Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of State’

The state’s voter ID failure is much bigger than you think

You really have to read this. The confusion started in the first hour of the first day of early voting in San Antonio last October. Signs in polling places about the state’s controversial voter ID law contained outdated rules. Poll workers gave voters incorrect information. Lines were long — full of people who were full […]

Voter ID education was a massive failure

This is outrageous. The University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs recently completed a report, “The Texas Voter ID Law and the 2016 Election,” based on surveys of registered voters who sat out the 2016 elections in the state’s two highest profile battleground jurisdictions: Harris County and Congressional District 23 (CD-23), which stretches from […]

Bill to force transparency on voter ID outreach filed

I approve. A state lawmaker wants to shine a light on how Texas spends millions of taxpayer dollars to educate the public about its controversial voter ID law. Democratic Rep. Justin Rodriguez is proposing legislation that for the first time in Texas calls for transparency of spending for voter education campaigns by requiring the Texas […]

On those “improper” votes

Let’s be clear about this. Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state’s toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election by signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The chief election officers in two of the state’s largest counties […]

AG’s office sanctioned in voter registration lawsuit

They were warned. A federal judge has ordered sanctions against the state of Texas for blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents in a lawsuit challenging its voter registration practices. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office’s “months-long delay” in producing the documents “has been disruptive, time […]

The people who would have been denied the opportunity to vote in 2016

There were a lot of them. At least 16,400 Texans who voted in the November election wouldn’t have been able to cast ballots if the state’s voter identification law had been in full effect, state voting records show. […] Through a public records request to the Texas secretary of state’s office, the American-Statesman obtained copies […]

State fails to respond to voter registration lawsuit

Here’s an update on a different voting rights lawsuit from last year. Civil rights lawyers suing Texas over its voter registration practices are asking a federal judge to sanction the state for allegedly blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents related to the case. The Texas […]

Chris Suprun’s eventful year in voting

How weird is this? The self-described “voting addict” was an apparent casualty of the confusion amid legal wrangling over the state’s 2011 voter ID law. Now, [Texas Republican elector Chris] Suprun is calling for courts to clarify the rules once and for all. “Pick a course and run with it,” he urged U.S. District Court […]

Recount in HD105

Still not decided yet. The tight Texas House District 105 race between Republican state Rep. Rodney Anderson and Democratic challenger Terry Meza is headed for a recount. Meza trails Anderson by 69 votes, according to the latest Dallas County elections office tally. The Secretary of State’s office today approved Meza’s request for the recount, which […]

We may never know how the state did its court-ordered voter ID outreach

We sure don’t know how the money was spent on it. On a television ad airing ahead of Election Day, Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos declares: “It’s voting season in Texas.” The 30-second spot tailored by international public relations giant Burson-Marsteller is supposed to serve as a quick explainer to educate Texans on new […]

Voter ID problems still abound

Hardly a surprise. This much is clear after two days of early voting in Texas: Legal wrangling over the state’s voter identification law is stirring confusion at the polls. Amid Texans’ mad dash to polling places this week, the front end of 12 days of voting before Election Day, civil rights groups and some voters […]

Statewide registrations top 15 million

Not too shabby. Texas has a record-breaking 15 million people registered to vote ahead of the November election, the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday. Texas has 15,015,700 voters registered according to a preliminary estimate — over 777,000 more than were registered in time for the March primaries. The deadline to register to vote was […]

Stan Stanart talks election security

I have a few thoughts as well. Over the course of the presidential race, concern has grown about digitally safeguarding election results. New cyber security threats seem to emerge monthly. Republican Donald Trump has repeatedly contended the presidential election will be “rigged.” And suspected Russian hackers have broken into computer systems of the Democratic Party. […]

Voter registration way up statewide

That’s a lot. Nearly 15 million people are now registered to vote in Texas, a state record. Texas currently has more than 14.8 million voters registered — over 1 million more than were registered in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. Keith Ingram, director of elections for the secretary […]

McMullin will “appear” on the ballot

To the extent that a write-in candidate “appears” on the ballot, anyway. Texas voters will be able to vote for former CIA operative Evan McMullin for president in November. The Texas secretary of state’s office on Friday certified McMullin, who is running as an independent, as a write-in candidate for the general election. McMullin, a […]

State accused of misleading on voter ID education outreach

I know, I’m as shocked as you are. The federal government is accusing Texas of circulating “inaccurate or misleading information” to poll workers and would-be voters about relaxed identification requirements for the November elections. “Limited funds are being spent on inaccurate materials,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a legal filing Tuesday. The filing […]

Texas begins its voter ID education outreach

For what it’s worth. Texas on Wednesday kicked off a voter education campaign ahead of the November elections amid heightened scrutiny of the state’s voter ID law. Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups, the state is required to spend $2.5 million to educate voters about its voter ID […]

Independent candidate lawsuit update

There’s already been a lawsuit filed by a wannabe independent candidate for President seeking to get on the ballot in Texas, but not by that guy you might have heard of. It’s still up in the air whether Evan McMullin, a former CIA agent who declared his presidential candidacy this month, will make it on […]

How is the state going to do its voter ID education outreach?

