I SEE U, Episode 22: Coalitions of Color – Houston Public Media
How can Texas' largest minority groups translate their increasing numbers into greater political power? Former Harris County Clerk, Chris Hollins, and Secretary Julián Castro candidly discuss minority coalition building.houstonpublicmedia.org
I SEE U, Episode 22: Coalitions of Color – Houston Public Media
How can Texas' largest minority groups translate their increasing numbers into greater political power? Former Harris County Clerk, Chris Hollins, and Secretary Julián Castro candidly discuss minority coalition building.houstonpublicmedia.org
Civil Rights Groups Sue State Of Texas Over Restrictive Voting Rights Bill – Houston Public Media
The suit filed by MALDEF on behalf of several groups and the Harris County Elections Administrator says Senate Bill 1 threatens to criminalize voter engagement activities, limits voter assistance and allows voter intimidation by partisan poll watchers.houstonpublicmedia.org
Houston-Area Democratic Leaders Protest Republican Election Bills As ‘Voter Suppression’ – Houston Public Media
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner linked the fight against SB 7 and HB 6 to the civil rights struggle in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, one day after his killer was convicted.houstonpublicmedia.org
Gov. Abbott discusses election integrity legislation in Houston, talks about election fraud bill
Officials discussed election fraud and how they want to prevent it. Abbott has mentioned a number of times, especially during the 2020 election, that election fraud is “very real” and happens in different ways. Abbott did, however, say that former President Barack Obama prosecuted a voter fraud scheme in South Texas where cocaine was used to pay voter harvesters. “Election fraud is unacceptable.”AdA small group carrying signs protested against Senate Bill 7 outside Bettencourt’s office, calling the proposed bill voter suppression. “We should be focused on making voting more accessible and stop trying to create obstacles and distractions with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” Turner said.
Harris County elections were fair and secure, task force finds
The Harris County Election Security Task Force was made up of the Harris County Precinct 1 constable’s office, the district attorney’s office, the county attorney’s office and the county clerk’s office. The task force operated from Oct. 13 through Nov. 3, which was Election Day, according to the report. The task force responded to a separate 77 calls for service. (The task force found no explosives.) The four county offices represented on the task force are all led by Democrats.
New Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria Isn't Here For The Drama
Isabel Longoria, Harris County's first Elections Administrator, is getting ready for her new gig at NRG Arena, the county's election HQ. On the Friday before Election Day, Longoria was tapped to be the first Harris County Elections Administrator, a new appointed nonpartisan job that Commissioners Court created in the summer to absorb the election-running duties of the County Clerk and the voter registration responsibilities of the County Tax Assessor. When Hollins was ultimately tapped to fill Trautman’s shoes through the November election, Longoria said he quickly reached out and recruited her to join his team. “If the Legislature decides they want to clean that up for Election Day, great. “We’re here to do our job exactly as the citizens of Harris County want it...I think that’s how you gain trust over time.”houstonpress.com
Harris County Clerk responds to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offering $1 million toward finding voter fraud
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced he will be putting $1 million of his campaign money to anyone who can uncover actionable voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. There has been no evidence of widespread illegal or illegitimate ballots cast and counted in the 2020 election. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins responded to Patrick's announcement on Twitter with an image of the New York Times' headline showing that officials have not found evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election. Hollins helped expand voter access in Harris County as the coronavirus pandemic continues, offering drive-thru voting and a 24-hour voting period during early voting. Texas has until Nov. 17 to certify all election results, not just those pertaining to the presidential election.chron.com
Meet Chris Hollins, interim Harris County Clerk who brought change to the election process
HOUSTON – Most agree that the voting process in Harris County -- whether early voting or on Election Day -- was very smooth compared to previous years. Newly-appointed interim Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins takes credit for much of the success. In the 2020 Harris County election, there were 1.4 million early ballots cast, an unprecedented number. Hollins, a 34-year-old lawyer who graduated from Hightower High School, stepped in as interim Harris County Clerk in June. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve in this position and protect the right to vote in Harris County,” Hollins said.
