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The Source: Do Texans Deserve Transparency Of State Spending For Voter Education?

VoteTexas on YouTube http://bit.ly/2nbv8QY
A 2016 television spot by VoteTexas.gov, an online resource "powered" by the Secretary of State's office for Voter ID education. The state has since refused to disclose how much of the $2.5 million campaign was devoted to media ads.

Despite Texas' efforts to educate the public on its controversial voter ID laws, the state's voter registration and participation remains among the lowest in the country.  

As required, the Secretary of State's office spent $2.5 million on voter ID education for the 2016 presidential election that included partnering with about 1,800 community groups and placing television and radio ad buys, but refuses to disclose the specifics of these publicity efforts. 

First-of-its-kind legislation proposed by San Antonio State Representative Justin Rodriguez would require the state's chief elections office to report in detail how public dollars are spent on voter education programs, including an estimate of how many Texas voters were successfully reached.


Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos was not able to join the conversation on today's program, but provided a written statement: 

“The Secretary of State’s office has consistently followed the law with regard to disclosure of information and will continue to follow the law and the direction of the legislature.”

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi
Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.