CD21: Austin musician Rixi Melton filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to challenge U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) as a Democrat.

Bexar Co.: “At least once a year, staffers in one of Texas’ largest election offices scour the web for a relic from a bygone technology era: Zip disks,” wrote David Saleh Rauf in a story for the Associated Press. Bexar Co. needs the floppy disks, which are no longer manufactured, for its aging vote-tallying equipment to merge hand- and machine-counted vote totals. Bexar Co.’s voting equipment was purchased in 2002. “I’d be dead in the water without our technical support people looking online to buy the pieces and parts to keep us going,” the story quotes Jacque Callanen, the county’s elections administrator. Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) filed a bill to establish a grant program to help counties and cities replace their voting system equipment.

Straight-party Elimination: The House Committee on Elections will hear House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) at its hearing tomorrow (Monday), beginning upon adjournment of the House of Representatives. The bill would eliminate a straight-party voting option in Texas, one of 10 states still offering it.

Corpus Christi: The city council determined that former council member Mark Scott is not eligible to run for the May 6 mayoral special election between he was termed out of office and is thus not eligible to seek city office for another six years. The council met in executive session for several hours before its decision was announced.

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