Cornyn and Crenshaw Win Quick as Trump Takes Texas
I’m sure that made your reporting experience a lot more boring than you expected,” Hollins joked to reporters at the county election headquarters in NRG Arena Tuesday night. U.S. PresidentJust after midnight, the Associated Press called Texas for Trump, maintaining the streak of Republican presidential victories in the state that's been unbroken since 1980. But in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Trump gave an unhinged speech in which he prematurely claimed to have won. Frankly we did win this election,” Trump said. The 7th district, which encompasses parts of western Harris County including Cypress and Bellaire, had been the state’s longest-held Republican district until Fletcher’s victory in 2018.houstonpress.com
Harris County hits 1.65 million votes before polls close
Melissa Phillip/Houston ChronicleHistory was made in Harris County this election season, with record numbers of voters making their way to the polls. Harris County voters cast 1.65 million votes in the 2020 election, putting the county at 67 percent turnout, according to Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins,chron.com
Harris County voters have 1 drive-thru voting location at Toyota Center on Election Day
Harris County voters will now have only one location, the Toyota Center, for drive-thru voting on Election Day, effectively eliminating 9 other drive-thru options, according to Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. "In order to allow for drive-thru voting on Election Day while ensuring that all votes will be counted, the only drive-thru voting center on Election Day will be at Toyota Center," Hollins stated in a tweet. "My job is to protect the right to vote for all Harris County voters, and that includes those who are going to vote on Election Day. It is thus unquestionably a suitable location for Election Day voting." For voters who wish to cast their ballot at the Toyota Center, Harris County officials are asking that they enter the Toyota Tundra Garage at the intersection of Leeland and Crawford to enter this polling location.chron.com
Live blog: 2020 election results for Harris County, Texas
Early voting totals show Democrats are ahead in some Harris County races, although Republicans show leads in others. PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Chron is following national resultsWhile early voting results were released at 7 p.m., results from votes cast today will take time to count. That's 57.9 percent of all registered voters in the county, according to the Texas Secretary of State. The Richard and Meg Weekley Community Center near Cypress counted the most ballots out of any location in the county with 29,810 votes, according to the Harris County Clerk. Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis took the next top spots, totaling nearly 4.2 million votes in the five most populous counties – about half of the 9.7 million early votes cast throughout the state.chron.com
Harris County Closes Nine of Ten Drive-Thru Voting Sites On Election Day
Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said late Monday night that all but one county drive-thru voting site would be closed on Election Day. Citing the fear of future legal challenges, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins announced via Twitter late Monday night that all but one of the 10 drive-thru voting locations within the county would be shut down on Election Day. The Toyota Center parking garage was chosen as the sole drive-thru voting site to remain open on Election Day, Hollins said, because it is undeniably a building. “My job is to protect the right to vote for all Harris County voters, and that includes those who are going to vote on Election Day,” Hollins said. In addition to the sole drive-thru voting location, Harris County has 806 voting locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.houstonpress.com
Appeals court declines to ban drive-thru voting in Houston
Victoria Houptman-Bryan joins demonstrators as they stand across the street from the federal courthouse in Houston, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, before a hearing in federal court involving drive-thru ballots cast in Harris County. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON – A panel of federal appeals court judges has rejected an eleventh hour Republican effort to bar Election Day drive-thru voting in Houston. The court hadn't been asked to invalidate votes already cast at drive-thru sites in the Houston area. “Hopefully it's all over now.”Attorney Jared Woodfill, a former Harris County GOP Chairman representing those opposed to drive-thru voting centers, noted that county Clerk Chris Hollins has shut down all but one of the county's 10 drive-thru locations for Election Day. "We have stopped the illegal voting on Election Day because Mr. Hollins has shut down drive-thru voting in all locations but one,” Woodfill said.
Federal judge in Texas rejects Republican challenge to drive-through voting
Republican activist Steve Hotze and three Republican candidates had sued Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins seeking to halt drive-through voting after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the manner of voting could proceed. Curbside voting at the county’s polling places has been limited to disabled voters, while drive-through voting this year was available to all. Demonstrators outside the federal courthouse in Houston on Monday, before a hearing on Harris County drive-through voting. Nearby, Gina Dusterhoft, 61, a retired motorcycle dealer and registered Democrat, held a sign that said, “127,000 Harris County votes matter. Advertisement“Knowing we can have drive-through voting tomorrow is icing on the cake,” she said.latimes.com
Federal Judge Rules 127,000 Drive-Thru Votes In Harris County Will Count
On Monday afternoon, a federal judge dismissed the Republican-led effort to throw out the nearly 127,000 ballots cast through Harris County’s drive-thru voting system during early voting, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to have the votes invalidated. Drive-thru voting was piloted during this summer’s July primary runoff election, and no GOP operatives cried foul back then. Hotze and his allies filed two separate lawsuits against Hollins in federal and state courts over drive-thru voting in Harris County. By the time the federal court case was filed on Wednesday, over 100,000 county residents had already voted via drive-thru at one of the ten Harris County polling places offering the service. On Monday afternoon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a statement celebrating Hanen’s ruling.houstonpress.com
Lina Hidalgo responds after GOP-led challenge to toss out drive-thru ballots was rejected
"Safe, secure, and fair elections are the backbone of our democracy," Harris County Judge Hidalgo said. In a last-ditch effort to stop drive-thru voting, Republicans filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, October 27 seeking to invalidate 127,000 ballots cast through drive-thru voting places in Harris County. The petition argued that drive-thru voting was not allowed under the Texas Election Code. "Drive-thru voting is not recognized in the Texas Election Code," the GOP-led petition read. After Judge Hanen's decision was announced Monday afternoon, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins who helped implement drive-thru voting in Harris County responded to the victory at a press conference.chron.com
Federal judge rejects GOP-led challenge to toss out over 127,000 drive-thru ballots in Harris County
Update: 2:43 p.m. CTMore than 127,000 drive-thru votes cast by Harris County voters are now safe and will be counted, after a GOP-led court challenge to toss out drive-thru ballots was rejected by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Monday. Original Story:In an last-minute effort to stop drive-thru voting, Republicans filed a lawsuit on October 27 seeking to invalidate 127,000 ballots cast through drive-thru voting places in Harris County. "Hollins' drive-thru voting scheme allows any and all Harris County registered voters--regardless of whether they are permitted to do so under the Texas Election Code--to engage in early and election day 'drive-thru' voting.'" This move marks the second attempt to shut down drive-thru voting in Harris County in recent weeks to dismantle drive-thru voting in Harris County. He also reassured Harris County voters that every drive-thru ballot will count.chron.com
Drive-thru voting locations to be limited to Toyota Center only in Harris County on Election Day
HOUSTON – A federal judge issued an order to uphold Harris County drive-thru voting but stated that the tents being used to house most drive-thru voting centers will not qualify as “buildings,” which are required for Election Day polling locations. Instead of 10 drive-thru locations, the Toyota Center will be the only drive-thru voting center available in Harris County on Election Day because of the new order. In order to allow for drive-thru voting on Election Day while ensuring that all votes will be counted, the only drive-thru voting center on Election Day will be at Toyota Center. Woodfill said he would immediately appeal the decision, accusing Harris County officials of using their office to help Democrats win Tuesday. Harris County had originally offered 10 drive-thru locations as an option for its nearly 5 million residents amid worries of spreading the coronavirus.
