Voting Rights

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.

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.

Courtesy of Falls on the Colorado Museum

From Texas Standard:

Before Texas women could vote, Texas men elected a female mayor.

Crystal Mason
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

FORT WORTH — When Crystal Mason got out of federal prison, she said, she “got out running.”

By Nov. 8, 2016, when she’d been out for months but was still on supervised release, she was working full-time at Santander Bank in downtown Dallas and enrolled in night classes at Ogle Beauty School, trying, she said, to show her children that a “bump in the road doesn’t determine your future.”

Julia Reihs / KUT

A new study says Texas' system of levying fines and fees to restore formerly incarcerated people's voting rights prevented nearly 333,000 people from voting in 2016.

Illustration of black women being prevented from voting
Michelle Lam / Houston Public Media

In 1918, when she was 25 years old, Christia Adair went door-to-door organizing for women’s right to vote in Texas. 

“This effort was to pass a bill where women would be able to vote like men,” Adair remembered later in a 1977 oral history interview with the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.

Juan Figueroa for KUT

County judges and voting groups say they're concerned an update to a sweeping voting bill could reduce the number of countywide polling places in minority communities – particularly in larger metropolitan areas in Texas.