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. 

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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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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‘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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The Making of the “Great River”: the Epic Story of the Rio Grande

It’s the lifeline of the Southwest. The Rio Grande flows for almost 2,000 miles, from the snowy San Juan Mountains to subtropical plains and the Gulf of Mexico. Yet most of its journey is through the desert, and its impact … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Update: Ashton Medical Lodge Outbreak Reaches 100 Coronavirus Cases

By Mitch Borden

Over the last month, a Midland nursing home has transformed into a coronavirus hot spot, resulting in dozens of infections and leading to the death of almost 20 people.

The outbreak at Ashton Medical Lodge is reminiscent of the city’s first major coronavirus outbreak in April at Midland Medical Lodge, another longterm care facility operated by the same company that owns Ashton Medical Lodge.

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Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Sought Sweeping Changes To Texas’ In-Person Voting Rules

By Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune

Two civil rights groups and two Texas voters had asked a federal judge to require substantial changes to polling place procedures, including an across-the-board mask mandate and expanded curbside voting.

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Texas Is Revising Its Sex Education Standards, But They’ll Likely Remain Silent On LGBTQ Issues

The Republican-dominated State Board of Education is taking up the first revision of sex-ed curriculum in more than 20 years. LGBTQ students say they’re being excluded again.

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