TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE
Hundreds of mail-in ballot applications are being rejected under Texas’ new voting rules
Texas Republicans last year enacted new identification requirements for voting by mail as part of sweeping legislation that further restricted the state’s voting process and narrowed local control of elections.
First part of Texas’ 2020 election audit reveals few issues, echoes findings from review processes already in place
An initial review of four counties’ election results — launched after pressure from former President Donald Trump and touted by GOP leaders — showed few discrepancies between electronic and hand counts of ballots in a sample of voting precincts.
Texas’ renewed voter citizenship review is still flagging citizens as “possible non-U.S. citizens”
The secretary of state’s office says it is following the legal settlement agreement it entered in 2019 after botching its first review effort. But scores of citizens are still being marked for citizenship verification — and possible removal from the rolls.
Capital Highlights — Drier, warmer weather in November
Blame it on La Niña.By the end of November, nearly half the state was experiencing drought conditions, up 25 percentage points from the end of October, according to Dr.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Cameron County asks some voters to verify eligibility
Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza has mailed letters to registered voters in the county asking that they verify their citizenship. According to the letter, Garza states he has been contacted by the Texas Secretary of State’s Office that reflects the voter might not be a U.S. citizen. The letter states that although you can get a driver’s license and personal identification card as a non-United States citizen, only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote. Voters who received the letter are required to provide proof of citizenship 30 days from the receipt of the letter. The first batch of letters were mailed out on Sept. 27 and a second batch was mailed out on Nov. 15, Garza said.myrgv.com
Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting Plans
The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the State’s redistricting plans for the Texas congressional delegation and the Texas House of Representatives. The United States’ complaint asks the court to prohibit Texas from conducting elections under the challenged plans and asks the court to order Texas to devise and implement new plans that comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The complaint also asks the court to establish interim plans pending a lawful state redistricting. On Sept. 1, the department issued guidance under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, for redistricting and methods of electing government bodies. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/crt/voting-section.justice.gov
Texas’ new secretary of state doesn’t deny Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, but he’s still prioritizing an election audit
John Scott briefly represented Donald Trump's legal effort to challenge the election results in Pennsylvania. In an interview, he said there’s no question that Joe Biden is the president and he has “not seen anything” to suggest the election was stolen.
Days after disclosing election “audits” in four Texas counties, secretary of state’s office gives some details of their scope
The state agency last week announced a “full forensic audit” in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. But based on details released Tuesday, it appears the scope of the effort may be more limited than what the term may suggest.
Texas county officials call election audits an unnecessary partisan ploy while voicing confidence in 2020 results
Officials in some counties targeted by audits accuse Republican Texas leaders of pandering to conspiracy theorists and undermining faith in elections. They also say the secretary of state’s office hasn’t provided details on what the audits entail.
Texas Senate too late with hastily conjured bill allowing party officials to trigger audits of 2020 election
The bill, approved by the Senate and never considered by the House, would have allowed state and local party chairs to file requests to launch audits, but Republicans say the legislation would not have spawned a debacle akin to the controversial review underway in Arizona.
Texas election results webpage down, Secretary of State says
The Texas Secretary of State's election results webpage crashed Tuesday night due to technical difficulties, according to the Texas Secretary of State. ELECTION DAY: If you waited until Election Day to cast your vote, there's a cool new 'I Voted' sticker for youThe Secretary of State was working with its vendor to fix the issue, but said the problem won't have any effect on data to third parties or news outlets. VOTER TURNOUT: How Trump did with early voting in Harris County in 2016 vs. 2020While the Secretary of State did not share exactly what the difficulties entailed, a later tweet clarified that the problem was affecting the website's front-end display and was not a malicious attack.chron.com
This is Texas' rule on selfies at polling stations
We understand documenting that you’ve voted is important to a lot of people — especially when you get that “I Voted” sticker. You should be proud of yourself for casting your vote, but know that there are strict rules in some places when it comes to taking pictures at polling places. Here in Texas, we have some of the stricter restrictions concerning photos while voting, according to the Texas Secretary of State website. And if you’re thinking of going old school and taking an actual camera, the same restrictions apply there. When in doubt, just wait until you’re back in your car to snap that “I Voted” sticker selfie.
Ask 2: Since straight-ticket voting has been eliminated in Texas, will party affiliation be listed next to each candidate?
Question: Since they are removing the straight-ticket voting, will the party affiliation be listed next to each candidate? In Harris County, party affiliations will be provided in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese, according to the county’s sample ballot. House Bill 25, which eliminated straight-ticket voting, also known as straight-party voting, was introduced in the 85th Texas legislative session in 2017 and became effective Sept. 1, 2020. Here’s a direct link to sample ballot access of counties in our area:To view your county’s sample ballot, visit the county’s official website. For more information about voting in Texas, contact the Texas Secretary of State office at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683).
Ask 2: Where can I get a mail-in ballot?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. The question: Where can I get a mail-in ballot? The answer: You can get a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election, but you need to be eligible. Instructions on how to fill out your mail-in ballot request can be found here. Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.