Harris County makes final preparations for Election Day
HOUSTON – On Sunday, about 100 County Clerk’s Office staff members worked to process about 400 presiding election judges. We have over 800 Election Day voting centers,” Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said. Workers made sure election judges had their list of voters for each precinct and other items they need to process voters on Election Day. “We give them essentially the control boards that they’ll be using to check in voters on election days, but we don’t have those machines yet. He said there will be over 11,000 workers on Election Day to make sure all votes get counted.
Texas Supreme Court Says No Again to Throwing Out Drive-Thru Voting. Federal Judge Hears Case Monday Morning.
Discarding the votes and in effect disenfranchising that many people would be hard to justify especially after the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court again said on Sunday that Harris County's drive-thru voting is legal. The new elections administrator Isabel Longoria who will take office November 18 and Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins accompanied her. LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. She also pointed out that Harris County had the drive-thru option in a past runoff election. We've invested over $30 million for triple the number of early vote locations, many more voting day locations, for drive-thru voting, for pay for election workers.houstonpress.com
“No one understands how difficult elections are to run": Officials in small-town Texas endure a stressful election
But in much of Texas, elections come down to the people like Mooney, a 55-year-old former car dealership office manager turned election junkie. Rule changes have come often this election season, covering everything from when absentee ballots can be counted to wearing masks while voting, leaving election administrators scrambling to keep up. Stroud used to work at the city library, and came into the election administrator's job in September. She is often on the phone with neighboring election administrators talking through logistics and the latest procedural changes that are essential to running a successful election. According to each of the election officials, their families and friends finally understand how important and stressful their job is.
Here’s what the last day of early voting looks like across Harris County
HOUSTON – Friday is the last day of early voting in Texas and people across Harris County have been heading to the polls. “Nearly 1.4 million registered voters have already come out and made their voices heard in Harris County," Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said. KPRC 2 reporter Cathy Hernandez was out at Victory Worship Center in North Harris County to speak with people voting overnight. Voters urged people to get out and make their voice heard and called Harris County an example of what it looks like to make voting accessible to everyone. Among those heading out this morning was Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, who made the occasion a family affair.
Meet the Harris County official fighting on the front lines against voter suppression
Yet all those challenges only serve to bolster the enthusiasm of Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins for getting out the vote. Harris County shattered the all-time voter turnout record with one day of early voting remaining, surpassing the 2016 election on Thursday, according to the Harris County Clerk Twitter account. At 1 a.m. Friday, the Harris County Clerk's Twitter reported that 1,344,915 people had voted by midnight on Thursday. The other reason is because of the unprecedented voter access we provided in Harris County. Also making sure that drive-thru voting exists that are safe and convenient for all of our Harris County voters.chron.com
LIST: Harris County polling places are open until 7 pm on last day of early voting
HOUSTON – Early voting ends Friday. The Harris County Clerk’s Office provided more voter access than ever before, tripling the number of early voting centers from just over 40 in 2016 to 122 this November. All 122 early voting locations will be open until 7 p.m. Friday. “My number one priority is to keep voters and election workers safe this November,” said Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. Cypress, TX 77429Voting Methods122 Early Voting CentersDrive-thru voting at 10 locations24-hour voting at eight locations on Thursday, Oct. 29Extended hours to 10 pm Tuesday, Oct. 27 - Thursday, Oct. 29Remaining Key Dates
Last-minute challenge threatens to reject thousands of drive-thru votes in Harris County
Steve Gonzales/Staff photographerIn a last-ditch effort to stop drive-thru voting in Harris County, Republicans have filed a new lawsuit, asking the Texas Supreme Court to reject thousands of drive-thru votes already cast in cars by calling them "illegal." This new move could potentially jeopardize more than 100,000 ballots already cast in Harris County, according to Harris County Court Clerk Chris Hollins. This is not the first time a GOP-led effort has attempted to shut down drive-thru voting in Harris County. Just last week, the Texas Supreme Court dismissed GOP challenges that tried to end drive-thru voting in Harris County.chron.com
TSU Voters Waited Hours To Cast A Ballot On Super Tuesday. Harris County Says It Won’t Happen Again – Houston Public Media
Look no further than TSU itself, where on Super Tuesday some voters waited in line for six hours to cast a ballot. And a question remains: will Harris County voters see those lines again? Harris County scaled up, investing $31 million in running the election this year — more than seven times what the county spent in 2016. We’re seeing record turnout in Harris County following a record investment in voter access by Judge Hidalgo and Commissioners. In the past 11 days, Harris County alone has reported more than 7,000 new cases.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas Supreme Court allows drive-thru voting in Harris County to proceed
HOUSTON – The Texas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drive-thru voting can proceed in Harris County. The court denied a request by Republicans for an emergency motion aimed at stopping people from casting their ballots from their vehicles. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said in a statement posted on Twitter that he is happy with the result and he hopes this means that drive-thru voting will be available to Harris County voters in the future. The Court's decision to uphold the legality of Drive-Thru Voting as a safe and convenient way to vote underscores that this November, democracy is on the ballot. " (1/4) — Harris County Clerk (@HarrisVotes) October 22, 2020This developing story will be updated.
