Vote-by-mail rejections are testing integrity of Texas Republicans’ voting law
With less than a month left to vote by mail in the March primary election, hundreds of applications for mail-in ballots are being rejected as both Texas voters and local election officials decipher new ID requirements enacted by Republican lawmakers.
Court fight brews over constitutionality of Texas governor’s border arrests
A legal defense group is asking Travis County courts to throw out the arrests of hundreds of migrants swept up in the governor’s border initiative. The case is expected to draw in the Texas attorney general and address whether Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan is unconstitutional.
Texas judge opens door for widespread constitutional challenges to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative
A Travis County judge Thursday tossed out the trespassing charge of an Ecuadorian man who said he came to the United States seeking asylum. His lawyers argued that the governor’s directive to arrest migrants on state charges unconstitutionally usurps federal immigration law.
Study finds COVID in Texas white-tails
The study by scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso looked at white-tailed deer in Travis County. Their conclusions matched research confirming COVID in deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. Watts and fellow researchers studied blood samples from 54 hunter-harvested deer in Travis County during the first two months of 2021. The COVID risk to hunters who harvest deer in Texas is regarded as low. The research paper on the Travis County deer herd was published in the journal “Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.”myrgv.com
Amid Texas GOP’s effort to question electoral integrity, attorney general tried to indict Travis County elections chief
The effort to charge Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir came at a time when many Texas Republicans questioned the integrity of last year’s election despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Facing civil suit, DA Ori White denies allegations that he wrongly fired assistant – The Big Bend Sentinel
In the suit, Phillips alleged that White and Houston wanted the case back in local jurisdiction to get a more lenient plea deal. Phillips believes his firing was because he reported his belief of wrongdoing in these four incidents to DA White. While details of the specific case are not provided in the lawsuit, Phillips filed to dismiss the case. Asked why he believed Phillips had filed the suit, White said, “He’s not a happy person,” and declined to comment further on the allegations. Three of the counties named as defendants in the suit have filed to request the venue be moved to district court in the local counties.bigbendsentinel.com
Letter from comptroller shows state support for Samsung Semiconductor facility location in Williamson County
A letter from the Texas comptroller shows state support for the Samsung semiconductor facility, which has filed applications for tax limitation agreements locally in Travis and Williamson Counties.communityimpact.com
Court hears arguments in Valley mask lawsuit
A Travis County District Judge Tuesday heard more testimony and arguments over several Rio Grande Valley school districts who sued Gov. The court heard several hours of testimony on masks from representatives from Hidalgo County and other parties related to the suit on Monday. Judge Catherine Mauzy, who heard the testimony and arguments, said she was set to hear testimony on two related TROs tomorrow. Representing Valley school districts, O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo attorney David Campbell argued the governor was overstepping his bounds with the mask fight. “Because that is the only thing the school districts are trying to do in this case,” he said.myrgv.com
No Decision: Judge recesses hearing on masks
The Brownsville Independent School District's policy of requiring face masks in classrooms remained in effect Monday after a hearing in Travis County over Gov. Greg Abbott's attempt to block mask mandates by the state's two largest school districts and several from the Rio Grande Valley including Brownsville.myrgv.com
Hidalgo County officials testify at mask mandate hearing
Greg Abbott over the authority to mandate masks at a local level. An order issued by Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez issued just before the start of the school year also mandates masks, unless districts vote to opt out of it. The court also heard from representatives from Hidalgo County’s largest school district, among them Edinburg CISD Board President Mike Farias, who said there’s been little local opposition to the district’s mask mandate. “As a matter of fact, on our first day of opening school our superintendent received a total of four phone calls, with expressing them not agreeing with the mask mandates. “The mask mandate for La Joya ISD is critical because we need to make sure that we keep students in school, and we believe that the mask mandate can help us (do) that,” she said.myrgv.com
Court: Democrats who don’t show up for Legislature can be arrested
House Democrats who refuse to show up for the Legislature could soon be detained by law enforcement and brought back to the state Capitol, after the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday voided a state district judge's temporary restraining order barring their arrest.myrgv.com
Judge blocks arrests of lawmakers who won’t return to Texas
Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan from “detaining, confining or otherwise restricting” the free movement of House Democrats within the state or issuing any warrants ordering their confinement. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 19 House Democrats by attorneys Sam Bassett, Jeremy Monthy and Megan Rue. It is the second lawsuit filed by House Democrats in an attempt to avoid arrest if they returned to Texas. The other was filed by attorney Craig Washington in federal court in Austin on behalf of 22 House Democrats. White is not named as a defendant in the case in state court.myrgv.com
Austin announces stricter coronavirus protocols for unvaccinated residents as cases increase. But it can’t legally enforce them.
