Texas primary: De La Fuenta campaign comes to a close

Supporters gathered at Juan in a Million in Austin on Tuesday night to celebrate 167th District Judge candidate, Efrain De La Fuenta. De La Fuenta lost to David Wahlberg, who won with 56 percent of the vote. Despite his loss, De La Fuenta was optimistic and thanked his supporters. – By Lizzie Chen, News21

Judge Efrain De La Fuenta talks to a group of campaign supporters Tuesday night at his primary watch party at Juan in a Million in Austin, Texas. De La Fuenta lost the Democratic 167th district court primary to David Walhberg. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

Voters in Austin gathered at Juan in a Million to show support for candidate Efrain De La Fuenta. While eating tacos and queso, they watched as the election results rolled in. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

Voters, including members of Efrain De La Fuenta's family, drove to Austin, Texas, to show support for De La Fuenta's campaign. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

Hispanic organization reports low turnout in Austin, Texas

Despite efforts by advocacy groups to engage the Latino community, Austin’s Hispanic voters comprised just seven percent of the turnout in Travis County, said Linda Chavez, state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

That is typically low for the county, Chavez said, and she thinks the delayed Texas primary, originally scheduled for March 6, played a roll in the low turnout Tuesday.

The Latino community has a pattern of low voter turnout, and engaging future voters is a topic LULAC plans to discuss at its state convention June 7-10, Chavez said.

By Lindsey Ruta, News21

New Florida registration law ordered on hold

Barbara Johnson from the National Council of La Raza registers Willie Mae Dixon, 68, of Miami, to vote outside a grocery store in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, May 31. Photo by Ethan Magoc/News21

Barbara Johnson from the National Council of La Raza registers Willie Mae Dixon, 68, of Miami, to vote outside a grocery store in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, May 31. Photo by Ethan Magoc/News21

A federal judge has stopped the state of Florida from requiring that the League of Women Voters and other third-party organizations comply with a state law that sets a 48-hour deadline to deliver voter registrations.

U.S. District Judge Robert S. Hinkle ordered the injunction, based upon the analysis that Florida’s regulations for registering voters would impose a “harsh and impractical” deadline for organizations turning in voter registration applications.

By Ethan Magoc, News21

Tea Party stumps for candidates at polls in Houston, Texas

Clear Lake resident Mary Vance campaigns for Tea Party candidates outside the Taylor Lake Village City Hall voting precinct in Houston, Texas.

Vance is a member of the Clear Lake Tea Party, whose efforts are similar to the King Street Patriots, known nationally for their poll-monitoring activities.

“We work side by side [with the King Street Patriots] when we can,” Vance said. “They would support us, but we kind of have different agendas.”

The Clear Lake Tea Party also founded chapters in the neighboring cities of Galveston, Alvin and Pearland.

By Lindsey Ruta and Ana Lastra, News21

Shooting near southern Texas polling place

A San Juan, Texas, polling place remained open Tuesday after an individual was shot nearby, a local election official confirmed.

The incident occurred among individuals campaigning near a fire station that serves as a polling place in Hidalgo County, in southern Texas. Under Texas law, campaigning is banned within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place.

Hidalgo County Elections Administrator Yvonne Ramon confirmed the shooting, and said the victim has received medical assistance.

By Annelise Russell, News21

Gonzalo Barrientos: Voter ID’s partisan divide

Gonzalo Barrientos served in the Texas Senate from 1985 to 2007. He also was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1975-1985. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

“The Texas Voter ID bill is one of a number of pieces of legislation that Republicans and the fringe extremists are trying to pass in this country. All of it is meant to divide and make weaker the people who are likely to vote for the Democrats. It’s hard enough to get people out to vote, especially when there is a tradition in the low income groups and put forth (to) intimidate people to keep them from voting. … It has been stated again and again that there is little fraud to have shown to have happened in Texas, and they simply won’t pay attention to that.”

By Lizzie Chen, News21

Jose A. Velásquez: Registering voters in East Austin, Texas

Jose A. Velásquez, president of Hermanos de East Austin, has registered more than 180 voters in the last three months to encourage political involvement in East Austin, Texas. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

“We want to get people politically and civically engaged,” Velásquez said. “We want them to start tearing down this wall, or idea, that politics is something foreign, or that East Austin doesn’t get involved, or abusing the idea that East Austin [residents] aren’t interested. Its just that no one comes to speak to them about it. ”

By Lizzie Chen, News21


Paul Saldana: A voice for Latino voters in Austin, Texas

Paul Saldana, a community activist who is a native of Austin, Texas, advocates for Latino voting rights. Photo by Lizzie Chen/News21

“Every month, on the national level, 50,000 Latinos become 18 and become eligible to vote, so that is 600,000 new eligible voters from the Latino communities. So clearly, they are worried about us. We have a tendency as a community to be more in line with the Democratic party, and I think Republicans are concerned about that. So we clearly represent the future, not with only the local community of this state but this nation, too … and they are concerned with our potential to affect the political landscape locally and statewide and on a national level.”

By Lizzie Chen, News21