Ashley Lopez

Ways to Connect

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Despite the results of this year’s election, there are still Republicans who say the party needs to appeal to a more diverse group of voters if they want to win the White House in the future. Specifically, they say the party needs to attract Hispanic voters.

And the case study some Republicans are pointing to when they make this argument is solidly-red Texas.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

A handful of state lawmakers want the Texas Department of Public Safety to allow you to register vote when getting a driver’s license or ID card, or when updating information, at the DMV. 

Right now, the so-called "motor voter" system works a little differently, depending on whether you do any of this in-person versus online. However, there have been a couple of bills filed for the upcoming legislative session aimed at changing that.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The voter ID law caused a lot of confusion at the polls during this year’s election. There were even lawsuits filed, but the fight over voter ID was already sure to stay alive in the courts.

In fact, the seemingly endless battle over the Texas voter ID law might get more complicated.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for the federal health insurance program is in full swing. People who can’t get insurance through an employer, Medicaid or Medicare can now buy private insurance through the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 31.

But there’s some uncertainty about the program’s future this time around.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

President-elect Donald Trump told "60 Minutes" in an interview this weekend that he plans to immediately deport roughly two to three million undocumented immigrants upon taking office. That announcement is something many immigrants here in Austin have been fearing since election night.

On Sunday morning, hundreds of people gathered at City Hall to show support for the city’s immigrant community, where city lawmakers also pledged local support. 

Stephanie Tacy for KUT

Protesters have been marching in major cities across the U.S.  –including here in Austin – in opposition to Donald Trump’s election on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, protesters in Austin rallied at UT Austin and then marched down to the Texas State Capitol.

Here's what some of them had to say.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Republicans in Texas and across the United States had a great night last night. In Texas, though, the margin of victory for Donald Trump was narrower than it’s been for Republicans in 20 years. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

More than 50 percent of registered voters in both Travis and Williamson counties have already cast ballots during early voting. If you weren't among them, now is your chance to make your voice heard.

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

Before you head out, here are a few things you might want to do.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Since early voting started last week, there’s been some confusion about the Texas voter ID law.

This summer, a court ordered the state to change the law and then spend $2.5 million educating voters about those changes. But, voting rights groups say that last part hasn’t gone so well, and some experts say the language used to communicate those changes could be part of the problem.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

In 2011, Texas started cutting millions of dollars from the state Early Childhood Intervention program (ECI). At the time, they estimated it would lead to 9 percent reduction in the number of kids that could enter the program. That includes kids with speech delays, Down syndrome, autism and other challenges.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The state’s top election official says he’s doing all he can to make sure counties are following a court order regarding the state’s voter ID law.

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

Voters in parts of Central Austin, East Austin and Pflugerville are voting for a representative for Texas House District 46 right now. And, even though there are technically two people on the ballot, only one candidate is actually planning to serve in that office.

Michael Stravato, via Texas Tribune

Believe it or not, Mexico's family planning policies are more progressive than the United States' in one pretty big way.

According to a new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project based at UT-Austin, Mexican-born women who recently gave birth have an easier time obtaining long-acting birth control like intrauterine devices (IUDs)  in Mexico than in the United States.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein made stops in Austin yesterday. Before an event at Huston-Tillotson University Monday evening, Stein met with a small crowd at a public library downtown. The event was specifically geared toward Texans who are disabled.


Photo by KUT News

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major part of the Voting Rights Act a couple of years ago, states like Texas haven’t had federal oversight in elections.

As a result, civil rights groups have had to flag and sometimes sue state official over violations of federal voting laws ahead of this year’s election.

So, yeah. This year has been a bummer for democracy. Like many of you, I’ve been avoiding political ads like I avoid I-35.

That is, until I saw a new ad from Gerald Daugherty, a moderate Republican running for re-election to the Travis County Commission’s Precinct Three seat. For those that don't know Daugherty, he's the lone conservative on the county commission. His main issue has been getting State Highway 45 Southwest built — which would connect FM 1626 in Hays County to MoPac in southwest Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

The head of the largest Latino advocacy group in the U.S. says both major political parties in Texas dropped the ball on Latino voter outreach this year.


Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

Texans across the state will soon be inundated with TV and radio ads ahead of this year’s presidential election. However, the ads won't be from candidates running for office, but from the state of Texas. The state-funded ads are intended to inform voters of the recent court-ordered changes to Texas' voter ID law.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

Today is the last possible day to register to vote in Texas. And, if you haven’t gotten around to registering, don't worry. We got you.

Here are some of your options:

If you already have a voter registration form sitting around in your house and you just haven’t mailed it in, make sure you mail it in and get it postmarked by midnight today. 

If you don’t have a form, in-person registration is the way to go. In Austin, you have a lot of spots for that because two local businesses are working with Travis County’s voter registrar to help voters get registered today.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Election officials in Texas are being accused of violating the Voting Rights Act, again.

This time it’s because dozens of county election administrators are not providing bilingual voter information on their websites, according to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

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