The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Denton County in North Texas is moving to an election system using entirely paper ballots.
Voters will have a custom ballot printed for them when they arrive at a polling station. They’ll fill it out with a pen and it will be scanned into the system at the polling site.
Denton Record-Chronicle reporter Julian Gill says the move by Denton County Commissioners comes after a number of election problems in 2016.
“[There were] equipment glitches, problems with signs outside of the polling locations [and] ballots were delivered to the wrong precincts,” Gill says. “They audited the official count several times before they were actually able to get the real numbers, so I think the paper ballot system is going to help them audit in the future and hopefully give them a paper trail where they can go back and easily recount the ballots.”
Denton County is paying almost $9 million for the new system.
The population continues to boom in Texas, and that’s true across all the racial and ethnic categories used by the U.S. Census Bureau.
A new analysis of census data looking at changes from 2015 to 2016 shows Texas had the largest numeric increase in the country of Hispanics, African-Americans, American Indian and Alaska natives and whites.
Even though the state didn’t see the largest numeric increase in its Asian population, it’s actually the group that is growing the fastest in Texas.
In fact, the rate of growth for Asian Texans is outpacing Hispanic Texans, according to Census Bureau demographer Peter Borsella.
“In Texas the Asian population is smaller than the Hispanic population, but is growing more than twice as fast. So between 2015 and 2016 the Asian population grew by 4.8 percent to reach 1.5 million,” Borsella says. “To put that into context, the Hispanic population grew by 2.2 percent during that same time period.”
Texas also has the second-youngest population in the country, with a median age of 34-and-a-half, just below North Dakota.
Summer is officially underway, and that means it’s time to start thinking about road trips.
Texas is one of the best states for summer road trips in the country, according to an analysis from the finance website WalletHub.
“Texas ranked the 6th best place for a summer road trip overall mainly due to its very low costs and the abundance of activities there,” says Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
For one thing, Texas has some of the lowest gas prices in the country.
But another reason the state is so good for hitting the road is that camping is pretty cheap.
“They run you about $25 per night depending on the size of your tent. If you try to do that along the Northeast that will run you about three times as much,” Gonzalez says.
Plus, in Texas it’s not all about the destination: Gonzalez says Texas has some of the most scenic roadways in the country.
The state that nabbed the number 1 spot for summer road tripping was Oregon.