The city’s return to Stage 3 risk-based guidelines marks the first time a major Texas city has reversed direction in the trend toward normalcy. But others are also reporting surges in cases.
Army sergeant indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges after fatally shooting Austin protester Garrett Foster in 2020
Army Sgt. Daniel Perry shot and killed Foster, who was legally armed, after an altercation during a protest against police brutality last summer, police said. Perry argues it was in self defense.
Charges dropped against 2 in deadly Austin shooting
AUSTIN (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping criminal charges against two juveniles after police identified a different gunman in a mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed a tourist and wounded more th[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Charges dropped against 2 in deadly Austin shooting
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping criminal charges against two juveniles after police identified a different gunman in a mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed a tourist and wounded more than a dozen others, authorities said Tuesday.myrgv.com
“If you are vaccinated, go for it”: Large counties roll back some pandemic-era limits as COVID-19 deaths drop statewide
Officials in Travis and Harris counties — both early adopters of pandemic restrictions — rolled some back Tuesday in an effort to allow vaccinated residents to return to pre-pandemic living.
Authorities say they won’t seek charges after investigating allegation that a lobbyist drugged a Texas Capitol staffer
The Texas Department of Public Safety and Travis County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday “that there is not enough evidence to support” an allegation that a lobbyist used a date rape drug on a Capitol staffer and that “no crime occurred in this instance.”
Court says Ken Paxton’s case against Austin and Travis County for issuing New Years curfew is moot, dismisses case
An Austin court on Thursday dismissed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s appeal challenging Travis County and Austin’s New Years holiday curfew, months after it ended — in a perhaps symbolic win for local officials.
Tribcast: Texas Legislature considers voting restrictions
<figcaption> The Travis County Tax Office in Austin was the only drive-thru location open for hand delivery of mail-in ballots in the county during early voting in the fall of 2020. <cite>Credit: Amna Ijaz/The Texas Tribune</cite> </figcaption>
San Antonio residents must register by April 1 to vote in May
San Antonio residents, we have some important information for you. The last day to register to vote for the May 1 election is Thursday, April 1, according to a news release from the City of San Antonio. Early voting sites include the Bexar County Elections Office along with 37 other locations. To view a complete list of sites and hours of voting, please visit sanntonio.gov. For voter registration information or to request an application for a mail ballot, place call the Bexar County Voter Registration Office at (210) 335-8683 or visit bexar.org.mysanantonio.com
Masks stay enforced in Austin, Travis County
After a back-and-forth battle over masks, Austin and Travis County ended up on top. On Friday, a Travis County judge declined to block Austin and Travis County's order requiring employees and customers to wear a face mask in businesses, according to a tweet from Travis County Judge Andy Brown. RELATED: Austin mayor responds to Texas AG's threat with 'Office' GIF and statementTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Travis County officials after enforcing a public health face mask order not long after Gov. In short, public health mandates are allowed under a different state law, which leaves the face mask mandate in place. However, for now, if you're in Travis County, mask up.mysanantonio.com
Austin and Travis County officials can keep enforcing local mask mandate for now, judge says
Paxton sued the local officials for refusing to end the mandate after Gov. District Judge Lora Livingston has yet to issue a final ruling on the merits of the case, meaning Austin and Travis officials may later be told to comply with state officials. Ad“I've been doing everything that I can to protect the health and safety of people in Travis County,” Brown said in an interview. However, this was not the case in Travis County where officials said they would continue to require public mask use. Therefore, masks remained required in Travis County in the meantime.
Austin can keep enforcing mask mandate for at least two weeks until trial is held, judge says
Austin and Travis County officials can continue enforcing their mask mandates after a district judge delayed action on the Texas attorney general’s request to immediately stop the mandates. That means city and county officials can continue to require masks until at least March 26, when District Judge Lora Livingston will hold a trial. "I told Travis County and the City of Austin to comply with state mask law. Travis County Judge Andy Brown counts the two-week delay as a win. The pandemic has especially impacted Texans of color — including in El Paso where Paxton previously blocked a county judge from ordering non-essential businesses to shut down.