Date set for Houston City Council District B runoff over a year after the original election
HOUSTON – A date for the runoff in the race for Houston City Council District B seat has been set, more than a year after the original election. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins announced Wednesday that the deciding contest between Cynthia Bailey and Tarsha Jackson will be held Dec. 12. Jackson finished first in the 2019 general election but did not garner enough of the vote to avoid a runoff with Bailey, the second-place finisher. “It’s a shame that it has taken this long to determine the future of District B, but I’m glad that this matter will soon be put to rest,” Hollins said in a written statement. “Voters in District B will have an important decision to make this December.”The District B seat is still filled by Councilman Jerry Davis, who was to vacate the seat because of term limitations.
Harris County beat entire state of Georgia on first day of early voting, Hidalgo says
HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo along with social media star “Curbside Larry” urged residents Wednesday to continue to vote early and take advantage of a wide variety of voting options. Hidalgo said Harris County alone beat the entire state of Georgia during the first day of early voting. She said more than 128,000 votes were recorded Tuesday, shattering the records for 2016 and the most early voting the county has ever seen on a single day. Hidalgo also commended Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins for his efforts in making access to voting easier for all residents in the county. Hidalgo called the lawsuit confusing and its goal was to only confuse residents during early voting.
Ask 2: If drive-thru voting is found to be illegal, will those votes still be counted?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: If drive-thru voting is found to be illegal, will those votes still be counted? Answer: According to the lawsuit presented by the Republican Party of Texas, all votes will be cast and counted until drive-thru voting potentially comes to a halt. [RELATED: Texas GOP files suit to stop drive-thru voting in Harris County]“Unless stopped, each of these instances of illegal voting will cast a cloud over the results of the General Election, as illegal votes will be cast and counted in direct violation of the Texas Election Code,” the lawsuit states. According to Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, drive-thru voting which is available to all county residents who want to vote from their vehicle is separate from curbside voting which is reserved for voters with disabilities, including illness.
On Early Voting Day One, Excited Voters Turned Out in Droves Across Greater Houston
Early voters wrapped around the building on Tuesday afternoon at the Houston Metropolitan Multi-Service Center on West Gray in Houston. Early voting started with an impressive turnout in Texas on Tuesday, despite some early hiccups and delays. Related Stories Computer Error Means Rocky Start To Early Voting In Fort Bend County [UPDATED]“More people have voted today than in any early voting day in history,” said Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. Abbott extended early voting by allowing it to start on October 13 instead of October 19. Legal wrangling from state Republicans over early voting procedures was still a hot topic even as voting kicked off Tuesday morning.houstonpress.com
Harris County sets record for turnout on first day of early voting
HOUSTON – Voters in Harris County shattered records for turnout Tuesday on the first day of early voting. The record for highest day turnout during early voting was broken after 4 p.m. when the number passed the 100,000 mark. “We’ve already shattered the ‘opening day’ record for Early Voting turnout,” Chris Hollins, Harris County Clerk, wrote in a tweet. We’ve already shattered the “opening day” record for Early Voting turnout (68k) and there are still more than FIVE HOURS of voting left. Turner also announced the Mayor’s Early Vote College Challenge to inspire the University of Houston, Texas Southern University and Rice University students to vote early.
