Politics

Political news

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT

While all eyes are on the national race, there are plenty of races worth watching here in Texas. Statewide, there's only one non-judicial race on Texas ballots – an open spot on the Railroad Commission of Texas. (You can read more on that race here). Additionally, there are six congressional seats open and six spots in the Texas House up for grabs.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

It's Election Day. Voters headed to the polls in record numbers in Travis County and across Texas. 

To capture some of the Election Day catharsis, we decided to ask some voters about their experience, what issues were most important to them on the ballot and how they feel at the end of this long election cycle.

North Austin resident Bianca Reynolds cast her vote at the Austin Community College Highland Mall campus. 

She said she voted with her 7-year-old daughter in mind, her top priorities being the education system and continued access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  


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.

This Election Day, we’re teaming up with ProPublica, a non-profit investigative news organization to collect the stories of voters. So, if you’ve voted or plan to vote in Texas, we want to hear your story.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

Travis County showed up to vote early in record numbers over the past twelve days, both in raw number of voters and the percentage of registered voters casting ballots.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Five Texas counties rank among the top 10 nationwide for closing the greatest percentage of their polling places since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, according to a new report released less than a week before Election Day. 

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Early voting locations in Travis County are now open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. until Friday, Nov. 4 (hours vary for mobile voting sites). Before you go, there are a few things you should 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.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A since-deleted tweet sent from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's account on Tuesday used an obscene term to describe Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Emily Albracht/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Likely Republican voters in Texas have overwhelmingly negative opinions of the Black Lives Matter movement, while a majority of Democratic voters views the movement favorably, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

It’s a sharp division: 89 percent of Republicans have unfavorable views of Black Lives Matter, including 80 percent who said their opinion is “very unfavorable.”

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.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Late this summer, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry strongly encouraged U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election bid in 2018, according to GOP sources. 

Last week we launched TXDecides, our collaborative project with public radio newsrooms across the state. The goal was simple: Answer Texas voters' questions ahead of Election Day. Y'all had lots of questions. So many, in fact, that we had to pare down the questions to a scant five.

Luckily, we culled some of the remaining questions and decided to answer them as best we could. 

Since 1972, Texas has had a lower voter turnout rate than the national rate for presidential elections.

Emily Albracht / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A slight majority of Texans want transgender people to choose restrooms based on their birth gender and not their gender identity, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The overall preferences were about the same when voters were asked about public school locker rooms and restrooms: 53 percent of voters said transgender people should use the facilities that match their birth gender.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

One race tucked into the crowded ballots that Travis County voters are seeing this election could have a substantial effect on police use-of-force cases. From the death of Eric Garner in New York to the death of David Joseph here in Austin, the majority of these cases share a coda: Local prosecutors fail to bring criminal charges against an officer.

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.

Why Is Voter Turnout So Low in Texas?

Oct 28, 2016
Erik Hersman via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In recent years, voter turnout in Texas has been…well, let’s just say not everything is bigger here.

State voter turnout has been below the national average for the past few decades, regularly falling below 50 percent. All this week, public radio stations across Texas are answering your election questions, as part of our TXDecides reporting series. Steven Kellman of Antonio wanted to know why turnout is so consistently low in Texas.

Emily Albracht/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Voters in the party that has not lost a statewide election in Texas since 1994 are most likely to say that elections are fraught with criminality, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The findings echo Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “rigged election” theme and rising apprehension over foreign or criminal hackers.

Investigators were looking into why a charter aircraft carrying Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and more than 40 others slid off the runway Thursday night while landing at LaGuardia Airport in the New York City borough of Queens.

NPR's Scott Detrow reports that Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, and everyone else on board was safe after the jet touched down in stormy weather and just kept going.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Travis County voters are set to elect a new sheriff for the first time in 12 years.

Among the four candidates running for Travis County Sheriff, a key issue is the Priority Enforcement Program, led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, flags people booked into the Travis County Jail who may be in the country illegally, potentially leading to their deportation.


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