You don’t need to know. Texas will spend $2.5 million to spread the word about changes to the state’s voter ID law before the November election, but will not release details of how that money will be spent. More than half of that taxpayer money will be spent on advertising, but officials will not say […]

Another Voting Rights Act violation alleged

From Friday: Today, a coalition of 10 groups sent a letter to Carlos Casco, Secretary of State of Texas, requesting that his office take immediate steps to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1985 (VRA) and the Texas Elections Code. Evidence currently shows that the State is failing to provide critical materials for […]

Getting ready for the new voter ID universe

It’s a scramble. With roughly two months before early voting starts, Texas election officials are facing the difficult task of training thousands of poll workers and educating the public about court-ordered changes to a voter ID law – all while under an intense microscope. That process is expected to be exacerbated by the sheer size […]

Voter registration numbers keep increasing

Always good news, though it’s hard to say anything definitive. County elections officials across Texas are reporting a spike in registered voters this election cycle, with one county now exceeding one million registered voters for the first time ever. Earlier this week, Bexar County Elections said they surpassed 1 million registered voters, according to News […]

AG asked to investigate Hill County ballot irregularities

Weird, but we’ll see. The Texas Attorney General’s office has been asked to launch an investigation into allegations that multiple people voted illegally in the 2016 Republican primary elections in Hill County, despite local officials’ claims that the discrepancies were caused by human error and would not have affected the results of any elections. The […]

Two runoff recounts in the works

It’s not over yet in HD128. In a reversal, state Rep. Wayne Smith is now pursuing a recount in his narrow loss in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff. Deer Park attorney Briscoe Cain beat Smith, a longtime incumbent from Baytown, by 23 votes in the runoff. As soon as the outcome became clear in House District […]

Meyers’ voter ID lawsuit gets appellate hearing

I hope he gets to keep it going. [Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Lawrence] Meyers filed his state lawsuit in October 2014, while another legal challenge to the state’s voter ID law was pending in federal court in Corpus Christi. A federal judge overturned the law, but it has remained in effect during the state’s […]

Reps. Green and Green want investigation of voting machine shortage

I have three things to say about this. Two Houston congressmen are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether unequal distribution of voting machines and polling locations in Harris County disenfranchised minority voters during the March 1 primary election. In a letter dated March 15, U.S. Reps. Al Green and Gene Green, both […]

Greg Abbott does not approve of Robert Morrow

Aw, that’s so cute. As the battle for control of the Travis County GOP heats up, and its newly elected chair writes increasingly raunchy tweets at breakneck speed, Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped into the fray to condemn his fellow Republican. “Robert Morrow in no way speaks for the Republican Party or its values,” read […]

More on voting centers

I’ll be interested to see how this goes in Galveston. Just in time for the November election, Galveston County has launched the first mobile app of its kind in the state, called “Galveston Votes.” It uses GPS to direct people with lightning speed to the closest voting center. Fort Bend County in November will make […]

Meyers voter ID lawsuit to proceed

An update on that other voter ID lawsuit. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers claims that the state’s voter ID law violates the Texas Constitution, and the court ruled that the case will proceed after rejecting defendants’ arguments that the court lacked jurisdiction. Meyers—who filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as […]

Voter ID may have had broader effects than we thought

Interesting. Texas’ strict voter identification requirements kept many would-be voters in a Hispanic-majority congressional district from going to the polls last November — including many who had proper IDs — a new survey shows. And the state’s voter ID law – coupled with lackluster voter education efforts – might have shaped the outcome of a […]

Montgomery County “voter fraud” case update

Glad to hear this. The whole case is ridiculous. A self-described “egghead,” Jim Jenkins accomplished his dream by founding his own microsystems company. He also takes satisfaction in being a Christian conservative who is unabashedly proud of his 11 grandchildren. At the same time, the 64-year-old Woodlands resident acknowledges being “bullheaded” and willing to risk […]

SOS to review motor voter complaints

I hope this amounts to more than lip service. The Texas Secretary of State has agreed to study why thousands of Texans have complained over the past year and a half that they had problems registering to vote despite a federal law that requires all states to offer voter registration in offices where citizens apply […]

Point/counterpoint on online voter registration

Point. Texans can use www.Texas.gov for nearly 1,000 services, such as applying for concealed handgun licenses and driver records, and renewing driver licenses, vehicle registrations and many state-required professional licenses. It is time to allow Texans to use this proven, secure online portal to register voters. Online voter registration does not allow online voting. Under […]

Backlash anti-gay marriage bill heard in committee

Turns out bigotry has a price tag. House Bill 1745, by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), seeks to bar Texas officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their marriages—regardless of whether courts determine the state’s ban is unconstitutional. More than a dozen witnesses gave nearly two hours of sometimes emotional testimony during a […]