With COVID-19 and Finger Condoms Galore, Early Voting Sure Looks Different This Year
On Friday, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins walked media members through what early voting will look like this year. Tuesday’s early voting start date is a week earlier than usual in Texas thanks to Gov. Democratic Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins welcomed Abbott’s early voting extension, which came after Hollins sent the governor a letter lobbying him to do so. Hollins modeled the finger condoms that Harris County voters will receive to protect them from touching voting machines and potentially catching the coronavirus. Fort Bend County has added more early voting locations as well, but not nearly as many as its neighbor to the east.houstonpress.com
Texas Supreme Court: Harris County cannot send mail ballot applications to all registered voters
HOUSTON – The Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed earlier decisions supporting Harris County’s plan to mail unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters, most of whom do not qualify to vote by mail. On Aug. 25, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins tweeted his plan to mail an application for a mail-in ballot to each of the county’s more than 2 million registered voters. Two days later, the Texas Secretary of State threatened to sue Harris County if it did not “immediately halt” its plan. His office released a statement titled “Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Voter Suppression" condemning the decision. Jones said whether or not Texas should allow anyone to vote by mail is a valid, but separate question.
Texas Supreme Court Blocks Harris County Clerk From Sending Mail-In Ballot Applications [UPDATED]
On Wednesday morning, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins cannot send out mail-in ballot applications to the 2.4 million registered voters in the county. Texas is one of 16 states that require voters to apply for a mail-in ballot. Even though all Harris County voters won’t be receiving a mail-in ballot application in their mailbox, the application can be found online at the county clerk’s website. He referred to the block on his mail-in ballot application plan as "the second blow to Texas voters in less than a week," the first being Gov. That decision led Harris County to shutter 11 ballot drop off locations in less than 24 hours.houstonpress.com
Harris County can’t send mail-in ballots to all registered voters, Texas Supreme Court rules
The Republican justices sent the case back to a lower court in Harris County to issue an injunction blocking Hollins from sending the mailers. Turnout in Harris County, both major parties acknowledge, will have major impacts on races at the top of the ticket and the bottom of the ballot. In 2018, 17% of the Democratic votes for Beto O’Rourke were cast in Harris County. Applications for mail-in ballots have already gone out to voters in Harris County who are 65 or older. Harris County voters could start dropping off completed absentee ballots in person starting Sept. 28.
Lawsuits Abound as Governor, Voting Rights Groups Spar Over Election Integrity
“Texas has a history of voter suppression … so many efforts to keep Black and Latino voters from fully participating. Abbott’s order, the USPS said that the postal service has “ample capacity” to handle the expected surge in mail-in ballots. According to the Texas Tribune, 99 percent of mail-in ballots were counted during the July primary run-off and most of the uncounted ballots had arrived too late. Election officials stress that given the expected volume of election mail, eligible voters should request and send back their mail-in ballots early. Both lawsuits against Abbott’s order point out it came just weeks before early voting is set to begin.houstonpress.com
Analysis: Greg Abbott’s latest retreat comes at the expense of Texas voters
A drop-off location in Austin on Oct. 1, 2020, where voters can hand deliver their ballots by Election Day. Credit: Amna Ijaz/The Texas TribuneEditor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Under Abbott’s new order, counties like Harris, with 12 drop-off locations, and Travis, with four, can each have just one location. “We must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state,” Abbott said Thursday in the news release revealing his latest order. They’d be telling us they trust the voters, the process and the results — as they’ve done in elections past.
WATCH: More than 40 Houston-area Black-owned entrepreneurs, businesses spotlighted in inspirational video
HOUSTON – Inspired by Pharrell Williams featuring Jay-Z song “Entrepreneur,” a new video highlights Black entrepreneurs and businesses in the Houston area. Most impactfully, the video draws attention to the many success stories of local entrepreneurs and business owners. “There are way too many dope, Black entrepreneurs in Houston to fit them all into one video,” said Williams, the founder of Twice Media Productions, a Houston-based marketing company that produced the video. Other local businesses and entrepreneurs featured:Darryl King owns five companies with officers across the world and he and his companies have given nearly a half-million dollars in donations and scholarships. Here is the full video of Houston-area, Black-owned businesses:
Abbott Limits Mail-In Ballot Drop-Offs Citing Fraud Fears, But Dems Call BS
Greg Abbott decided on Thursday to limit counties to one location where mail-in ballots can be delivered in-person. Greg Abbott has decided that Texas counties are only allowed to have a single location where voters can drop-off their mail-in ballots, no matter the county’s size. "Harris County is the 3rd largest county in the United States, and Houston is the 4th largest city in the country," Turner continued. "Reducing the number of mail-in ballot drop-off sites from 11 to one is a direct attempt at voter suppression." Hotze has also sued Harris County for allowing mail-in ballots to be dropped-off at multiple locations before election day, saying that it “creates an opportunity ripe for fraud” even though voting experts agree that mail-in ballot fraud is exceedingly rare.houstonpress.com
Abbott issues order limiting number of places mail-in ballots can be dropped off to 1 per county
Greg Abbott issued an order Thursday that limits the number of places voters can drop-off their mail-in ballots to one per county. Abbott said mail ballots can be dropped off in-person at only one place that is designated by each county’s early-voting clerk. Democrats respondAfter Abbott’s order on limiting mail-in ballot drop-off locations, local Democratic leaders noted the restriction as voter suppression. "Our office is more than willing to accommodate poll watchers at mail ballot drop-off locations. order, Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced a plan to open satellite elections offices for voters to drop off completed mail-in ballots.
