don’t"><strong>Texans Won’t Vote Without a Reason – and Most Don’t</strong></a></li></ul><p>Here's &nbsp;more stories of interest from Central Texas:&nbsp;</p><ul><li><strong>Cyber Warfare Here To Stay; Austin Could Play Key Role </strong>(<a href="">KVUE</a>)</li></ul><blockquote><p>"It's a spy versus spy kind of world," said Ken Phillips, business development manager at Overwatch Textron Systems. The Austin-based business is developing the latest line of defense against cyber threats, which focuses on security at the file level in order to overcome internal leaks or systems that have been compromised.</p></blockquote><p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 14:03:31 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh & Wells Dunbar 5346 at Getting Millennials to Bother Voting <p>With barely half of eligible 18 to 29 year-olds voting in 2008, it seems many young citizens look at the political process and ask, “Why bother?”</p><p>KUT News has begun a reporting and outreach series this topic. It's part of a broader initiative, "<a href="">Why Bother? Engaging Texans In Democracy Today</a>," in partnership with the <a href="">Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life</a> and&nbsp;<a href="">KLRU-TV, Austin PBS</a>.<br><br>Our first forum, “<a href="">Why Bother? Voices of a New Generation</a>,” is airing tonight on on KUT 90.5 and on KLRU, both at 8 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p>The series and our taping on Tuesday has already inspired some conversation.</p><p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 18:57:56 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5251 at Getting Millennials to Bother Voting Watch Live: 'Why Bother? Voices of a New Generation' <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="275" scrolling="no" src="" style="border: 0px none transparent;" width="451"></iframe></p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 23:17:50 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5227 at How to Register and Where to Vote in Austin <p>KUT News has received a lot of feedback on “Why Bother,” our series on voter engagement. Suggestions that include ideas for making voting and voter registration easier, personal recollections and more. We expect to hear more tonight, at a taping of “<a href="" target="_blank">Why Bother? Voices of a New Generation</a>,” in KLRU’s Studio 6a.</p><p>But one criticism KUT News has received involves the existing process potential voters need to take to vote – and whether local news organizations, including KUT, have done enough to make that process understandable.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">A blog post by a local web designer</a>, A. Lista, questions why KUT is probing voter disengagement when the actual process to voting is itself convoluted. The blog shows step by step what happens when one searches “<a href=";aq=f&amp;oq=how+to+vote+austin+tx&amp;sugexp=chrome,mod=11&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8" target="_blank">how to vote austin tx</a>” on Google. Seven screens later, the author says she is “exhausted, frustrated, and pretty annoyed with all the extremely unhelpful government websites:”</p><blockquote><p>Both the local news and KUT have suggested many times that voters are apathetic and unengaged, but like the government, neither has aired simple instruction on how to actually go about voting. How do you know you’re registered? Where do you go to vote? These things are confusing.</p></blockquote><p>Registering to vote in Texas isn’t that easy: <a href="" target="_blank">one suggestion</a> we’ve heard is that online registration would make things a lot easier. But Texas law requires voter registration cards to be sent in by mail or hand delivered in-person.</p><p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 20:59:35 +0000 Kelly Connelly & Wells Dunbar 5225 at How to Register and Where to Vote in Austin Money, Marriage and a Mortgage: The Formula For More Voters <p>Could you create a mathematical formula to increase voter turnout?</p><p>The idea may sound far-fetched. But Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has an idea on what it might look like.</p><p>“It has to do with how well each voter is connected to their local community,” DeBeauvoir tells KUT News. “For example: Do you own a house? That’s a point. Do you have children in school? That’s a point. All of those add up.&nbsp; And it turns out that people that have the most points of connection with their community are the people who vote.”</p><p>DeBeauvoir notes those variables are “roughly all about how old you are. It takes a while to get connected.” And those factors may have a lot to do with why young Texans are sitting out elections.</p><p> Mon, 01 Oct 2012 21:06:44 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5214 at Money, Marriage and a Mortgage: The Formula For More Voters With So Many Registered Voters, Why is Austin Turnout So Low? <p>Today is <a href="">National Voter Registration Day</a>, a push to get voters on the rolls before registration ends. (In Texas, that’s Oct. 9.)