Ashley Lopez | KUT

Ashley Lopez moderates a panel on federal immigration policy in July 2018.
Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ashley Lopez joined KUT in January 2016. She covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ways to Connect

A woman wears a mask outside a polling place during the runoff elections on July 14.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Los funcionarios electorales de Texas se esfuerzan por encontrar suficientes centros de votación dispuestos a acoger a los votantes en las próximas elecciones presidenciales.

A woman wears a mask outside a polling place during the runoff elections on July 14.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Local election officials in Texas are scrambling to find enough polling sites willing to host voters in the upcoming presidential election.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Ha habido una gran caída en el número de tejanos que llaman a los reguladores estatales por facturas médicas sorpresa en los últimos seis meses.
 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El Centro de Convenciones de Austin estará listo la próxima semana para recibir pacientes de COVID-19, si es necesario, dicen funcionarios de salud locales, pero esperan que eso nunca suceda.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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There has been a huge drop in the number of Texans calling state regulators over surprise medical bills in the past six months.

A new law went into effect at the beginning of the year requiring medical providers and insurance companies to figure out payment disputes themselves – instead of sending bills to patients.

Steve Alvarez started feeling sick in late June. His symptoms were mild at first, but then he developed a fever, chills and shortness of breath. He thought it was a bad cold he just couldn't shake.

"Just when I started to get to feeling better and I would have a couple of good days," Alvarez says. "I felt like I'd backtrack and I was just really run down. This thing lingered and lingered."

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Convention Center will be ready next week to take in COVID-19 patients, if needed, local health officials say, but ideally, they hope that never happens.

Medication abortions are administered through pills.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

During a ban on abortion services in Texas earlier this year, more women sought out a telemedicine abortion service called Aid Access.

People wearing masks walk along South Congress Avenue.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Several weeks ago, James says he was out on a job as an electrician, being escorted around a building by a customer who was not wearing a mask.

MJ Hegar speaks to supporters at the Riveter during an election watch party Tuesday. Unofficial results showed her leading the Democratic primary.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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MJ Hegar se adjudicó la victoria en las primarias demócratas para el Senado de EE.UU. en la segunda vuelta del martes contra el senador estatal Royce West de Dallas. 

MJ Hegar speaks to supporters at the Riveter during an election watch party Tuesday. Unofficial results showed her leading the Democratic primary.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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MJ Hegar claimed victory in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s runoff election against state Sen. Royce West of Dallas. 

The League of Women Voters of Texas says it's been hearing reports that voters have been getting their absentee ballots sent back to them after putting them in the mail.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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A algunos tejanos que votaron por correo en las últimas semanas les están devolviendo las boletas que completaron, según dijo League of Women Voters of Texas (Liga de Mujeres Votantes de Texas).

Grace Chimene, presidenta de la liga, dijo que este problema fue señalado en una línea telefónica de protección al votante en Texas unos días antes del día de las elecciones, que se llevan a cabo este martes. 

The League of Women Voters of Texas says it's been hearing reports that voters have been getting their absentee ballots sent back to them after putting them in the mail.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Some Texans who voted by mail in recent weeks are getting their filled-out ballots sent back to them, according to the League of Women Voters of Texas.

Jason Rubio and Diana Anzaldua started AYUDA, an errand service geared toward Latinos in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Mientras el COVID-19 desgarra a la comunidad latina de Austin, una pareja local trabaja para encontrar formas de mantener a los latinos en casa tanto como sea posible.

Diana Anzaldua y Jason Rubio dicen que la pandemia nunca se sintió tan grave como ahora.

"No nos pareció tan personal porque nadie que conocíamos tenía [a la enfermedad] realmente", dijo Rubio. "Así que fue una especie de cosa extraña".

Jason Rubio and Diana Anzaldua started AYUDA, an errand service geared toward Latinos in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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As COVID-19 tears through Austin’s Latino community, a local couple is working to find ways to keep Latinos at home as much as possible.

MJ Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, is the front-runner for the nomination to run against John Cornyn in November.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

MJ Hegar has been the front-runner throughout Texas' Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate. Hegar, who first ran for office during a wave of women seeking office following the Me Too movement, won 22% of the vote in the crowded March primary.

A line of voters waits to cast ballots on Election Day.
Julia Reihs / KUT

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La votación anticipada para la segunda vuelta de las primarias de Texas comenzó el lunes 29 de junio de cara a las elecciones del 14 de julio.

Los funcionarios locales han instado a los votantes a tomar precauciones adicionales durante la votación en persona, ya que los casos de COVID-19 han ido en aumento en el estado.

A line of voters waits to cast ballots on Election Day.
Julia Reihs / KUT

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Early voting for Texas’ primary runoff begins Monday ahead of the July 14 election.

Local officials are urging voters to take extra precautions during in-person voting as COVID-19 cases have been rising in the state.

A mail carrier wears a mask and gloves while delivering mail in March.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Los funcionarios electorales del condado de Travis están viendo un número récord de solicitudes de voto por correo antes de la segunda vuelta de las primarias del 14 de julio.

Según la División de Elecciones del Condado de Travis, la oficina ha recibido más de 28,000 solicitudes hasta ahora.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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En un esfuerzo por conseguir que los jóvenes de Austin se conviertan en oficiales electorales durante las próximas elecciones, grupos locales han elaborado una sencilla solicitud en línea.

A mail carrier wears a mask and gloves while delivering mail in March.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Travis County election officials are seeing record numbers of vote-by-mail applications ahead of the July 14 primary runoff.

According to the Travis County Elections Division, the office has received more than 28,000 applications so far.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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In an effort to get younger people in Austin to become poll workers during upcoming elections, local groups have put together a simple online application.

A person tosses a tube onto a pile.
Lorena Peña for KUTX

The recent spike in positive coronavirus cases is largely being fueled by 20-somethings in the San Marcos area, Hays County health officials say.

In particular, officials point to the many young people who recently have attended large gatherings, such as the police violence protests, or who have floated in local rivers.

The Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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No hay razón para entrar en pánico por el reciente aumento de hospitalizaciones debido al COVID-19 en el estado, dijo este martes el gobernador Greg Abbott.

A pesar de que Texas ha tenido un número récord de personas hospitalizadas por COVID-19 en los últimos días, Abbott dijo durante una conferencia de prensa que el estado todavía tiene "miles" de camas de hospital disponibles.

An application to vote-by-mail in Texas.
Trey Shaar / KUT

The Texas Democratic Party filed applications with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asking justices to rule on whether the state should be forced to open up its vote-by-mail program during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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As the state set another record Tuesday for COVID-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Greg Abbott tried to reassure Texans the uptick is manageable.

An abortion clinic
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Equal Access Fund, which provides financial support for low-income women seeking an abortion, sued anti-abortion activists in Dallas County on Thursday for accusing the group of criminal activity.

Students pack up to leave campus because of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

College students in Austin are at risk of being severely undercounted in the 2020 census, which could put federal funding and political power for young people at risk for the next decade.

The floor of the rotunda at the Texas Capitol.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Public hearings aimed at giving communities input in Texas’ redistricting process have been on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, but advocates say state leaders need to figure out a way to start them back up.

A woman in a mask and scrubs talks to someone at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas health officials are launching a study to look into why COVID-19 could be having a greater impact on vulnerable populations in the state.

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