Did you apply to vote by mail? Here is how to track your application
HOUSTON – Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins announced a new ballot tracking system that will help voters who applied to vote by mail keep tabs on the progress of their application. This is the first time Harris County voters will have the opportunity to track the status of their application form when it received to when their ballot is mailed out and received back, according to a news release. “The Mail Ballot Activity Tracker will provide voters with more information about the status of their vote-by-mail application and mail ballot and will give them an idea of when they can expect to receive election-related mail,” according to the release. Hollins said the Harris County Clerk’s Office is expecting a record number of mail-in ballots, so “providing voters with more information –– so they are able to track their application status when their ballot is mailed to them, and when my office receives their ballot –– gives voters peace of mind about the mail voting process.”Hollins encourages anyone who has applied to vote by mail, to track their application and ballot using the tracker. From there, simply enter your name, date of birth and either the last four digits of your Social Security Number or your Texas ID number.
BBVA Stadium joins list of stadiums to serve as voting center on Election Day
HOUSTON – The BBVA Stadium will join the list of stadiums across the nation to serve as a voting center on Election Day. The Houston Dynamo and Dash teamed up with Rally the Vote in efforts to help drive participation in voting. The stadium will be open to any registered voter in Harris County on Nov. 3. The Toyota Center will be open to any registered voter in Harris County during early voting from Oct. 13 through Oct. 30 and on Election Day on Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.READ: Toyota Center, all other NBA arenas will serve as voting centers for 2020 presidential electionPlanning to cast your ballot at the BBVA Stadium? “I encourage all voters to make a plan to vote and participate in the upcoming election.”You can find a map of all the polling locations in Harris County for early voting and on election day on the Harris County Clerk’s website.
Houston Republicans sue to limit in-person and absentee voting options in Harris County
A litigious conservative activist in Houston, the Harris County Republican party and a number of Republican officials and candidates are asking the Texas Supreme Court to limit in-person and absentee voting options for Harris County voters during the pandemic. Republicans across the country, including leaders in Texas, have sought to cast doubt on the security of absentee ballots — skepticism experts say is not merited. There are documented cases of voter fraud in Texas, but with absentee ballots as overall, it is rare. Texas is one of just a few states that has not allowed for no-excuse absentee ballots during the pandemic. The Trump campaign has encouraged its voters to request absentee ballots, even as the president claims without evidence that it will lead to fraud.
Houston Newsmakers: Harris County ballot battle rages
The state of Texas has one view while Harris County has another. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins is a guest this week on Houston Newsmakers and says the state of Texas is using legal tactics to keep eligible voters from having the opportunity to vote. “We’ve been to court here in Harris County, and we won because the law’s on our side,” he said. See her interview on this week’s program and more on Houston Newsmakers EXTRA with President Stacey Stewart . Houston Newsmakers Sunday mornings at 10:30amMore Information:Chris Hollins, (D) Harris County Clerk· Website: https://www.cclerk.hctx.net/· Twitter: @HarrisVotesMario Diaz, KPRC Investigates· Website: https://www.click2houston.com/team/Y64QYFJB2BCMPL3ZJIAKUVBHA4/· Twitter: @KPRC2MarioStacey Stewart, President & CEO, The March of Dimes· Website: https://bit.ly/369DwX3· Twitter: @MarchOfDimes
Appeals court sides with Harris County in lawsuit over mailing absentee ballot applications
An intermediate state appeals court on Friday sided with Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins in his quest to mail applications for absentee ballots in the November election to every registered voter in the county. But the ruling will not take effect before the case is heard by the Texas Supreme Court. “The State failed to meet its burden of showing that mailing the applications will result in irreparable injury,” the panel wrote. Harris County came under fire from Texas Republicans after announcing it planned to mail out applications for mail-in ballots to all 2.4 million registered voters in the county. The county has already mailed out applications to voters who are 65 and older, as it did in the July primary runoffs.
Mail-In Ballot Confusion Continues to Abound in Harris County
Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins has been ordered by the Texas Supreme Court not to send mail-in ballot applications to all county voters as he'd planned until a lawsuit is settled. The state’s highest court obliged Paxton on Tuesday, when it ordered Hollins not to send out any more mail-in ballot applications until Paxton’s case had run its course. “Fortunately, all vote-by-mail applications have already been delivered to Harris County voters aged 65 and above,” Hollins tweeted in response to the state Supreme Court’s order. On Tuesday, Harris County Commissioners Court approved $1.5 million to pay for printing up to 1.5 million mail-in ballots for the November election. Texas is one of only 16 states with limitations on who can request a mail-in ballot.houstonpress.com
Texas Supreme Court again blocks Harris County from sending mail-in ballot applications to all voters
The Texas Supreme Court granted the Texas attorney general’s request to halt the county’s effort just before a separate order blocking the mailing was set to end. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneThe Texas Supreme Court has once again blocked Harris County from sending mail-in ballot applications to all its 2.4 million registered voters ahead of the November election. The all-Republican court told Harris County to hold off on sending any unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots “until further order” and while the case makes its way through the appeals process. Paxton kicked the request up to the Supreme Court after the appeals court declined his request to block the lower court's ruling and instead set an expedited schedule to consider the appeal. The order in the Harris County case was the second issued by the Supreme Court on Tuesday that affects mail-in voting procedures.