Face mask mandate stays in Austin until court date
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the public health face mask order that requires all Travis County residents to wear them will remain in effect for the next two weeks. The order stays after a U.S. District Court judge refused to grant the State of Texas an emergency, a temporary injunction on Friday. Greg Abbott's new order, which doesn't force Texans to wear a face mask starting Wednesday. However, the second threat isn't stopping the Austin officials. Adler said they will continue to support their health officials on the face mask matter.mysanantonio.com
Texas AG sues Austin, Travis County to block mask mandate
AUSTIN, Texas – Acting on his threat, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Austin and Travis County officials on Thursday over their decision to continue requiring mask-wearing in public. “Judge Brown and I will fight to defend and enforce our local health officials’ rules for as long as possible using all the power and tools available to us," Adler said in a statement. State officials reported that 4,053 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Thursday raised the Texas pandemic total past the 2.7 million level to 2,704,344. Of those, the Texas Department of State Health Services estimated that 121,882 cases were active Thursday and 4,406 hospitalizations Wednesday, the latest data available. AdThe state reported 231 new COVID-19 fatalities in Texas on Thursday, taking the state's pandemic death toll past 45,000 to 45,106.
Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Austin over mask policy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Travis County and Austin officials in an effort to force them to rescind their local mask orders, he announced Thursday. "I told Travis County & The City of Austin to comply with state mask law," Paxton tweeted. There have been more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Travis County in the past two weeks. Brown said the authority to impose the local mask mandate comes from the county health authority, not from Brown’s emergency powers. Paxton’s office successfully defeated an effort by Travis and Austin officials to restrict in-person dining at restaurants around New Year’s.mysanantonio.com
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues Austin to stop it from imposing a local mask order
A COVID-19 safety sign in Austin on June 24, 2020. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Travis County and Austin officials in an effort to force them to rescind their local mask orders, he announced Thursday. "I told Travis County & The City of Austin to comply with state mask law," Paxton tweeted. There have been more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Travis County in the past two weeks. Travis County Judge Andy Brown, who presides over the county government, said the authority to impose the local mask mandate comes from the county health authority, not from Brown’s emergency powers. Paxton’s office successfully defeated an effort by Travis and Austin officials to restrict in-person dining at restaurants around New Year’s.
Texas attorney general threatens to sue Austin officials if they don't lift local mask mandates
Texas' attorney general on Wednesday threatened to sue officials in Austin and Travis County if they did not lift local mask mandates. The governor's executive order, which took effect Wednesday, also lifted capacity restrictions on the state's businesses. It allowed local officials to impose "mitigation strategies" if hospitalizations surge, but banned them from punishing residents who defy mask guidance and from limiting business capacity to less than 50%. He addressed the letter to Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, both of whom have said local mask mandates will remain in effect. "It does not rest with jurisdictions like the City of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities.cbsnews.com
Texas attorney general threatens to sue Austin officials if they don't lift local mask mandates
Texas' attorney general on Wednesday threatened to sue officials in Austin and Travis County if they did not lift local mask mandates. The governor's executive order, which took effect Wednesday, also lifted capacity restrictions on the state's businesses. He addressed the letter to Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, both of whom have said local mask mandates will remain in effect. "It does not rest with jurisdictions like the City of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities. pic.twitter.com/IP9UpZPplh — Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) March 10, 2021Abbott's executive order drew immediate criticism after it was announced.cbsnews.com
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warns Austin to drop mask mandate by 6 p.m. Wednesday or be sued
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to sue Travis County and the City of Austin if officials don’t back down on local orders that continue to require masks despite Gov. Austin and Travis County public health leaders recently announced they would continue to require masks, even though Abbott forbade local authorities from superseding his order. It does not rest with jurisdictions like the city of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities,” Paxton wrote in a statement Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/IP9UpZPplh — Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) March 10, 2021“Otherwise, on behalf of the state of Texas,” Paxton wrote, “I will sue you.”Paxton’s office successfully challenged Austin and Travis officials’ attempts to restrict holiday restaurant operations around New Year’s. Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
Texas woman convicted in child’s death released from prison on new evidence
AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas woman convicted of murder in the 2003 choking death of a boy she was babysitting was released from prison on bond after a judge said new evidence shows she didn’t intentionally hurt the child. Travis County District Judge Karen Sage ordered Rosa Jimenez released on bond Wednesday, citing “clear and convincing evidence.” The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will make the ultimate decision on whether to overturn Jimenez’s conviction or grant a new trial. Jimenez has served 15 years in prison in the death of 21-month-old Bryan Gutierrez, who choked on a wad of paper towels while in Jimenez’s care. Ad“Justice delayed is justice denied, and I am deeply sorry for that,” Sage said in her decision. The Innocence Project, which is representing Jimenez, said Jimenez has advanced kidney disease that makes her particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, which has ravaged prisons throughout the U.S.Jimenez was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Bexar County’s 11% increase in home sales in 2020 surpassed other major Texas counties
SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT. Bexar County saw the greatest percentage increase in home sales of the four largest Texas counties last year, according to the latest multiple listing system report from the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Bexar County saw a 11.2% increase in home sales in 2020 — 27,855 homes last year compared to 24,936 in 2019. Travis County saw a 3.2% increase; Harris County saw a 6.7% increase; and Dallas County saw a 4% increase. Read more on this story at the San Antonio Business Journal.
