SD19: The San Antonio Express-News’s Patrick Danner reported that Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) has amended his 2015 personal financial statement to disclose a $40K loan he had received from FourWinds Logistics, a now bankrupt frac sand trading company, in 2014. Uresti previously disclosed the loan on his 2014 personal financial statement.
SD24 open: Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Dawn Buckingham.
Voter ID: Secretary of State Carlos Cascos kicked off the state’s voter education campaign to raise awareness of the relaxed photo identification requirements in effect for the general election.
Meanwhile, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court denied North Carolina’s appeal to stay a Fourth U.S. Circuit Court decision striking down much of that state’s Voter ID law. A majority vote is required to issue a stay. Thus, the circuit court’s order will remain in effect, so voting in November will operate under the laws that were in effect in 2014.
The North Carolina law is considerably broader than the Texas law because it cuts early voting dates, eliminates same-day voter registration, prohibits out-of-precinct voting and makes other changes to voter registration laws.
Straight-ticket Voting: A divided Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency appeals and declined to stay a trial court decision that prevents Michigan from eliminating its straight-ticket voting option. A trial court found that African-Americans heavily relied on the straight-ticket voting option, so eliminating it would have the effect of disenfranchising in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The circuit court also declined to take up the issue, and instead sent it back to the district court. Because this ruling cannot be directly appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision complicates the state’s further appellate options.
A straight-ticket voting option has been available to Michigan voters since 1891. Last year, the Michigan legislature voted to end straight-ticket voting. Two prior attempts to end the practice were rejected by referendum. Because the 2015 law contained an appropriation, state law prevents it from being repealed by referendum.
Michigan and Texas are among 10 states where voters may cast a vote for every candidate of their preferred party by making a single mark on their ballots. The other straight-ticket voting states are Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah.
Ten other states have abolished or stopped using a straight-ticket option since 1994.
Remembering Ms. Gov.: Today would have been former Gov. Ann Richards’s 83rd birthday.
Today I honor one of the toughest, most graceful women I've known–my friend & mentor Ann Richards. Happy Birthday! pic.twitter.com/mnMGrMNUFE
— Rodney Ellis (@RodneyEllis) September 1, 2016
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) September 2, 2016
— Gallego for Congress (@Pete4TX) September 1, 2016
Born Dorothy Ann Willis in 1933, she opened the doors of our government & let the people in. Happy Birthday, Ann. pic.twitter.com/WYyT1neeNm
— Texas Democrats (@texasdemocrats) September 1, 2016