Court denies Paxton’s appeal in Harris County mail-in ballot application case for now
HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal to last week’s court ruling that allows Harris County to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters was denied Tuesday. According to the decision issued by the 14th Court of Appeals, Paxton’s request for an injunction was denied because Paxton and Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins had reached a previous agreement in the Texas Supreme Court. In Texas, voters can cast their ballot by mail if:They will be away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period. “As surely as night follows day, this case will ultimately be decided in the Texas Supreme Court,” KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said. Wice went on to add that based on its batting average in these matters, “The Attorney General’s office will be the prohibitive favorite.”There are approximately 2.4 million registered voters in Harris County.
Texas attorney general appeals ruling that allows Harris County clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to all voters
HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an appeal to a ruling that allows the Harris County clerk to send mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters in the county. Sending applications to all registered voters would sow confusion, Paxton said. Hollins has said he will include literature that lays out the law with every mail-in ballot application that is sent, so voters can decide for themselves if they qualify to request a mail-in ballot. In Texas, voters can cast their ballot by mail if:They will be away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period. Hollins has said the nature of the coronavirus pandemic means he must ensure voters who are sick can still vote.
LIVE: Harris County clerk provides update on election preparations
Published: September 10, 2020, 7:57 am Updated: September 10, 2020, 8:27 amHOUSTON Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins is set to provide an update Thursday on preparations underway for the November election. Hollins is scheduled to speak at NRG Arena after giving the media a tour of the countys election headquarters. The tour is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of Hollins' news conference when it begins. Election Day is Nov. 3. This story will be updated.
Who can vote by mail in Texas? Is it safe?
HOUSTON COVID-19 precautions mean more people will be able to vote by mail in the upcoming election. Who can vote by mail in Texas? Forty-three states and the District of Columbia allow their citizens to vote by mail without restriction. I was a soldier, so when I deployed I used the mail-in ballot to be able to vote in the regular elections from overseas. The key to making sure your mail-in ballot is counted: dont wait until the last minute to mail it in.
In Texas, Republicans fight voting by mail expansion while encouraging their voters to use it
But the ongoing attempts by the White House to sow doubt over the reliability of voting by mail has left Texas voters in a blur of cognitive dissonance. West and other prominent Texas Republicans have floated unsubstantiated concerns that increased mail-in voting creates opportunities for widespread voter fraud. Texas voters must also navigate a mismatch between the U.S. The Texas Democratic Party previously announced it was sending out more than 815,000 applications for mail-in ballots to eligible Texas voters in August. Court battles continueSixty days out from the election, the rules for voting by mail in Texas remain largely the same.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Thursday, Sept. 3
Here are things you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 3:1. Texas Supreme Court stops Harris County from sending ballot-by-mail applications to ineligible registered votersThe Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily stopped the Harris County clerk from sending ballot-by-mail applications to all of the countys 2.4 million registered voters. The stay issued by the court comes just days after a lawsuit was filed by the Harris County Republican Party against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. The Lotto Texas jackpot, which was at its largest prize in more than a decade Wednesday night, only got larger after the numbers drew no winners. 3 things to shareWORD OF THE DAY:Clamber: [ klam-ber, klam-er ] (verb) To climb, using both feet and hands; climb with effort or difficulty.
Texas Supreme Court stops Harris County from sending ballot-by-mail applications to ineligible registered voters
HOUSTON The Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily stopped the Harris County clerk from sending ballot-by-mail applications to all of the countys 2.4 million registered voters. The stay issued by the court comes just days after a lawsuit was filed by the Harris County Republican Party against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. Statement from HollinsOur offices top priority is to protect the right to vote and, during the time of COVID-19, to ensure that Harris County voters can cast their ballots safely. We look forward to sending applications to other eligible voters after we have our day in court. The stay that the Texas Supreme Court issued today simply affirms what we already agreed towe will have a hearing in Harris County District Court in the coming days and then proceed as planned.
Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocks Harris County from sending mail-in ballot applications to all its voters
Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneThe Texas Supreme Court has temporarily blocked Harris County from sending mail-in ballot applications to all its voters for the November election. The decision Wednesday came in response to a lawsuit filed days ago by Republicans in the states largest county. Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins announced last month that the county would send applications to its more than 2.4 million registered voters, an effort to make it easier to participate in the election due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Harris County GOP lawsuit alleges that Hollins is a "rogue clerk who is abusing the application to vote by mail process and compromising the integrity of elections in Harris County." The uproar over the Harris County plan is the latest front in the battle over mail voting during the pandemic in Texas.
With litigation pending, Harris County Clerk’s Office in process of sending out applications for ballots by mail to voters over 65
HOUSTON – The state of Texas filed lawsuit against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins Monday in an effort to stop him from sending ballot by mail applications to all 2.4 million registered voters in the county. And not based in any real understanding of Texas law. We’ve been assured by the County Attorney’s office that what we’re doing is a furthering of our duty as the election administrator in Harris County,” he said. Dissenters of Hollins’ move include the Harris County Republican Party, which filed a petition Sunday with the Texas Supreme Court to stop Hollins. The county GOP says Hollins’ plan could lead people to misuse or abuse the vote-by-mail privilege.
