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Democracy

Top 5 Takeaways About the Vote Your Way Campaign

By David McClendon / December 20, 2019

In the November 2019 election, voters in Harris County, Texas could vote at any polling location, not just the polling place assigned to their precinct. This change was designed to make it easier for more people to participate in the electoral process. In order to promote the program, the Harris County Clerk brought in our friends…

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Finding 30,000 disenfranchised voters in Houston

By Jeff Reichman / April 7, 2019

In 48 states, a felony conviction means that you lose the right to vote. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on your state. During the 2018 election, Florida pushed this issue into the national spotlight with a state constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to felons. It passed with two-thirds of the vote. Texas,…

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Ranked choice voting could save millions of dollars for Texas cities

By Jeff Reichman / February 5, 2019

Around the country, there are calls to reform our election process. Activists want to ensure that the outcomes of elections properly reflect the will of the people. Because elections are administered at the local level, this results in experiments in radical democracy in likely and unlikely places. Ranked choice voting is one of those experiments…

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Why Houston Will Be Hard to Count in Census 2020

By David McClendon / November 30, 2018

Counting people is vital to our democracy. Every ten years, the US government has a constitutional obligation to conduct a census that counts everyone living in the United States. This count determines how many Congressional representatives each state receives, the levels of Federal funding for state and local governments and federal programs, and serves as…

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Map of Bills Filed by the 86th Texas Legislature (2019)

By Jeff Reichman / November 20, 2018

The elections are over, but things are just getting started in Texas. The 86th Texas Legislature convenes in the beginning of 2019, and newly-elected House and Senate members are already filing legislation. Two years ago, we built a map of bills filed for the 85th session. This year, you’ll notice the maps got an upgrade.…

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Did Late Openings at Nine Polling Locations in Harris County Affect Voter Turnout?

By David McClendon / November 13, 2018

The “blue wave” of the 2018 midterm elections crashed into Harris County last Tuesday with unprecedented voter turnout for a non-presidential election year. Countywide, voter turnout was up from 34% in 2014 to 52%, according to unofficial counts. That’s more than 520,000 additional ballots than in 2014. Yet, despite high turnout, nine polling locations failed…

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Crowdsourcing Transportation Policy With MobilityHouston

By Jeff Reichman / January 1, 2016

MobilityHouston is a website that crowdsources transportation policy ideas from Houstonians. The goal is to help lawmakers create smarter, more comprehensive transportation policies. They do it with a specific focus on mobility and a broad community engagement strategy. So Far, Policymaking is Offline Houston’s lawmakers have to get smart on a range of issues before they write the laws. They…

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Houston Mayoral Debate Takeaways

By Jeff Reichman / December 5, 2015

Last night, I attended the KPRC Houston mayoral debate between Bill King and Sylvester Turner. This has been a long, grueling campaign season, and it comes to an end next week. One of these men will be Houston’s next mayor. The League of Women Voters, KPRC, and Telemundo Houston produced this debate. They selected questions that address…

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voting precinct chairs in harris county

Map of Harris County Precinct Chairs (Republican & Democratic)

By Jeff Reichman / July 14, 2017

This map updates each week. Check the map credits for the last updated date. Every county in Texas is divided into voting precincts. The two major parties have precinct chairs who serve as election judges, as well as manage a ton of on-the-ground activities for the party. A precinct chair is the lowest level of…

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Over 700,000 Voters Missing in Houston Area

By Joan Liu / September 9, 2015

If you’ve looked into civic engagement in the City of Houston, you may already know that Houston has one of the lowest percentages of voter turnout in Texas. Over the past two months, I’ve been digging deeper into this issue by researching Houston elections, reading endless articles, and interviewing various Houstonians. Everyone acknowledged that voter…

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