News Roundup: Nonpartisan Volunteer Group Offers Election Day Help To Voters Across Texas

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelNovember 6, 2018 1:02 pm

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

More than 20 Texas groups want to make sure people have the resources they need if they encounter problems at the polls.

The Texas Election Protection Coalition is deploying hundreds of nonpartisan volunteers to polling sites throughout the state. They’re also running a hotline that voters can call to ask questions about their registration status, voter ID rules, or any issues that come up.

The Texas Civil Rights Project is one of the groups spearheading the coalition. Beth Stevens is their voting rights legal director. She says they’ve already had reports this morning that some polling sites didn’t open on time – making for longer lines.

“Two things on that – one we’re encouraging folks to stay in line so they can cast their ballot, and if they can’t to let us know at the free hotline: 866-Our-Vote, so we can look into it and potentially take action where necessary.”

That hotline can help out callers in English, but there are different hotlines for folks who speak other languages and need assistance.

“The Spanish language number is 888-ve-Y-vota, the multi-Asian language number is: 888-API-Vote, and the Arabic line is 844-Yalla-US,” Stevens says.

And if people want help from their nonpartisan volunteers at polling sites – Stevens says most are wearing bright yellow t-shirts.


“Most will be wearing bright yellow t-shirts,” Stevens says. “And if they are at the polling location that a voter is at, the voter can just walk up and ask them questions. And if the person is able to answer them, they can do that, or they can help them get in touch with someone on the hotline.”


These volunteers will be stationed at polling sites in all of the state’s major cities, the Rio Grande Valley, and rural areas.

Texans heading to the polls this Election Day in Fort Worth and the Greater Houston area might see federal workers making sure election officials comply with the law. The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring some voting sites in Tarrant, Harris and Waller counties today.

KERA’s Anthony Cave reports.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division plans to make sure voters get what they need – whether that’s a private ballot for someone with a disability or helping someone who cannot read or write. The agency says it will also monitor whether jurisdictions are in compliance with federal voting rights laws – that includes voter registration lists and provisional ballot requirements. And federal officials won’t just be in Texas. They’ll be stationed in 35 jurisdictions in 19 states across the country.

Texas will mark a grim anniversary Wednesday. November 7, 2000 was the last day without a traffic fatality somewhere in the state.

TxDOT’s Deidrea  George tells Houston Public Media drunk driving remains the leading cause of fatalities.

“The next category is actually just as preventable. It’s actually occupants that are not restrained. So these are people that are getting in the car and are not buckling their seat belt,” George says.

In 2017, more than 3,700 people were killed on Texas roads.