Voting | Texas Public Radio

Voting

Mairy Reyes (right), a civic engagement officer with the nonprofit group Mi Familia Vota, registers students to vote at Colonial High School in Orlando, Fla.

A Simple Election Day, Mostly Yes or No Answers

Nov 3, 2015
Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune

Voting on constitutional amendments may not carry the same cachet as elections featuring living candidates, but Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos hopes Texans will head to the polls for Election Day nonetheless.

*Correction appended.

“There’s not a lot of romance in ‘em,” Cascos said. “These amendments aren’t debating each other, they aren’t calling each other out. But I think they’re very, very important — they’re changing and adding to framework of the Texas constitution.”

Voting machines around the United States are coming to the end of their useful lives. Breakdowns are increasingly common. Spare parts are difficult, if not impossible, to find. That could be a serious problem for next year's presidential elections.

Allen County, Ohio, election director Ken Terry knows how bad things can get. In the last presidential election, he had to replace the Zip disks — a 1990s technology — in the main machine his county uses to count votes. The disks are no longer made. And when he finally got some from the voting machine manufacturer:

This week, NPR examines public corruption in South Texas. The FBI has launched a task force to clean up entrenched wrongdoing by public servants in the Rio Grande Valley. In the final part of this series, we examine vote-stealing and election fraud.

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

AUSTIN — A pilot program allowing soldiers in hostile fire zones to vote via email is being touted as a success after just eight soldiers from Bexar County cast ballots in Texas’ general elections last year.

State lawmakers now are poised to expand the program, likely to Bell County, home to Fort Hood, and El Paso County, home to Fort Bliss. Bexar County includes military-heavy San Antonio.

Millions of voters — about 1 in 5 — are expected to vote absentee, or by mail, in November's midterm elections. For many voters, it's more convenient than going to the polls.

But tens of thousands of these mail-in ballots are likely to be rejected — and the voter might never know, or know why.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that in 2012 more than a quarter of a million absentee ballots were rejected.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Bexar County is exploring the feasibility of placing early voting sites on several Alamo Colleges campuses. Officials say it’s an idea that has been tried sporadically at different colleges around town, and now the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) wants to make the idea permanent.

The group is asking the county to look at a new way to get more young people involved in voting. LULAC spokesman Roman Peña said the group asked for its student voter project to be implemented for early voting at all of the Alamo Colleges campuses.

Mose Buchele / StateImpact Texas

 This week of Juneteenth, we're taking a look at the 2012 voting numbers for African-Americans, and why there is a gap between younger generations and those from the civil rights era of the 1960s.  

"Lost in translation," is what the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Houston Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner, says may be happening when it comes to younger generation blacks showing up at the polls.  He says critical votes cast during events like the civil rights movement are simply just history for a younger generation.

Chris Eudaily | Texas Public Radio

In the first segment:

The low-information voter: The often-complained-about citizen who knows when voting day is, but not enough to make a sound decision on the issues, or candidates.

At least that is what the people who lose think.

This term is often thrown around when "people vote against their interest" or "the media frames an issue in a way to mislead."  

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