DFW Has the Most Unregistered Eligible Voters, Making Dems and GOP Salivate

Categories: Elections

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Dwight Burdette
Around 490,000 eligible DFW voters won't get their stickers this November. Trust us -- you want the sticker.

For the last few days, you may have been busy warding off a flurry eager people with clipboards. This weekend marked Dallas County voter registration days, and volunteers from both sides of the aisle were hustling to try to get your vote in November. They had good reason to be eager: Recruiting those eligible but unregistered voters in DFW may be crucial to determining the next election.

DFW has the largest number of eligible unregistered voters in the state. Census and Texas secretary of state data show that around 490,000 eligible voters are not registered in North Texas, compared with 355,000 in Houston, 224,000 in San Antonio and just 73,500 in Austin.

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Dallasites without Voter IDs Are Generally Poor, Non-White and -- Surprise! -- Democrats

Categories: Elections

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Dept. of Justice
Percentage of people without proper voter ID in Dallas.
You might have seen the above map making the rounds recently among those opposed to the controversial voter ID law, which first passed in 2011 and was upheld in 2013. It requires voters to present an up-to-date photo ID to election officials. The map, and maps below, were first put together by Dr. Gerald Webster, a geography professor who testified last year against the controversial law amid the flurry of legal challenges.

Despite continued courtroom challenges, it looks like the law will be here to stay at least through the November election. And an interesting pattern emerges when the Dallas map of those who currently lack a photo ID are compared to more general demographics. Check out the nearly identical maps below.

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Greg Abbott Decides That Spanish Speakers Are Worth Courting, Does So

Categories: Elections

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Greg Abbott debuted his first general election campaign ad Tuesday, bucking his party's recent trend by at least attempting to appeal to Hispanic voters.

The ad, which can be seen in full below and features Abbott's mother-in-law and sister-in-law, was aired on Univision during Mexico and Brazil's 0-0 World Cup match on Tuesday. It will air on the station throughout the tournament.

Although Abbott has compared the border region to a Third World country and has a $300 million plan to secure it, he has never been quite as confrontational as his Republican ticket-mates on immigration issues.

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Texas' Tea Party Is Alive and Well

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This guy's probably going to be your next lieutenant governor.
In the weeks leading up to Tuesday's primary, there was a lot of chatter about how the Tea Party was losing its grip on Texas.

It was a nice thought, that Ted Cruz's antics and the constant demagoguing against the federal government had worn thin, nudging voters back to the middle. It just wasn't true.

Sure, sanity won the day in some of Tuesday's Republican races, with Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions both skating past Tea Party challengers, but that outcome speaks more to the incumbents' staunchly conservative records and weak challengers -- even the Tea Party won't have Steve Stockman -- than to the waning influence of grassroots conservatives.

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Texas' Voter Registration System Is "In Disarray" and Needs to Be Overhauled, Report Says

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The debate about voting in Texas over the past several years has focused on the controversial voter ID law that passed in 2011 and finally took effect over the summer. It was a necessary step to prevent voter fraud, supporters said, while opponents countered that it erected illegal hurdles to voting, particularly for poor and minority populations.

The folks at the Texas Civil Rights Project are seeking to broaden the conversation, which has become unproductive, asking not just why Texas seems bent on disenfranchising a significant put relatively small percentage of the population through the ID law but why it doesn't do a better job of encouraging voter registration across the board.

Registering to vote, it should be said, isn't all that hard. Just check a box when you renew your driver's license or else print a form and mail it to the county clerk. But the process can be confusing (those who renew their licenses online, for example, can check the voter registration box, but this this won't actually register them to vote) and ensuring that registration happens tends to be incumbent on the voter.

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We Ran into Warring Council Candidates Philip Kingston and Bobby Abtahi at a Bar. Awkward!

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"Photo" "Illustration" by Eric Nicholson.
There wasn't much interest in the City Council elections this year, evidenced mainly by the fact that hardly anybody showed up to vote in them. We don't blame you. It was a Saturday, and there were probably waffles somewhere.