Harris County Clerk sued by state, county GOP over effort to send ballot by mail applications to all registered voters
Harris County Clerk sued by state, county GOP over effort to send ballot by mail applications to all registered votersPublished: August 31, 2020, 6:49 pmThe state of Texas filed suit against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins Monday in an effort to stop him from sending vote by mail applications to all 2.4 million registered voters in the county.
Here’s why Houston’s NRG Park will be a significant spot in 2020 November presidential election
HOUSTON – NRG Arena has been designated as the election headquarters for the Harris County Clerk’s Office for the upcoming 2020 presidential election, NRG Park officials announced Monday. In addition to in-person voting, NRG Park will also serve as a drive-thru voting location, something Hollins likens to pulling up at your favorite fast-food restaurant. In-person Election Day voting will be held Nov. 3 at NRG Arena Proper. “We are proud to provide this facility for Harris County voters to participate in one of the most important rights and responsibilities that we as citizens have,” Executive Director of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation Ryan Walsh said. NRG Park has pledged to maintain the highest standards of public safety and health for the community as proud participants of Houston Clean and ASM Global’s Venue Shield.
Texas sues Harris County to stop it from sending all voters applications for mail-in ballots
Harris County previously announced it planned to send applications for mail-in ballots to every registered voter in the county, prompting objections from the Texas secretary of state. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneNeed to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Acting at the request of the secretary of state, the Texas attorney general on Monday sued Harris County after it refused to drop plans to send applications for mail-in ballots for the November general election to more than 2 million registered voters. The lawsuit marks the latest development in a growing battle over voting by mail in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic. There is no state law that specifically prohibits election officials from sending out mail-in ballot applications to all voters.
Gov. Abbott extends early voting period for November election due to challenges of pandemic
HOUSTON Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday that he issued a proclamation extending the early voting period for the November election by nearly a week in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the proclamation, early voting by personal appearance in Texas will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 13, instead of Monday, Oct. 19. The early voting period will continue till Oct. 30 before Election Day on Nov. 3. For the runoffs, Abbott had doubled the early voting period, shifting the start date from July 6 to June 29. Abbott and other Texas GOP leaders continue to resist a push by Democrats to expand mail-in voting.
Gov. Greg Abbott extends early voting for November election by six days, starting Oct. 13
Greg Abbott on Monday extended the early voting period for the November election by six days, citing continued challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Early voting for the Nov. 3 election will now begin Oct. 13 instead of Oct. 19. During a TV interview in late May, Abbott said he would add more time to the early voting period for the November election like he did for the primary runoff election earlier this month but did not elaborate. In a letter to the governor, Hollins requested Abbott move the start date to Oct. 13 at the latest. For the runoffs, Abbott had doubled the early voting period, shifting the start date from July 6 to June 29.
Coronavirus didnt keep voters from polls Tuesday, Harris County Clerk says
HOUSTON Coronavirus concerns did not keep voters from heading to the polls for the July 14 primary runoff election. Voter turnout during the pandemicLarge crowds were not expected, officials said, because primary runoff elections are typically low turnout. But Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins all 109 polling locations were busy Tuesday. "We've seen a lot of traffic a lot of voters interested in coming out and having their voices heard today. I think voters feel safe and they've heard from their neighbors and friends and family that they are safe at the polls and they're able to go out and cast that vote," he said.
Harris County reports record number of votes by mail for primary runoff
HOUSTON – The Harris County Clerk’s Office reported Monday that they’ve hit a record number of votes by mail for a primary runoff election. In the first week, a total of 79,818 voters cast their ballots. The number of mail ballots has increased due to a surge in voters 65 years of age and older who are opting to vote from home. It’s important to note that in early June, the County Clerk’s Office sent mail ballot applications to every registered voter aged 65 and up in Harris County due to concerns related to COVID-19. Voters who are not able to vote by mail should take advantage of the last few days of early voting,” Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins is quoted as saying in a news release.
New safety protocols in effect during first day of early voting in Harris County
HOUSTON Early voting kicked off in Harris County with major changes to keep voters and poll workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. When you go to a polling center you will see the following:Free masks if you dont have oneSocial distancing signs and markings on the floorHand sanitizing stations at the entrance and exitDisinfecting wipes to clean your voting machineFinger covers to push buttons on the machine if you dont have glovesPoll workers wearing masks and face shields behind plexiglassWere providing all these extra measures to ensure that youre not exposed to other voters, poll workers and that were keeping our poll workers safe too, said Chris Hollins, interim Harris County Clerk. Voters said they appreciated the additional precautions. It made me feel a lot safer, its more measures than I thought would be taken, Blake Lambert said. Here are the dates and times for voting in Harris County:Early Voting:June 29 - July 2, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.July 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.July 6 - July 9, 7 a.m. -7 p.m.July 10, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.Election day is July 14 and the polls are open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.