HD47: Austin conservative activist and 2016 candidate and former legislative chief of staff Jay Wiley announced he would seek a primary rematch against Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin). Workman defeated Wiley, 61%-39%, in the 2016 Republican primary.
HD62: Sherman council member and creative consultant Kevin Couch is considering challenging Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) in the Republican primary, reported the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek. Couch was first elected to an at-large position on the city council in November 2015, and his current term expires in November 2018. He would be required to resign if he were to become a candidate for the Legislature.
Repealed, But Not Today: The San Antonio Express-News’s Peggy Fikac reported that election officials will be required to assist voters in nursing facilities for the November 2017 election because the bill repealing that law takes effect too late. Senate Bill 5, passed during the just concluded special session and signed into law by Gov. Abbott, is intended to crack down on mail-ballot fraud. It included a provision repealing a bill passed during the regular session, and also signed into law by Abbott, that requires county election officials to send poll workers to nursing facilities from which they receive five or more requests for mail-in ballots. That law takes effect September 1. Senate Bill 5 takes effect December 1, leaving the provisions of House Bill 658 in place for any election held between September 1 and November 30, 2017.
Interpretation Law Struck Down: A federal appellate panel has affirmed a lower court’s decision to strike down a Texas law requiring interpreters helping someone cast a ballot also be registered to vote in the same county. The court ruled that the requirement violates a provision of the federal Voting Rights Act, which enables voters to choose an interpreter of their choice, provided they are not their employers or union leaders. The case arose from a Bengali-speaking Williamson Co. voter whose bilingual son was not allowed to help her interpret her ballot in 2014 because he was registered to vote in Travis Co.
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