Texas Decides | KERA News

Texas Decides

Texas Decides is a statewide voters guide and a crowdsourced statewide reporting project where listeners decide what stories you'd like us to tell and what questions you'd like us to answer. It comes from the Texas Station Collaborative, which includes KERA, KUT in Austin, Houston Public MediaTexas Public Radio in San Antonio and Marfa Public Radio

The project started in fall 2016. Leading up to the election, public radio reporters across Texas investigated listener-submitted questions related to national, statewide and local politics. 

During the 85th Legislature and special session, stations teamed up again to help listeners understand the complicated lawmaking process in Texas. And this is an ongoing project through the 2018 elections.

You can listen to stories from the collaborative on the Texas Standard at 10 a.m. every weekday on KERA  and stations across the state.

Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones conceded Monday in her challenge to U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, ensuring a third term for Hurd in his perennial battleground district.

Clockwise from top left: Gina Ortiz Jones and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes; state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy and Gina Calanni; Adam Milasincic and state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston; and Joanna Cattanach and state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas.
Campaign Facebook pages via Texas Tribune

Election Day was more than a week ago. But a handful of Texas candidates who lost by roughly 1,000 votes or less have yet to concede — or are already calling for recounts in their own races.

Anthony Cave / KERA News

Updated, 7:29 a.m.

Democrat Colin Allred has won the U.S. House District 32 seat, defeating Republican incumbent Pete Sessions in the most competitive congressional race in North Texas. 

From Texas Standard:

This political season in Texas, yard signs have been at the center of stories that sound straight out of The Onion. There’s the couple who turned their front lawn into a giant, hand-painted Beto O’Rourke sign. Or the anti-Brett Kavanaugh sign in Hamilton that police threatened to confiscate after Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted about it on Facebook. Our Texas Decides series continues with a listener question you might call a sign of the times.

From Texas Standard:

From the gridlock in Washington, to actual physical clashes between protestors on the streets of Portland, and now a series of what appear on the face of it politically-motivated bomb scares. The party lines seem more entrenched than ever. Indeed, several experts told the Texas Standard just last month – the political center just isn't holding.

From Marfa Public Radio:

Senate candidates from Texas, Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke, have spent a lot of time discussing their stances on immigration, health care and the economy while on the campaign trail. But the environment is a topic that is seldom discussed.  

That's why Jon Gergen, a retired listener from Plano, asked Texas Decides: "Specifically what policies Mr. Cruz and Mr. O’Rourke are for, or against, to deal with what I perceive most of the scientific community believes is a severe climate problem."

Why Do We Elect Judges In Texas?

Oct 23, 2018

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Standard and public radio stations across the state have been working together to help you make sense of the midterms through our Texas Decides project, inviting listeners to send in their questions.

Patsy Culver, a CPA and artist in Alpine, asks:

“My question is: Texas is fairly unique in that we elect our judges. I have not found anywhere that I can find the positions of the judges that are running this year."

Texas Sees Huge Turnout On First Day Of Early Voting

Oct 23, 2018
Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Tens of thousands of Texas voters turned out across the state to cast their ballots on Monday, the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections.

Can A Moderate Democrat Win In A Texas District Held By Republicans For Decades?

Oct 11, 2018
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

DALLAS — Texas House candidate Lisa Luby Ryan urged Republican voters to remain optimistic for the fall election season at her North Dallas home on a rainy September afternoon.

Mike Pence in Dallas to campaign for Pete Sessions
Christopher Connelly/KERA

Vice President Mike Pence came to Dallas on Monday to campaign for a pair of Republican incumbents, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Both are facing tough Democratic challengers.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in the November elections in Texas. It’s also the last day to update your address if you’ve moved since the last time you voted.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Tuesday’s the last day to register to vote in Texas, and a record’s already been set: More than 15.5 million Texans are eligible to vote, with registration continuing to climb. But being able to vote and actually pulling the lever are not the same thing. 

