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Salvador Castro for KUT

Ana Flores can vote for the first time this year. The 18-year-old lives in Houston with her mom. Like many young people who just got the right to vote, she was curious about what it would be like.

“I just wanted to try it out," she said, "see how it would feel for the first time.”

President Trump says he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order. But most legal scholars — and even leaders of the president's own party — are skeptical.

In an interview with Axios, published Tuesday, the president said he wants to end the automatic right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to noncitizens.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas author Ben Fountain's latest work of nonfiction has a provocative title: Beautiful Country Burn Again. Does he think the country has "burned" before and is it due to burn again?

Robin Jerstad: Cruz/Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson: O'Rourke

More than $100 million has now been raised for the U.S. Senate race in Texas.

Thursday was the deadline for the candidates to report their fundraising numbers for the first 17 days of October, and their figures pushed the total fundraising for the race into nine-figure territory. The Democratic nominee, Beto O'Rourke, raked in $8.5 million — another enormous haul — while Republican incumbent Ted Cruz brought in $5.2 million.

Julia Reihs / KUT

UPDATE Oct. 27: In a statement, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said that the eSlate voting machines are not malfunctioning. He said Texans using straight-ticket voting need to make sure they wait for screens to load.

“It is important for all voters in the 82 Texas counties utilizing the Hart Intercivic eSlate to understand that the voting machines are not malfunctioning, nor are they arbitrarily ‘switching’ the choices of voters who cast a straight-party ballot,” he said.

Pablos said voters voting a straight-party ballot should "wait at least three to five seconds for all choices to be rendered on the eSlate voting machines."

Our original post continues:

A voting rights group is warning Texans to double check their ballots if they are voting straight ticket, because some voters are reporting problems with a commonly used voting machine in the state.  

Ilana Panich-Linsman / KUT

Williamson County is leading the state when it comes to the percentage of registered voters casting ballots in-person during the first two days of early voting. Experts say that's a sign political groups are paying more attention to suburban counties near major cities across the U.S.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Robin Jerstad / The Texas Tribune

Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz leads U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, by 5 percentage points among likely voters in a new Ipsos online poll released Wednesday in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia. A September Ipsos poll showed O’Rourke ahead of Cruz by 2 percentage points among likely voters.

Bob Daemmrich/BDP Inc.

When Texas Tribune reporter Alana Rocha asked U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, last month whether he'd serve a full six-year Senate term if he defeats Democrat Beto O'Rourke in November, Cruz gave a two-minute reply — but didn't answer the question. O'Rourke, meanwhile, said he would serve a full term if he eked out a win over the incumbent.

But in an interview with ABC News over the weekend, Cruz gave a far firmer answer, saying he "absolutely" would serve a full Senate term if re-elected.

Here's Cruz's original interview with the Tribune.

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.

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 is over and Election Day is just around the corner. 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.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

There is an old adage about conversations to avoid in "polite company." Politics and religion top that list. But given what is in these news these days, that is not really possible. So, is it possible to keep things civil while agreeing to disagree about politics?

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.

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.

Montinique Monroe/KUT

Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso) says he's raised $38.1 million since July 1 for his effort to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz this November.

Last week, Cruz said he raised $12 million in the same period, which was a record for a Republican candidate.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

WASHINGTON — A new poll released Thursday morning showed Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has stabilized his lead over his Democrat challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso.

Fifty-four percent of Texans backed Cruz, while 45 percent backed O'Rourke in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Groups working to eliminate the right to abortion in Texas are rethinking their legislative strategies now that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative, has a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Were it not for the Kavanaugh confirmation spectacle, there may have been a very different fight on Capitol Hill over the last few weeks – and Texas would have been at the center of it. We're talking about President Donald Trump's promise to build a southern border wall.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters on Sunday that officials there believe dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been heard from since Tuesday, was killed while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. 

Khashoggi has long been an outspoken advocate for democracy and freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia. He has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since last year, when he left Saudi Arabia over increased concerns for his safety.

Khashoggi joined KUT, along with his longtime friend New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, in March for a Views and Brews at The Cactus Cafe. They spoke with Rebecca McInroy about their history together working as journalists in the Middle East and the struggles they confront in the face of threats to their public voices.

Winn McName / Getty Images

The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and — barring a major unforeseen development — in all likelihood, he will be confirmed by the narrowest of margins.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ninety-three percent of eligible voters in Travis County are expected to register to vote by the Oct. 9 deadline, according to the county’s voter registrar. So far, 91 percent of eligible voters have already registered.

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, 51-49. A final vote on his confirmation is expected as soon as Saturday.

Still, the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination remains unclear. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted to end debate, but said she will announce her final position on whether to confirm Kavanaugh on Friday afternoon. 

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.”

Julia Reihs / KUT

Congressman Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat hoping to oust Sen. Ted Cruz in November, is not shying away from talking about race. And black voters are noticing.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month, 97 percent of black voters surveyed said they favor O’Rourke.

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.

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