Election 2020: Everything To Know About Voting Requirements and Deadlines

The November elections are just around the corner and there is a lot to keep track of when it comes to things like registering to vote, absentee ballot applications and voter ID requirements.

That’s why Marfa Public Radio is here with your guide on what and when you need to do to vote in the 2020 elections.


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Marfa Public Radio Is Looking For A News Director

Marfa Public Radio is one of the most awarded small-market stations in the nation for excellence in journalism. MPR serves approximately 30,000 square miles of Far West Texas, plus an online streaming audience worldwide.


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Texas is one of five states that hasn’t made mail-in ballots available to those afraid of contracting COVID-19. Credit: Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Texans With Disabilities Are Eligible For Mail-In Voting, But People Must Decide For Themselves If They Qualify

By Trinady Joslin, The Texas Tribune

Disability rights activists say they’re worried the confusion may deter at-risk Texans from voting or cause them to needlessly put their health at risk to show up in person at the polls despite being eligible for mail-in voting.

Citing a disability is among the few reasons that Texans can qualify to vote by mail during the pandemic this November — in addition to being 65 or older, being outside of their county during the election, or being confined to jail but otherwise eligible to vote.


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Gas is burned off from an oil well in West Texas. (GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT)

Oil Giants In Permian Will Use New Technology To Track Methane Emissions

By Kyra Buckley, Houston Public Media

Oil producers in the Permian Basin are implementing new technology to better measure methane emissions. 

The computer program will help oil and gas companies track how much methane they’re emitting, and what methods are best reducing methane leaks. It was created by the nonprofit environmental group, the Rocky Mountain Institute, along with the firm SphericalAnalytics. 


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In Texas, Presidio currently has one of the lowest household response rates at 26.2%. Only nine Texas counties have recorded lower percentages. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

With Little Time Left, Presidio County Has One Of The Lowest Census Response Rates in The State

By Carlos Morales

In one of the hardest-to-count corners of Texas, advocates pushing Census participation are running out of time. 

With little time left, local officials are hoping to double the number of people in Presidio County who’ve been counted since March in less than two weeks. But mixed messages from the federal government—and coronavirus restrictions— have made it even harder for Census workers to get an accurate count


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Gov. Greg Abbott meets with local El Paso leaders to discuss the coronavirus situation for the city and state on Aug. 13, 2020 in El Paso. (Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune)

Gov. Greg Abbott Loosens Coronavirus Restrictions For Restaurants And Other Businesses In Most Regions Of Texas

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that most of Texas will be able to loosen some coronavirus restrictions, including letting many businesses increase their capacity to 75%, as soon as Monday.


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Nearly 15,000 complaints were lodged against ICE alleging sexual and physical abuse between 2010 and 2016, according to federal data. An advocacy group found that only a small fraction were investigated by the agency's Office of Inspector General. Credit: Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS

ICE Deported A Key Witness In Investigation Of Sexual Assault And Harassment At El Paso Detention Center

By Lomi Kriel, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica

Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department inspectors general are investigating allegations that ICE guards assaulted detainees in camera blind spots.

The U.S. government late Monday deported a crucial witness in an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigrant detention center, the witness’ lawyers said.


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Pharmacists explain and collect self-swab COVID-19 tests at a testing site in Houston's Fifth Ward. Credit: Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune

Texas Officials Change How The State Reports Positivity Rate After Testing Backlogs Skewed Coronavirus Data

By Edgar Walters and Shannon Najmabadi, The Texas Tribune

The Texas Department of State Health Services said it will now rely on a calculation that takes into account the date on which a coronavirus test was administered, rather than when it was reported.

Texas health officials announced Monday that they are changing the way the state reports a key metric used to evaluate the extent of coronavirus infection, a move that conceded that the state’s previous method of calculating the “positivity rate” muddied the extent of viral transmission by mixing old data with new.


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Marfa senior Gaby Soto paints the pavement on North Gonzales Street outside Marfa schools with the help of her parents Zulema Reyes and Gabriel Soto. It’s part of the annual back-to-school tradition where seniors paint the street ahead of their final year at MISD. Photo by Maisie Crow

Marfa Students Have Returned To School. What Does That Look Like This Year?

