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

Big Bend National Park Moves Into Next Phrase of Reopening

By Carlos Morales

After partially reopening in August, Big Bend National park officials are moving forward with their next stage of reopening, allowing backcountry camping and giving visitors access to nearly all trails.

The latest reopening phase for the far-flung 800,000-acre park will also allow visitors to plan overnight trips on the Rio Grande. The Chisos Basin campground reopened in September and remains the only park campground available to the public.


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A man in protective gear takes down information from a driver at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. (GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT)

After Nearly A Month, Mobile Testing Returns To Presidio County

By Public Radio Staff

For the first time in over a month, public testing for the coronavirus will return to the Big Bend region.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management will hold two drive-thru style testing sites — one in Marfa and one in Presidio next week.


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The Texas Legislature eliminated straight-ticket voting in 2017. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune)

Federal Judge Blocks Texas’ Elimination Of Straight-Ticket Voting

By Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune

Less than three weeks before early voting begins in Texas, a U.S. district judge has blocked the state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as an option for people who go to the polls this November.

In a ruling issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic, saying the elimination of the voting practice would “cause irreparable injury” to voters “by creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19.”


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The bulk of a $22.5 million bond Alpine voters will decide on in November would go towards a new academic building for the high school. (Elizabeth Trovall / Marfa Public Radio)

Forced Closure At Alpine High School Ends Early, Students Can Return Monday

By Carlos Morales

Beginning Monday, Alpine Independent School District officials say it’s safe for students at Alpine High School to return to campus for in-person instruction. 

The campus was originally supposed to be closed for two weeks after administrators said students were possibly exposed to two individuals with COVID-19.


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An online petition has gathered over 5,000 signatures to change Robert E. Lee High School's name. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Renaming Committee Is Set To Finalize Its Proposals To Replace Robert E. Lee High School

By Marfa Public Radio Staff

The effort to rename Midland’s Robert E. Lee High School continues Thursday night, as a committee considers what mascots, school colors and nicknames will be part of the proposals being recommended.

The decision from the 23-member Citizens’ Renaming Committee—made of alumni, current student and Midland Independent School District staff—will play into how much rebranding the school will cost, which some estimates have nearing between $1.7 million to slightly over $3 million.


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An oilfield site near Pecos, Texas. More than 100,000 oilfield workers have lost their jobs as production has plummeted. (Courthouse News photo/Travis Bubenik)

Oil Execs Surveyed Say US Production Has Peaked

By Travis Bubenik, Courthouse News

A majority of American oil industry executives don’t think U.S. oil production will ever return to its record-high, pre-pandemic levels, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said announcing survey findings in its quarterly report Wednesday.


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Denice Harlan, executive director for the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, is one of many Texans in rural areas across the state who say the postal service has been slowing for years. (Amna Ijaz/The Texas Tribune)

For Rural Texans, The Postal Service Is A Lifeline, But Some Say It’s Been In Decay For Years

Business owners, farmers and local politicians said that they are more concerned with long-term problems than with the recent controversy surrounding the United States Postal Service.


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A table is set up outside Juan Navarro Early College High School last month with information on how to register to vote. (GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT)

Texas’ Latino Vote Might Be Harder To Predict Heading Into This Year’s Presidential Election

By Ashley Lopez, KUT

Latino voters in Texas will be heading to the polls as a pandemic continues to disproportionately affect their communities. That means Latinos could be more distracted than usual – but they also have more to lose.

Experts say this dynamic has made it difficult to predict what kind of impact the voting bloc will have.


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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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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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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.

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Exploring Nature Near at Hand, with “Parking Lot Birding”

“Without leaving home,” the Tao Te Ching says, “you can know the whole world.” It’s a lesson the covid pandemic has taught many of us, who’ve found our appreciation of the natural phenomena in our immediate surroundings heightened while we’ve … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Possible COVID-19 Exposure Sends Alpine High School Classes Online

By Ari Snider

Alpine High School is moving to remote learning for two weeks after students may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19.

The campus closure comes as the number of active coronavirus cases in Brewster County has slowly climbed after falling to zero earlier this month. According to a letter Alpine Independent School District officials sent to parents and guardians Monday night, the exposure at the rural campus happened in the last four days.

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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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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. 

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 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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