TX Decides

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Less than a year into his first term as Texas attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton was indicted by a state grand jury on three criminal charges. The Democrat challenging his re-election, Justin Nelson, has said that's the key issue as voters go to the polls starting Monday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin voters will be asked to consider a lengthy ballot this November. There’s the showdown between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz, six City Council elections and a list of 11 local propositions.

Let’s skip past Propositions A through I (you can read about them here), and get into Proposition J.

Julia Reihs / KUT

We here at KUT spend a lot of time reminding you about the down-ballot races in an election. This season, we hosted City Council forums because local elections really affect your life the most.

But we know the big shiny races at the top of the ticket get more attention. So, here's what you need to know about the races everyone in the state gets a chance to vote on.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Early voting in the 2018 midterm elections starts Monday. Despite a record number of people in Travis County registering to vote by the Oct. 9 deadline, not everyone will actually go to the polls.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The U.S. Senate race is taking up almost all the oxygen in Texas politics, but there are some state Senate races worth consideration as well.

The Austin area has five Senate Districts. Since state senators have staggered four-year terms, only three of them are up for election this year.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The 2018 midterms have turned into one of the most competitive elections across the country, with more candidates running in more places. That's certainly been true in Texas, as the state's Democrats have come off the mat to field candidates in all congressional and statewide races.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Ninety-three percent of eligible voters have registered in Travis County and are ready to vote in the Nov. 6 elections. Now comes the hard part: actually going to vote.

We've put together this list of candidates running for Congress in Central Texas. To find out what's going to be on your ballot, including what congressional district you live in, go here and type in your address.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A large percentage of Texas Latinos don’t know what political party to align themselves with and are cynical about the voting process, according to a new report.

The report, released today, surveyed 1,000 Latinos in Texas ages 18 to 45. It was conducted by Jolt Initiative, a group working to mobilize young Latino voters.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who trails Sen. Ted Cruz in the polls of a senate race that has garnered national attention, turned markedly more aggressive, while the two clashed on topics ranging from the judicial confirmation of Bret Kavanaugh and the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court to trade wars and border security Tuesday night in San Antonio.

The Texas Senate race is one of the closest-watched midterm contests in the country.

The Democratic challenger, Beto O’ Rourke, has been skateboarding through Facebook Lives, dueting with Willie Nelson and collecting a record $38 million in the last quarter — more than three times the total of incumbent Republican Ted Cruz.

Still, polls show Cruz leading by as many as nine points.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger, Congressman Beto O'Rourke, will debate tonight one final time before early voting begins Monday.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Texans got two very different snapshots last week of the Senate race between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and his challenger, Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

Mike Segar/Reuters (left), Bob Daemmrich/The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump is set to visit Houston on Oct. 22 to hold a rally for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in his re-election campaign.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

With the registration deadline only three days away, Texans looking for voter-registration forms on the Secretary of State's website this weekend got an error message for nearly a day. Applications for mail-in ballots were also inaccessible. Information about who's running for office this November was also knocked offline.

Service was restored by late Saturday.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — Former President Barack Obama has endorsed 11 Texas Democrats leading up to next month’s midterm elections. But none go by the popular four-letter moniker “Beto.”

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for governor, swung away at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in their first and only debate Friday evening, while Abbott largely ignored her and defended his first term.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Laura Buckman / The Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his closest challenger, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, take the stage in Austin tonight for the first and only debate between the candidates.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A couple weeks back, KUT and other NPR member stations in Texas started asking for your questions about the 2018 elections. Some people wanted to know where different candidates stand on various topics. Others just asked about the nuts and bolts of how to vote in Texas.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We got a question for our TX Decides project from Victoria, who asked:

I am registered in Bastrop County but am working in D.C. at the moment, is there a way to get a ballot?

The short answer is: Yes. You can vote by mail.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

NPR member stations in Texas want to know what you want to know about the 2018 elections. What topics do you want to hear more from the candidates about? Is education at the top of your list? How about roads, or taxes, or the environment?

Let us know and we'll do our best to give you as much information as possible before you head to the polls.

Montinique Monroe for KUT; Julia Reihs/KUT

You've probably heard about the “blue wave” that’s forecast to sweep U.S. elections this November. Some expect it to flip dozens of congressional seats from red to blue, turning control of the U.S. House over to Democrats. And there’s even a slight chance that Democrats could win enough seats to take control of the U.S. Senate.

Montinique Monroe for KUT / Julia Reihs, KUT

The traditional start of the election season is Labor Day – but it feels like everyone has been campaigning for about four years now. Part of that could be the current state of politics. The large crop of 2016 presidential hopefuls kicked off their campaigns way back in 2014 – if not earlier. The race for 2018 began about 20 seconds after Donald Trump was declared the next president. And let's be honest, the race for 2020 has already begun.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Update: Of the seven congressional nominations up Tuesday night in Central Texas, only two were competitive.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for CD 25, Julie Oliver pulled away late in the evening to beat Chris Perri by a couple thousand votes. Oliver now heads to November and a race against incumbent Republican Roger Williams and Libertarian Desarae Lindsey.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has won the Democratic nomination for governor. A back-and-forth race early against Houston businessman Andrew White finally broke late for Valdez.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Today's the day to vote in the Democratic and Republican primary runoffs. You may have only a few races (or none at all) on your ballot, depending on where you live.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From Texas Standard

Something strange happened behind the curtain when Randall County resident Lisa Houlette was casting her ballot in Amarillo. As she described it on Facebook, she voted a straight Republican ticket. But as she scrolled to submit her ballot, she noticed that even though the Republican straight ticket box was highlighted, so was the box for the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine ticket.