A civil rights group based in Austin has released a new report that alleges the Texas Secretary of State is not doing enough to explain the process for voter registration or get people signed up to vote.
Texas Matters: There are reports that the state's new voter ID law is causing problems for women at the polls whose names on their drivers license don't exactly match their voter registration card. A closer look at Prop. 5, the reverse mortgage issue on this year's statewide ballot. Also on this show: Kinky Friedman back in politics, Ted Cruz' father steps into the limelight.
One year ago a Galveston judge ruled the 2011 law that places additional requirements and bans on Texans running voter registration drives was too restrictive and therefore unconstitutional. That ruling has now been overturned by the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today the governor announced his appointment of San Antonio attorney John Steen as the new Texas Secretary of State, days after former Secretary Hope Andrade suddenly announced her resignation last week.
The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9th. Bexar County Elections Administrator Jackie Callanen says the date is extended because of the Monday holiday, and she’s optimistic that a few extra people might register before the deadline.
"When we had the primary election, here in Bexar County we had 875,000 people registered to vote," said Callanen. "Today when I looked at the numbers, we had 898,000. So we're increasing by about 1,000 or 1,500 a day from the applications that we have."
Fred Lewis, the Director of Texans Together, says the real challenge is getting people involved more often on a local level, so they can see concrete results from participating. University of Texas at San Antonio political science professor Walter Wilson says poorly distributed congressional districts contribute to poor Latino voter turnout. Saul Elbein's article, “No Shows: why so few Texans bother to vote” also explores the reasons why so many people don't even try to get to the polls.
Dead voter letters are one way that Texas scrubs its voter registration rolls. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and voter registrar Don Sumners says he’s not going along with the Texas plan to scrub the voter rolls, and the state says he is violating the law. Gardner Selby with Politifact Texas talks about how they check statements made by politicians.