New Report Finds That Texas Voters Faced Five Major Barriers To Casting Ballots

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 16, 2017 12:08 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined a bipartisan group of state attorneys general investigating whether drug manufacturers broke laws while marketing and selling opioids.

“Opioid painkiller abuse and related overdoses are devastating families here in Texas and throughout the country,” Paxton said in a statement.

There 33,000 opioid-related deaths reported nationwide in 2015 alone – 1, 186 of those were in Texas.

Texas voters faced five significant barriers when they turned out to cast a ballot during the 2016 election, according to a new report from the Austin-based Texas Civil Rights Project.

“They had problems with voter registration, there was massive confusion over the photo ID rules, there were changes in polling locations, there were long lines, and then were scattered accounts, sadly, of voter intimidation,” says Texas Civil Rights Project Executive Director Mimi Marziani.

She says the organization used two sources of data to draw these conclusions.

“One [is] from the Texas Election Protection Coalition which we spearheaded in 2016. Through this nonpartisan effort we got more than 4,000 reports directly from voters on a hotline and through volunteers at the polls,” she says. “We also analyzed data from almost 25,000 provisional ballots that were cast in Texas’s 5 largest counties.”

Marziani says the state should modernize its voter registration system.

“Our best guestimate is that at least 4.4 million voters are eligible to vote in Texas, but they were excluded from the 2016 election either because they were not registered or there were problems with their voter registration that would have prevented them from voting,” she says.

At the county level, the Texas Civil Rights Project recommends increasing the number of polling locations and rejecting the idea that long lines are inevitable.

Which states are the best and worst for working dads?

That’s what WalletHub wanted to figure out ahead of Father’s Day this weekend.

“We looked at everything from economic and social well-being, to the work-life balance, childcare costs and quality, and finally men’s health,” says Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the finance site.

Overall, Texas ranked 38th out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

And specifically, when it came to the category work-life balance, Texas ranked dead last.

“Texan men usually work longer hours than many other men across the country,” Gonzalez says.

She says Texas also owes its low ranking to the fact that it has one of the worst parental leave policies in the country.