Austin won’t be allowed to restrict dining-in at restaurants, Texas Supreme Court says
In a further blow to the state, Texas’ Third Court of Appeals swiftly rejected an appeal later that night. Friday’s Supreme Court order, however, directs the lower court to block enforcement of the orders, pending any further appeal. Abbott, that allows for dine-in restaurant service and bars local officials from enacting more restrictive rules. Abbott and Paxton have sparred with other local officials who pushed aggressive measures meant to tamp down on the virus’ spread. Samaniego ordered a curfew similar to that in Austin and Travis County for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Austin can prohibit late on-site dining over holiday weekend, judge rules. But the state could appeal.
Elia Montoya serves breakfast dishes to U.S. Rep. Chip Roy and his family at Juan In A Million in East Austin in May. After the ruling, Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz announced on Twitter that the state would appeal. Under the curfew, patrons are not ordered to leave at 10:30 p.m., but they could not be served on-site. “It is our position that these local officials are in the best position to make the best decision for this jurisdiction,” said Travis County attorney Leslie Dippell. “My executive order stops cities like Austin from arbitrarily shutting down businesses,” he said.
Keying up fight over local control, Texas AG sues Austin over new restrictions to curb COVID-19
Abbott’s executive orders by shutting down businesses in Travis County and our state’s capital city,” said Paxton in a statement. “The fact that these two local leaders released their orders at night and on the eve of a major holiday shows how much contempt they have for Texans and local businesses. "Texas' Republican leadership has tussled with Democrat-controlled municipalities for months over their efforts to impose local rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus. "Today in Texas, COVID-19 represents one in five of every person hospitalized," Austin Public Health Medical Director Mark Escott said of his city's new restrictions . "The policies that we’ve had have not worked to curb the spread of the disease … Now it’s the time to reconsider those decisions so that we can protect Texas."sacurrent.com
Gov. Greg Abbott says Austin's new dine-in restrictions are not allowed. Period.
Tom Reel/Staff photographerGov. Greg Abbott says Austin and Travis County's new order – that bans dine-in restaurants and bars from allowing guests into their businesses between 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Thursday through Sunday – isn't allowed. During those hours, the new order, announced by Austin Mayor Steve Adler Tuesday, allows businesses to continue to offer drive-thru and curbside services. Those who break the curfew could receive a fine up to $1,000, according to the order.mysanantonio.com
Abbott, Paxton condemn Austin’s dine-in curfew for bars, restaurants on New Year’s weekend
Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said the governor ordered state health and emergency management officials to “strategically surge” medical teams to help with vaccinations in long-term care facilities. In Austin, officials moved to tamp down social gatherings and parties with new limits on dine-in and drink service at restaurants and bars. In a letter to city and county officials, Paxton said the order improperly restricts business hours in violation of a previous order by the governor. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said health officials are trying to corral surging hospitalizations and new cases. Adler said city attorneys were consulted on the Austin order.
