Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune

Crystal Mason
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

FORT WORTH — When Crystal Mason got out of federal prison, she said, she “got out running.”

By Nov. 8, 2016, when she’d been out for months but was still on supervised release, she was working full-time at Santander Bank in downtown Dallas and enrolled in night classes at Ogle Beauty School, trying, she said, to show her children that a “bump in the road doesn’t determine your future.”

Gov. Greg Abbott surrounded by lawmakers and press
Jesus Rosales for The Texas Tribune

Days after a white gunman murdered 22 people in El Paso in a shooting fueled by racism, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said that he will hold another series of roundtable discussions to consider legislative proposals to address the tragedy.

Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.
Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Just as they do every year, hundreds of county officials from all over Texas are packing a hotel ballroom in Austin this week for three days of all things elections.

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

The gap between Texas’ Hispanic and white populations continued to narrow last year when the state gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Julia Reihs / KUT

When former Secretary of State David Whitley launched a review of the Texas voter rolls for supposed noncitizens, his office marked almost 100,000 voters for two reviews — one by county officials to question their voter eligibility and another by the Texas attorney general's office for possible criminal prosecution.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Three months after first questioning the citizenship status of almost 100,000 registered voters, the Texas secretary of state has agreed to end a review of the voter rolls for supposed noncitizens that was flawed from the start.

Miguel Gutierrez / Texas Tribune

The U.S. House’s main investigative committee has opened an inquiry into the Texas secretary of state’s review of the voter rolls for supposed noncitizens.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

After being rebuked by Gov. Greg Abbott for the state’s botched review of the voter rolls, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety took “full responsibility” Tuesday for providing data to the secretary of state’s office that included thousands of individuals whose citizenship should never have been in question.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

All 12 Democrats in the Texas Senate have publicly confirmed they are opposed to confirming embattled Secretary of State David Whitley, giving them more than enough votes to block his nomination if they’re all in the chamber when the vote comes up.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

For the second time, the Senate Nominations Committee met this week to approve the governor’s appointees — and for the second time, the Republican-dominated committee did not call a vote on David Whitley, the governor’s embattled pick for Texas secretary of state.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley at a state Senate Committee on Nominations hearing on Feb. 7, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Facing an uncertain path to confirmation after ordering a deeply flawed voter citizenship review that seemingly focused on naturalized citizens, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley is now apologizing to state lawmakers for the way his office rolled out the review — but he is still holding firm behind the overall effort.

Bill Clark/Pool

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton assured lawmakers on Friday that his office hadn’t launched criminal investigations into nearly 100,000 voters flagged by the secretary of state’s office for citizenship review.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told lawmakers Friday that his office has yet to take action on a deeply flawed list of nearly 100,000 Texas voters flagged last month for citizenship review.

Paxton wrote a letter to the Senate Nominations Committee the day after a hearing in which David Whitley, the governor’s nominee to be the state’s top election official, conceded that he was aware of potential problems with the list before he referred it to the state’s top prosecutors.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas' announcement that it was flagging tens of thousands of registered voters for citizenship checks was met with dismay among civil rights attorneys and voting rights advocates, who warned it echoed efforts around the country to remove eligible voters from the rolls.

Austin Price for The Texas Tribune

Amid continued scrutiny over how lawmakers handle reports of sexual misconduct by their colleagues, members of the House on Wednesday are expected to consider a proposal to strengthen the way the chamber addresses complaints of sexual harassment.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After facing sexual harassment allegations, state Sen. Charles Schwertner has told the Senate's leader he no longer wants his post as chair of the powerful health and human services committee.

Are Texas Suburbs Slipping Away From Republicans?

Nov 7, 2018
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

By the end of Election Day, the political maps of the state’s suburban and swing counties had a peculiar blue tint.

The blue washed over the Dallas-Fort Worth area and crept up on suburban counties in North Texas. It spread from Houston — in a county that was once a political battleground — and crested over some of its suburban communities. And it swept through the Interstate 35 corridor from Travis County to its neighbors to the north and south.

Mikala Compton for The Texas Tribune

After being threatened with a lawsuit over early voting access at Texas State University, Hays County commissioners voted Friday to expand voting hours on campus.

In an emergency meeting, the Republican-dominated court voted to re-open the early voting site that operated on campus during the first three days of early voting. The polling location at the LBJ Student Center will reopen on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The commissioners also agreed to add an Election Day voting site at the university.

“The burdens imposed by closing the on-campus early voting location fall particularly and disproportionately on the county’s young voters, who are significantly more likely to live on or near campus and are less likely to have easy, immediate access to reliable transportation to vote off-campus,” Beth Stevens, the Texas Civil Right's Project's voting rights legal director, wrote.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Once a hub for refugees starting new lives and reuniting with their families, refugee resettlement efforts in Texas are now a shadow of what they once were.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A federal judge has rejected a race-based challenge to the way Texans fill seats on the state’s highest courts.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi handed the state of Texas a win Wednesday, writing that its current method for electing judges to the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals does not violate federal safeguards for voters of color.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

After seven long years of litigation, opponents of Texas' voter ID law say the case is over.

In a court filing on Wednesday, opponents of the law requiring Texas voters to present photo identification to vote told a federal district judge that the case was settled and that they would not pursue any other remedies or changes to the law they first challenged in 2011 as discriminatory against voters of color.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The 2018 elections will move forward without any tweaks to Texas' political maps.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to uphold all but one of the state's political districts, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio on Tuesday ordered that the state's maps should stay in place for this year's elections despite outstanding issues with House District 90.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus are suing the Trump administration in hopes of blocking the addition of a citizenship question to the once-a-decade census of every person living in the United States.

Ariel Min for The Texas Tribune

The legal fight over whether Texas is disenfranchising thousands of voters by violating a federal voter registration law is on its way to federal appeals court.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Told it was breaking the law, and asked to propose a fix, Texas seems to have mostly declined.

Graphic by Cheryl Gerber

A federal appeals panel on Friday OK'd state lawmakers' efforts to rewrite Texas' embattled voter ID law to address discriminatory faults previously identified by the courts. 

Cheryl Gerber for The Texas Tribune

NEW ORLEANS — State officials and the minority rights groups suing Texas over its strict voter identification restrictions are headed back to court.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Tuesday over the state's recent revisions to its 2011 voter identification law and whether those changes cure legal issues with the original law. The recent changes — which softened previous voter ID requirements considered among the toughest in the nation — were passed in response to court rulings that the 2011 law discriminated against Hispanic and black voters.

Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

Denying the city of Houston’s request, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a June decision by the Texas Supreme Court in which it ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Top Texas lawmakers have called for reviews of sexual harassment policies at the state Capitol following reports detailing how current procedures offered little protection for victims. Proposed solutions have included better training aimed at preventing harassment and informing victims of their rights.

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