But the runoff election in District 14 between Bobby Abtahi and Philip Kingston has gotten pretty lively, what with the spirited mudslinging on both sides and in our comments section.

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Dallas Really Doesn't Care About City Government and Other Takeaways From Saturday's City Council Election

There was a City Council election on Saturday and, if you're like the vast majority of Dallas, you didn't notice. But whether you were paying attention or not, some important things were decided and some interesting trends emerged.

Here's what you need to know:

Angela Hunt's legacy: Saturday's most interesting race was the District 14 contest to replace Angela Hunt, who is term limited. The vacant seat drew a crowded field of seven challengers, but the race soon turned into a referendum of sorts on Hunt's term in office.

Hunt threw her weight behind attorney Philip Kingston. Her name and face were featured prominently in his mailings, on his website, and at his campaign appearances. His main challenger was Bobby Abtahi, a 31-year-old former community prosecutor and City Plan Commission member who has the backing of Hunt's opponents in the Dallas establishment.

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Adam Medrano, Candidate for Oak Lawn's Council Seat, Won't Say If He's Gay. Should He?

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In her time in office, Councilwoman Pauline Medrano has established herself as a staunch ally of the LGBT community. That's more or less a requirement for election in District 2, which includes much of Oak Lawn and has a sizable, and politically active, gay population, and there's no reason to think her nephew, Adam Medrano, would do otherwise if he's elected to replace her.

But the junior Medrano is at the center of an interesting dynamic in the race. One of his opponents, Herschel Weisfeld, is openly gay. (Note: In the original post we wrote that another candidate, Vernon Franko, is also openly gay based on a report Friday in the Dallas Voice. He wrote to say that he's not openly gay and has never said he is. "I'm just 'Openly Vern,'" he writes. We really, really regret the error.) And the Dallas Voice has a rather lengthy piece today speculating that Medrano himself is gay.

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Kinky Friedman Says He May Run for Governor, and This Campaign Will Be "Serious"

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In 2006, Kinky Friedman -- singer, songwriter, satirist, head Jewboy in charge -- ran as an Independent for governor of Texas. Although he ultimately received less than 13 percent of the vote, it was still a memorable campaign, featuring slogans like, "Why the Hell Not?" and "How Hard Could It Be?" -- both excellent questions, and ones we've often had occasion to consider, watching Rick Perry run things.

He took another shot, equally unsuccessful and slightly less publicized, in 2009. Now, in between hawking his Man in Black tequila and chewing that cigar to a soggy stump, it looks like he's pondering making another run at the big seat next year. For serious this time.

On Saturday, Kinky stopped by Lakewood Medallion Discount Liquors to sign bottles of his tequila. While he was there, he told NBC-DFW that he's considering a possible run. His platform would consist of two main planks, both of them aimed at increasing tax revenue for the state: legalizing casino gambling and legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana.

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After Chest-Thumping Over International Election Observers, Greg Abbott Admits Texas Sovereignty In No Danger

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Greg Abbott, sincerely hoping nobody reads this report.
In an exercise in states' rights fetishization, the Texas Legislature tasked Attorney General Greg Abbott with figuring out whether international organizations are usurping Lone Star sovereignty. If you'll recall, there was an ugly scene leading up to the 2012 presidential election, wherein Abbott, chest out-thrust in his best chickenhawk approximation, threatened to throw the book at international election observers, who, by the way, have witnessed U.S. elections for years. In fact, we send our own observers to elections in places like Russia and Ukraine.

Anyway, a little observing couldn't hurt, given the voter ID laws -- still tied up in court -- that were passed to fight the fraud mirage (or suppress turnout among certain voters).

So, at the behest of our august lawmaking body, Abbott did his diligence and discovered that, no, multinational groups are not, in fact, "[restricting] state law or [intruding] on the sovereignty of the states," according to his report. That there was any confusion here suggests elected reps might benefit from a few high school-level government classes. But we'll air out a few of Abbott's pertinent findings anyway.

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