Texas extends rental assistance program designed to avoid evictions until March 15
The Texas Supreme Court has extended its emergency eviction relief program for tenants behind on rent through at least March 15, lengthening the program’s expiration date by a month and a half. The move comes after Congress passed a stimulus bill Monday extending the federal moratorium on evictions through the end of January. The state created the Texas Eviction Diversion Program earlier this fall with the help of $171 million in CARES Act funding, the vast majority designated for rental assistance. But some housing advocates said the extension doesn’t go far enough to address the large number of struggling renters, even as the federal government extended its eviction moratorium. "There could be tens of thousands of evictions on the horizon in Texas later this winter,” said Michael Depland, spokesperson for the advocacy group, Texas Housers.
Texas extends rental assistance program designed to avoid evictions until March 15
The Texas Supreme Court has extended its emergency eviction relief program for tenants behind on rent through at least March 15, lengthening the program’s expiration date by a month and a half. The move comes after Congress passed a stimulus bill Monday extending the federal moratorium on evictions through the end of January. The state created the Texas Eviction Diversion Program earlier this fall with the help of $171 million in CARES Act funding, the vast majority designated for rental assistance. But some housing advocates said the extension doesn’t go far enough to address the large number of struggling renters, even as the federal government extended its eviction moratorium. "There could be tens of thousands of evictions on the horizon in Texas later this winter,” said Michael Depland, spokesperson for the advocacy group, Texas Housers.sacurrent.com
A man was found dead on the conveyor belt of a recycling center in Travis County
Travis County Sheriff's OfficeEmployees sorting materials Dec. 3 at a recycling center in southeast Travis County came across a dead body on a conveyor belt, the Travis County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies were called to the center, located in the the 3600 block of FM 1327 in the Creedmoor area, after the body was discovered. Deputies said the man was a transient, who was later identified as 62-year-old Randall Shinault.mysanantonio.com
‘Tiger King' star arrested in Travis County, made officers ’aware of his social status,’ police say
‘Tiger King' star arrested in Travis County, made officers ’aware of his social status,’ police sayPublished: November 17, 2020, 12:21 pmA star of the Netflix hit series “Tiger King” was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated over the weekend and allegedly touted his “social status” to officers in Travis County.
‘Tiger King' star arrested in Travis County, made officers ’aware of his social status,’ police say
A star of the Netflix hit series “Tiger King” was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated over the weekend and allegedly touted his “social status” to officers in Travis County. Dillon Passage, husband to the jailed “Tiger King” himself Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was stopped while driving a Dodge Challenger around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Highway 290 in Manor, according to police. Passage made officers aware of his social status and marriage to famed Joe Maldonado-Passage (Tiger King) on scene of the incident," Manor police said in a statement. He also said that he “may be a bit intoxicated," according to investigators. His story grew to fame in the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which showed his disdain for Baskin and his obsession with big cats.
Travis County extends COVID-19 order after reporting highest number of new cases since September
On Monday, Travis County health officials reported 214 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day total since September. Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority, said in a news release Tuesday the situation in the county is "significantly worsening" when it comes to COVID-19 transmission. READ ALSO: Texas' overall COVID-19 case count rivals totals from entire countriesWith the numbers rising, the county extended its existing emergency COVID-19 order until the end of the year. The order directs Austin and Travis County residents to continue to practice social distancing and wear face masks in most circumstances. Health officials reported 177 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total to 33,559 since the start of the pandemic in March.mysanantonio.com
Texas counties will only be allowed one drop-off location for mail-in ballots, state Supreme Court rules
In what’s expected to be the final ruling on the matter, the Texas Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting Texas counties to only one drop-off location for voters to hand deliver their absentee ballots during the pandemic. In their opinion, the justices wrote that Abbott's order "provides Texas voters more ways to vote in the November 3 election than does the Election Code. The Texas Supreme Court has kept Texas’ limitations on mail-in voting, but allowed drive-thru voting in Harris County to continue. In typical elections, Texas voters who wish to deliver their absentee ballots in person can only do so on Election Day.
Texas court upholds order allowing multiple absentee ballot drop-off locations, but appeal will keep that from happening yet
The Travis County Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd. A state appeals court has upheld a Travis County State district court order allowing Texas counties to have multiple drop-off locations for hand delivery of absentee ballots, undercutting Gov. But it remains unclear if the intermediate court's decision will lead to the reopening of ballot drop-off locations that were shut down in Harris and Travis counties following Abbott's order. Abbott and Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs are expected to quickly appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court to again block the order from taking effect. Last week, Travis County State District Judge Tim Sulak agreed, ruling against Abbott’s order.
