skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Educators preserve, shape future with 'ALT NEW COLLEGE'; NY appeals court denies delay for Trump civil fraud trial; Michigan coalition gets cash influx to improve childcare.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A House Committee begins its first hearing in the Biden impeachment inquiry, members of Congress talk about the looming budget deadline and energy officials testify about the Maui wildfires.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

Texas GOP Lawmakers to Decide Bills Aimed at Harris County Elections

play audio
Play

Tuesday, May 9, 2023   

Three weeks remain in the 2023 Texas legislative session with a bill under consideration that could ultimately throw out future election results in the state's most populated county. Harris County, home of Houston and almost 5 million residents, is the target of two Senate bills that would eliminate the elections administrator position there and return all election duties to the county tax assessor-collector and county clerk. It comes on the heels of S.B. 1 passed in 2021, which implemented new restrictions on voting by mail, a ban on drive-through voting, and empowered partisan poll watchers.

Katya Ehresman with Common Cause Texas describes the ongoing attacks on voting rights as "deaths by a thousand cuts..."

"Instead of just create explicit barriers to the voters, they're trying to undo the systems of elections as we know it, which is terrifying when you look at historical precedents of the decline of democracy and how other countries have navigated this crisis," Ehresman said.

During the 2022 midterm election, voting machines malfunctioned at several polling places in Harris County. S.B.1750, proposed by Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt, passed by a vote of 20 to 11. Bettencourt said voters should have confidence in their elections - and Harris County glitches in the last election eroded that confidence.

Should a Harris County election be declared void, results would be subtracted from statewide totals, and the county would need to hold an entirely new election at its own expense. Ehresman added instead of solutions to voting problems, Common Cause has noted a lot of politics injected into discussions about the election system.

"What we really need is resources," Ehresman added. "We need more protections for election administrators to be able to do their job and to do their job well, and that's not what we're seeing in the Legislature."

Results from special elections lean heavily toward the GOP due to a larger pool of salaried workers and retirees who do not need to take a day off from work. Harris County was a Republican stronghold as recently as 2014. Since then, Democrats have won the majority of county commission seats, the county judge's office, and swept nearly every judicial seat.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Michigan is among 20 states to receive a multiyear grant from the Pritzker Children's Initiative. (SneakyPeakPoints/peopleimages.com/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…


Social Issues

play sound

Nearly 100 school board elections are coming up in Minnesota this fall, with some gaining attention because of the candidates who are running…

Social Issues

play sound

The so-called conservative "hostile takeover" of a small, progressive liberal arts college in Florida is seeing some resistance from former students …


Only 546 of the tenants in the the 5,563 eviction cases filed in Nebraska in the first half of 2023 were represented by legal counsel. (tab62/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …

Social Issues

play sound

As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …

Lewiston, Idaho, sits on the Snake River at the border with Washington. (Guy Sagi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …

Social Issues

play sound

Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …

Social Issues

play sound

A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021