Voting

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

Lee esta historia en español. 

Early voting for the July 14 primary runoffs and special election starts June 29. 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

Lee esta historia en español. 

Early voting in Texas started Monday 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.

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 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

Click here to read this story in English.
 

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.
 

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.

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

Click here to read this story in English
 

Un juez de la Corte de Distrito del Condado de Travis dijo este miércoles que habilitará a los votantes temerosos de contraer el COVID-19 para que puedan votar por correo durante las elecciones de julio y noviembre.

El Partido Demócrata de Texas demandó a los funcionarios electorales estatales y locales el mes pasado, en un esfuerzo por conseguir que un tribunal del distrito se expidiera sobre la ley estatal.

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.

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.

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.

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