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Texas's 33rd Congressional District looks like a misshapen barbell, stretching from Fort Worth to North Dallas and Oak Cliff. Farther south, the city of Austin includes slices of six different districts.

JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUT

Public radio stations in Texas want to know what you want to know about the 2018 elections.

What topics do you want to hear more from the candidates about? Is education at the top of your list? How about roads, or taxes, or the environment?

Let us know and we'll do our best to give you as much information as possible before you head to the polls.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

On Tuesday, Texas Republicans and Democrats will choose the candidates they want on the ballot in November. The primary election includes several races for statewide office, including commissioner of agriculture, land commissioner — and governor. 

How Much Does Voting Matter In A Gerrymandered District?

Feb 26, 2018
Elkanah Tisdale (1771-1835). Originally published in the Boston Centinel, 1812

This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide three cases on partisan gerrymandering, including one from Texas. At issue: Is drawing congressional districts to favor one political party over another unconstitutional?

Early voting for the March 6 primaries in Texas started this week. But, if you plan on voting on Election Day, it’s possible you might run into someone at your polling location with the title of “election judge.”

As part of our Texas Decides project, a listener wanted to know what they do and how they got that job.

From Texas Standard.

If you’re loyal to a particular political party, have you – or a fellow Democrat or Republican – at least thought about voting in the opposing party’s primary? Maybe for a person you think would be a weaker candidate in the general election? Or maybe just to “mess” with the “other team”?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In this primary election, voters will decide who appears on November's general election ballot. From now until March 2, you can cast your ballot at any polling place in the county where you’re registered. But on Election Day, most Texas voters have to go to their assigned polling place. (That's unless you’re in one of the counties participating in a special program.)

CHRIS EUDAILY / TPR News

Update, Oct. 22: If you're looking for information on voting in the 2018 midterm elections, see our guide here.

The midterm elections are often the overlooked middle child of any election cycle. But while they don’t get as much press as races during presidential election years, the stakes are high.

Is Texas turning blue? That's the question, dream and lie (depending on your point of view) being discussed across the state.

It's the dream of Democrats, who haven't won a statewide office in Texas since the early '90s. It's a big lie, say Republicans, who argue support for President Trump has been more positive in Texas than in most of the country.

Welcome to the 2018 Elections!

This could be a historic year at the ballot box. Republicans are looking to sweep all the statewide offices again, but Democrats have fielded more candidates for more races than they have in years. To help you navigate through all of this, we’re starting a weekly column. It’ll include not only the politics at play, but also information on the basics, like how to register or find your polling place.

This March, Texas voters will decide who will appear on November's general election ballot.

Some states have a full-time legislature, while others pay their lawmakers almost nothing. In Texas, we’re somewhere in between. 

Mengwen Cao / KUT

The special session is underway, and of the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott says he wants lawmakers to tackle, one is getting a lot of attention from teachers: pay increases for educators.

Will a statewide ban on texting-while-driving replace ordinances already on the books in cities across Texas? 

State lawmakers are back in Austin to kick off some legislative overtime.

And, as it's been reported over and over and over again, the special session is needed because lawmakers couldn’t pass a bill to keep a handful of state agencies open and operating. That got some of our listeners wondering if lawmakers could’ve spend their time at the Capitol a little more efficiently.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT News

During the regular legislative session, Texas lawmakers meet every two years for 140 days. The special session is best described in two words: legislative overtime.

With the start of the special legislation session less than a week away, Morning Edition is looking at issues on the agenda. Today, we answer a listener question about a proposed $1,000 pay increase for teachers: Who is pushing for the increase and where is it coming from?

Texas Station Collaborative

The 85th Texas Legislature ended with dramatic flair last month, leaving key legislation in the balance and tensions high between the House and Senate.

And it’s not over: In July, lawmakers return to Austin for a special session. Texas has seen legislative overtime before, but nothing packed quite like this.

Pages