By Stephen Paulsen, The Big Bend Sentinel

MARFA — Late last month, seniors at Marfa Independent School District participated in a years-long tradition as they painted North Gonzales Street in front of the school to commemorate the next academic year. But as students and school officials grapple with a range of new coronavirus precautions, it’s unlikely this fall semester will look like previous ones.


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A group of students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds of the original Blackwell School. (Courtesy of the Marfa and Presidio County Museum.)

Marfa’s Blackwell School On Path To Becoming National Historic Site

By Carlos Morales

The adobe walls of Marfa’s Blackwell School once provided the only classrooms for young Mexican-American students in this pocket of rural West Texas. Now, the century-old building could become a national landmark, preserving students’ legacies and teaching future generations the history of segregation along the Texas-Mexico border. 


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While in the park, visitors are encouraged to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Quiet And Loud: How The Pandemic Has Changed The Sounds Of West Texas

By Carlos Morales

Quiet and Loud is a new series exploring the way the pandemic has changed the soundscape of West Texas.

One of the first places we’ll explore is the desert expanse of Big Bend National Park, where the pandemic has led to two closures and restricted visitors to day-time use only.


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(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Big Bend National Park Could Soon Expand By 3,500 Acres

By Carlos Morales

The wide-open expanses of Big Bend National Park could grow slightly more if a small Far West Texas ranch is absorbed into the park’s boundaries. 

A donation of a few thousand acres in South Terlingua could soon be added to the park’s limits, which currently stretches over 800,000 acres of brushy Chihuahuan Desert. But before that can happen, the land acquisition would first require federal legislation to amend the boundaries of the park. 


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The Lost Horse (Screenshot from video by Elise Pepple)

We Want To Hear Your Lost Horse Memories

The Lost Horse Saloon, one of Marfa’s most iconic locales, is entering a new chapter. Longtime owners Ty Mitchell and Astrid Rosenfeld have sold the bar to Michael Shaddox, of Ruidosa.


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Election 2020: Everything To Know About Voting Requirements and Deadlines

The November elections are just around the corner and there is a lot to keep track of when it comes to things like registering to vote, absentee ballot applications and voter ID requirements.

That’s why Marfa Public Radio is here with your guide on what and when you need to do to vote in the 2020 elections.

Continue reading
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Marfa Public Radio Is Looking For A News Director

Marfa Public Radio is one of the most awarded small-market stations in the nation for excellence in journalism. MPR serves approximately 30,000 square miles of Far West Texas, plus an online streaming audience worldwide.

Continue reading
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Watch Live: Gov. Abbott Gives Update On COVID-19 In Texas

By Public Radio Staff

Gov. Greg Abbott will give an update on Texas’ response to COVID-19 on Thursday at noon.

He’ll be joined by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt and other health officials.

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In West Texas’ Toxic Plants, Menace and Beauty Meet

If you begin your day with coffee, or end it with a cocktail, you know that plants can pack a punch. Plants have been medicine throughout human history, and even today, many medications are derived from plant compounds. Yet power … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Balancing Higher Health Risks With Spotty Internet, Reopening College In The Rio Grande Valley Is A Challenge

By Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas Tribune

At UT-Rio Grande Valley, administrators spent a tense summer preparing for the fall semester while local coronavirus rates spiked, the area spiraled into further economic depression, and debate raged across the nation about how to safely send college students back to school.

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Texas Democrats From The Border Team Up For New PAC In Effort To Flip The State House

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

A group of Democrats representing the state’s border with Mexico in the Texas House has launched a new political group to unify their ranks and pitch in on the fight for the lower-chamber majority this November.

The group, Corazón de la Frontera PAC, is being organized by El Paso Rep. Joe Moody, the House speaker pro tem.

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‘Alpine State University’ Movement Starts, As Students Seek To Change Sul Ross State University Name

By Beck Andrew Salgado, The Big Bend Sentinel

As many universities across the country have seen students coming together to protest statues of individuals on campus, Sul Ross State University is no exception. Lawrence Sullivan Ross, the namesake of the West Texas university, served as a general for the Confederacy during the Civil War and fought to uphold slavery. Because of this, his legacy, perpetuated through statues on A&M and SRSU campuses and in the name of Alpine’s lone university, has begun to sour quickly.

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