Voting

The empty hallway at Bedicheck Middle School in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Schools in Travis County likely will be polling sites during the presidential election Nov. 3.

Local election officials had been unsure whether schools would be safe places to vote during the pandemic. At a school board meeting Monday, however, Austin Independent School District officials indicated they want to make Election Day a student holiday. Students would have the day off, while teachers could catch up on training.

An application to vote by mail.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Texas can keep its strict eligibility rules for voting by mail.

A U.S. Postal Service worker delivers mail in Austin in March.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Texans should prepare early if they want to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential election, voting groups say.

Texas officials were recently warned by the U.S. Postal Service about potential delays delivering mail-in ballots, so getting an early start is more important than ever.

Residents wear masks to vote in the runoff elections, at Joslin Elementary School last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Support for mail-in voting is soft among Texas Latinos, a key demographic in the upcoming elections, according to a new poll conducted by Latino Decisions.

The poll, released on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, was commissioned by Latino groups SOMOS and UnidosUS.

A voter enters a polling place at the North Austin YMCA on March 3, 2020.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote before the Nov. 3 election in Texas. Here’s what you need to know to register.

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.

Residential mailboxes
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that "lack of immunity" to the coronavirus is not a disability under state law that would qualify someone for a mail-in ballot. In the same ruling, the court acknowledged that county election clerks have no duty to question or investigate the disability of voters who claim it.

But if you’re curious about how you would even go about voting by mail (or if you’re eligible), here’s how it works.

Voters wait to enter Pflugerville ISD's Rock Gym on Election Day.
Michael Minasi / KUT

It's Election Day in Texas for the primary runoff elections. We'll be sharing photos and updates on the election throughout the day Tuesday. If you have a tip, send it to us at news@KUT.org. Find election results here

Voters wait in line at the Ben Hur Shrine Temple in Austin on March 3.
Julia Reihs / KUT

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It's Election Day for the primary runoffs and the special election to replace state Sen. Kirk Watson, who announced in February that he was not seeking re-election. The runoffs were supposed to be in May, but were postponed because of the pandemic. 

The CDC has some simple guidelines to follow to protect yourself from the coronavirus if you plan to vote in person.

A voter enters a polling place at the North Austin YMCA on March 3, 2020.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Some Travis County voters say they are missing races on their mail-in ballot for the July 14 primary runoff elections. The Travis County Clerk's Office says that's because they didn't read their mail-in ballot application closely.

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 vote sign outside the Ben Hur Shrine Temple.
Julia Reihs / KUT

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Election Day for the primary runoff elections is Tuesday, July 14. Gov. Greg Abbott delayed the elections because of the coronavirus pandemic and extended the early voting period due to health concerns about in-person voting.

If you live in Central Texas, here are all the races that might appear on your ballot. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Early voting in Texas ends Friday for the July 14 primary runoff elections. The runoffs were supposed to be in May, but were postponed because of the pandemic. 

The CDC has some simple guidelines to follow to protect yourself from the coronavirus if you plan to vote in person.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out Democrats’ effort to reinstate the straight-ticket voting option in Texas.

Siding with the state, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo found that Democrats lacked standing to challenge Texas Republicans’ decision to kill straight-ticket voting ahead of the November general election. The judge dismissed the federal lawsuit after ruling that Democrats’ claims of the electoral fallout that could come from eliminating straight-ticket voting were too speculative.

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 City of Austin is looking for applicants to help redraw Austin City Council district boundaries. The new boundaries will go into effect for the November 2022 elections.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin residents can now apply to be on the commission to redraw City Council district boundaries. The city’s charter requires those lines be redrawn after the U.S. Census is taken every 10 years. 

In an effort to keep voters safe, states of all political complexions are finding ways to expand access to mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then there's Texas.

The state has some of the most restrictive laws limiting vote by mail in the country. Under Texas law, the program is open only to people who are 65 or older, people who will be out of the county during the election, people who are in jail and not convicted, and people who are disabled.

Julia Reihs / KUT

 

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the absence of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify a voter to use the disability category to request a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic. The court also says it will not make election officials investigate – or deny – applications to vote by mail.

Confused by the back and forth over mail-in ballots in Texas? OK, let's sort some of that out.

Elizabeth Hernandez moved to the United States from Mexico almost 30 years ago and was days away from becoming an American citizen when her March 15 naturalization ceremony was canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It made me sad," said Hernandez, who lives in New Mexico. She hadn't thought much about becoming a citizen until this year because of the upcoming election. "I want to vote for a president who will improve the country."

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.

Voters line up outside Fiesta to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

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Los votantes del condado de Travis no podrán votar en las tiendas de alimentos durante la segunda vuelta de las elecciones de julio. La secretaria del condado de Travis, Dana DeBeauvoir, dijo que esta opción es demasiado arriesgada durante la pandemia del COVID-19.

Voters line up outside Fiesta to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County voters won’t be able to cast their ballots in grocery stores during July’s runoff election. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the option is too risky during the COVID-19 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

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El Fiscal General, Ken Paxton, pidió a la Corte Suprema de Texas que se pronuncie sobre las leyes de voto por correo del estado, pasando por encima de un tribunal de apelaciones estatal.

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

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El Partido Demócrata de Texas pidió a un tribunal que ordene a los funcionarios estatales no interferir con una orden judicial previa que habilitó el voto por correo en el estado.
 

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