Travis County judge says Texas counties can have multiple absentee ballot drop-off sites, but an appeal is likely
The Travis County Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd is now the only drive-thru location open for hand delivery of mail-in ballots in the county. A Travis County state district judge on Thursday ordered a halt to Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive limiting Texas counties to one drop-off location for hand delivery of absentee ballots. In a short order Thursday, Travis County District Judge Tim Sulak ruled against Abbott and the Texas secretary of state. Travis County had four drop-off locations before the Oct. 1 order, and Harris County had a dozen in place.
Despite virus fears, Texas sends most voters to the polls
With an election official looking on an elderly voter uses the drive-thru option to vote outside Richardson City Hall during early voting Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Richardson, Texas. Texas is one of just five states that did not dramatically expand mail-in voting this year because of COVID-19. Long lines were common at polling sites across Texas, as were masks, although voters are not required to wear them inside polling places. Travis County, which includes the state capital of Austin, will also offer extended hours at select locations during early voting. Upping the ante is the chance to flip the Republican-controlled Texas State House of Representatives.
Texas counties can offer only one drop-off ballot location, federal appeals court rules, upholding Gov. Greg Abbott’s order
Texas counties may collect mail-in ballots at only one location, a federal appeals court ruled late Monday, once again upholding an order from Gov. Abbott in July acted to lengthen the early voting period and allow voters to deliver completed absentee ballots in person for longer than the normal period. A number of civil rights groups sued in at least four lawsuits, calling the order an act of voter suppression that would disproportionately impact low-income voters, voters with disabilities, older voters and voters of color in Democratic counties. “Leaving the Governor’s October 1 Proclamation in place still gives Texas absentee voters many ways to cast their ballots in the November 3 election. These methods for remote voting outstrip what Texas law previously permitted in a pre-COVID world,” wrote U.S.
Texas counties can have multiple absentee ballot drop-off locations, federal judge says, blocking Gov. Greg Abbott’s order
A federal judge Friday ruled that Texas counties can have multiple drop-off locations for absentee ballots during the Nov. 3 general election, blocking the enforcement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent order that sought to limit counties to just one such location. Saying Abbott's order confused voters and restricted voter access, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman granted an injunction late Friday barring its enforcement. With an unprecedented number of Texas voters requesting mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, and concerns about the reliability of the U.S. Postal Service, some large, Democratic counties had set up numerous locations to accept the ballots before Abbott's order.
Analysis: Politics and a pandemic jumble Texas elections
Charlie Pearce for The Texas TribuneEditor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. Nervous that what you heard Tuesday about how to vote in Texas was illegal again Wednesday? The Texas Tribunes Alexa Ura has documented every step of this tangled path: A state district judge agreed with them in a suit filed by Texas Democrats. Both the state and federal trial court judges ruled that any Texas voter can request an absentee ballot during the pandemic and check the disability box; higher courts are reconsidering both of those rulings. But early voting and election day crowds are problematic if social distancing is the order of the day.
Former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt says Abbotts actions to reopen Texas are divisive, scary and confusing
Former Travis County Judge and Senate District 14 candidate Sarah Eckhardt said she questions why Gov. And if she were in Abbotts position, Eckhardt said shed rely on the same metrics. She is now assisting interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe. Leaving her post in county leadership, Eckhardt plans to bring facets of Travis County's emergency responses to the state level, she said. But Eckhardt refuted those criticisms, pointing to Travis County's "seasoned" emergency response team and her deep-seated commitment to the county.
Austin, Travis County extend stay-at-home orders to May 8, mandates face coverings
Austin, Travis County extend stay-at-home orders to May 8, mandates face coveringsAustin and Travis County officials extended their "Stay Home, Work Safe" order until May 8 on Monday. Austin and Travis County officials extended their "Stay Home, Work Safe" order until May 8 on Monday. Photo: HANDOUT / National Institutes Of Health / AFP Via Getty Images Photo: HANDOUT / National Institutes Of Health / AFP Via Getty Images Image 1 of / 48 Caption Close Austin, Travis County extend stay-at-home orders to May 8, mandates face coverings 1 / 48 Back to GalleryAustin and Travis County officials on Monday extended the "Stay Home, Work Safe" orders until May 8. In a news release from Travis County, local officials said they will begin enforcement efforts if there is not widespread compliance. As of Monday, there are 856 positive COVID-19 cases in Travis County, according to the county's website.mysanantonio.com