</p><p>According to <a href="">a statement</a> from the Travis County’s voter registrar, the county “enjoys the highest voter registration rate (78%) among urban counties in Texas.” That’s some 607,000 county residents. As part of National Voter Registration Day, officials want to swell that number to 650,000.</p><p>But will more registered voters actually lead to more votes and more engagement?</p><p>“There are about 460,000 registered voters here inside the city of Austin,” local political consultant Mark Littlefield <a href="">tells KUT News</a>. “We have about 79,000 likely voters in a City Council election. If it is a municipal election where there is no hot mayor’s race, you are looking at turnout of 30,000, about eight percent.”</p><p> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 18:20:19 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5156 at With So Many Registered Voters, Why is Austin Turnout So Low? It's National Voter Registration Day - Are You Registered? <p>Several voter registration events are scheduled around town today for <a href="" target="_blank">National Voter Registration Day</a>.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Travis County Tax Office</a> on Airport Boulevard will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. to register voters.</p><p>The League of Women Voters and the Austin Community College student chapter of Unite Women will help people register to vote on ACC campuses today.</p><p>And both the Travis County <a href="" target="_blank">Republican</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Democratic</a> parties are opening up their headquarters to help people register. Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:34:24 +0000 Laura Rice 5153 at It's National Voter Registration Day - Are You Registered? Thousands of Texans Registered to Vote at Wrong Addresses <p><a href="" target="_blank">Texas lawmakers heard today</a> that there are at least 4,100 people in the Houston area alone that are registered at an address that is not their home.</p><p>Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart told the House Elections Committee this morning that many of those people are registered at addresses at places like Mail Boxes Etc. or UPS. The problem is, he says, that these voters then may be casting a ballot in the wrong district.</p><p>Stanart said that state law gives voters too much latitude with their registration address&nbsp;&nbsp;– &nbsp;which he argued could lead to abuse and fraud.</p><p>“A number of people actually saying ‘I’m going to register at this UPS location’ and if a significant number of people actually did something like this, you could actually turn a state rep’s election," Stanart said. Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:39:36 +0000 Laura Rice 5144 at Thousands of Texans Registered to Vote at Wrong Addresses AM Update: New Hispanic Population Stats, Dead Voter Purge Delay, Cost-Effective School Spending <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Clean Air Force of Central Texas</a> is forecasting <a href="" target="_blank">another ozone day</a>. The group is predicting an "unhealthy" or Orange Level day. Here is a roundup of some stories making news this morning:</p><p><strong>Austin Home to Country's 20<sup>th</sup> Largest Metropolitan Hispanic Population </strong></p><p>A new <a href="">report</a> by the <a href="">Pew Research Center</a> shows the nation's Hispanic population is fairly concentrated. The report analyzed census data from the 2010 American Community Survey. It found "nearly half (45 percent) of the nation’s Hispanic population lives in just 10 metropolitan areas."</p><p>Four Texas metropolitans are home to some of the nation's largest Hispanic populations. Houston ranks #2, Dallas-Fort Worth is #6, San Antonio ranks #9 and Austin comes in at #20.</p><p>According to the ACS data, Austin has a Hispanic population of 502,000, which makes up 31 percent of the city's total population. Hispanics make up an even larger portion of Austin's younger population. Among Austinites under 18 years old, 42.3 percent are Hispanic. More than a quarter (28.9 percent) of Austin's Hispanic population were born outside of the United States.</p><p>Of the 60 metropolitan areas with the largest Hispanic populations, two areas have Hispanic populations that make up more than 90 percent of residents: Laredo (#36 on the list) is 96 percent Hispanic, McAllen (#13) is 91 percent Hispanic.</p><p><strong>Delay in Dead Voter Purge</strong></p><p><span>State District Judge Tom Sulak has </span><a href="">temporarily prevented</a><span> Texas from ordering counties to purge possibly dead voters from their registration rolls.</span> Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:44:10 +0000 Tyler Pratt, David Muto, Texas Tribune & Laura Rice 5122 at AM Update: New Hispanic Population Stats, Dead Voter Purge Delay, Cost-Effective School Spending