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Texas Matters: Elections In A Pandemic, Coronavirus Special Session And Chickens

Tricia Schwennesen
Texas Public Radio

Citing the state’s stay-at-home order, the Texas secretary of state is instructing municipalities to delay their May 2 elections.

In an email to local election officials sent Thursday afternoon, the state’s director of elections said cities, towns and school boards that hadn’t pushed their upcoming elections to November “must take action to do so immediately” or risk facing a challenge in court.

Also on Thursday a separate advisory was sent to local election officials, state officials signaled that the state’s voting-by-mail qualifications could extend to voters affected by the pandemic.

But a coalition of voting rights advocates are calling that advisory insufficient. They are demanding more transparency from the Texas secretary of state’s office in this time of uncertainty.

Joaquin Gonzalez is a staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Organizations that advocate for voting rights in Texas are calling on Ruth Hughs Texas Secretary of State to explain what the state is doing to protect elections and voting rights during the pandemic. I have repeatedly reached out to the Secretary of State’s office seeking a statement or an interview. I received no response.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is holding daily briefing on the Coronavirus crisis in Texas. He’s making announcements and issuing executive orders. But Texas has lagged behind other states in cracking on social distancing. Texas state representative Trey Martinez Fischer says the governor could be doing a lot more to improve the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Antonio Democrat says hospitals and health care in Texas could be improved if the Abbott would take action.

Backyard Chickens

Eggs are one of those difficult-to-find items at the grocery store. But for people who have adopted backyard chickens as a hobby – that’s not a problem. And others are taking note and have decided to start their own flock of yard birds. But Kim Rocha who runs a facebook page Backyard Chickens of San Antonio says folks need to realize what they are signing up for.

David Martin Davies can be reached at DMDavies@TPR.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi