Politics

Political news

Voters wait in line to cast ballots at the ACC Highland campus on March 3.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is not letting Texas open its ballot-by-mail program during the coronavirus pandemic, while legal challenges move through the federal and state court system.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Three of Texas' top Republican leaders are vigorously fighting efforts to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it will lead to increased voter fraud, yet all three have themselves cast absentee ballots at least once in past elections.

The Texas Supreme Court
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a lack of immunity to the new coronavirus does not qualify a voter to apply for a mail-in ballot.

A voter walks into a polling location
Julia Reihs / KUT

Many long-time election workers across Texas have indicated they don’t plan to be poll workers during the pandemic, voting groups say.

Voters line up outside of The University Co-op across the street from UT Austin on Nov. 8, 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

An expansion of Texas’ vote-by-mail program during the pandemic is on hold, again.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling from a day earlier that opened up mail-in voting to people under 65.

A mail-in ballot application.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

A federal judge on Tuesday opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Voters who don't want to risk exposure to the coronavirus can use mail-in ballots during upcoming elections as a legal battle moves through the courts, a Texas appeals court ruled Thursday.

Voters line up to cast ballots at Austin Community College's Highland Campus in 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on the state's vote-by-mail laws, bypassing a state appeals court.

Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

A coalition of voters and civil rights groups opened a new front Monday in the legal wars over mail-in voting in Texas during the new coronavirus pandemic.

A line of voters waits to cast ballots at McCallum High School during the primary March 3.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Texas Civil Rights Project has asked a court to order state officials not to interfere with a previous court order that opened up mail-in voting in the state.

Vodka Street Global Bistro and Bar in downtown San Marcos has temporarily closed its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

Many Democrats want the economy to remain closed. Some Republicans have insisted that it reopen immediately. But more than anyone else, the decision about when — and how — Texas will return to business as usual falls to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Voters wait in line to cast ballots at the ACC Highland campus on March 3.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A Travis County judge issued an order Friday that essentially opens up Texas’ strict ballot-by-mail program to all voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

But local election officials say voters didn't have to wait for the courts to weigh-in.

Voters line up to cast ballots in the primaries, at Austin Community College's Highland Campus on March 3.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A Travis County district court judge said Wednesday he will clarify that voters fearful of contracting COVID-19 will be allowed to use mail-in ballots during elections in July and November.

Cassie Davis talks to a young person about registering to vote, on the steps of the Texas Capitol in 2018.
Andrea Garcia for KUT

Voter groups are scrambling to figure out how to continue registering young people during the COVID-19 pandemic, since Texas is among a minority of states that don't allow online voter registration.

Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his 2020 presidential campaign Wednesday, bowing to the commanding delegate lead former Vice President Joe Biden established.

Charlie Pearce for The Texas Tribune

With primary election runoffs scheduled for July and the November general election on the horizon, the Texas Democratic Party has expanded its ongoing fight for more widespread mail-in balloting to federal court, fearful that a Monday U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Wisconsin presidential primary signals a need to get federal litigation in the pipeline quickly.

Election signs at the corner of Manor and Airport.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Secretary of State’s office sent local election officials an advisory Thursday that was meant to give them guidance on how to handle elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The May 26 primary election runoffs will be delayed until July in response to the growing outbreak of the new coronavirus in Texas under an order signed Friday by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 2019 election is Oct. 7.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Friday aimed at increasing access to vote by mail as the coronavirus spreads in the state.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn
Allison Shelley for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn drew criticism Wednesday for comments he made about the new coronavirus.

On a conference call with reporters, he said that it’s “no coincidence” that illnesses such as the novel coronavirus originate in China, putting the onus on “some of the cultural practices there.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, seen at an election night party in 2018, quarantined himself after being potentially exposed to COVID-19
Julia Reihs / KUT

U.S. Ted Cruz was back in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, after spending nearly a week in self-quarantine at his Houston home. Though he did not get sick, the Texas Republican’s voluntary isolation underscored the gravity of the coronavirus outbreak that Congress and the White House are now seeking expansive measures to address.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has proposed sending money directly to Americans to help blunt the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying it's time to "go big" to boost the now-stalled economy.

Trump said he wants Congress to push through a major comprehensive package to help businesses and workers facing hardships — one of many abrupt shifts the administration has made this week as the scope of the pandemic has come into sharp focus.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the coronavirus spreads in Texas, older people and people with underlying health issues are being asked to isolate themselves, which could make voting in upcoming elections tricky.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday declared that the coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency, a designation that frees up as much as $50 billion in federal assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by the spread of the virus, and makes it easier to surge medical resources to areas that need them most.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt announced Tuesday she is resigning to run for state Senate.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt resigned from her position Tuesday ahead of a run for the open seat in the Democrat-leaning Texas Senate District 14.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez takes part in a Mexican American Legislative Caucus and House Elections Committee press conference on Jan. 30.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, an Austin Democrat, announced Saturday that he is running for Texas Senate District 14.

Travis County residents wait in line to vote at the Church of Christ in Hyde Park on Super Tuesday.
Julia Reihs / KUT

On the heels of Super Tuesday voting that left Texans waiting for hours to cast their ballots, Democrats are suing the state to overturn Republicans’ decision to kill straight-ticket voting.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ended her bid for the presidency on Thursday, acknowledging her place as the last major female candidate in the race "and all those little girls who are gonna have to wait four more years."

Robert Morrow has a history of sexist and racist rhetoric and is known for wearing a jester's hat.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A man who has called President Donald Trump a “child rapist” is headed to a runoff in the race for a position that would help decide what millions of Texas public school children are taught.

Hervis Rogers waited about six hours in line at Texas Southern University and finally cast his vote around 1 a.m.
Jen Rice / Houston Public Media

He gained national attention through his tenacity at a local polling place, refusing to leave even after others might have: Hervis Rogers was the last man to vote at his Texas Southern University polling place early Wednesday morning, and possibly the last person to cast a ballot in the State of Texas when he did so around 1 a.m.

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