HPPR Government & Politics

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There’s a lot more happening on Lone Star ballots today besides Trump vs. Clinton. Here are some things to watch for tonight in Texas, courtesy The Dallas Morning News.

Getty Images

This year has seen the strangest election that most of us can recall. But, as the BBC has found, U.S. elections are just strange, in general.

Here are a few ways that our friends across the pond have found us to be a little odd when it comes to choosing our leaders.

Many of us are going to want to have a drink tomorrow when it’s all over. But for some folks in Indiana, that won’t be easy. Eighteen cities and seven counties in Indiana have banned the sale of booze on election day.

Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas voters won’t just be choosing a president tomorrow at the polls; they’ll also be deciding on a matter close to the heart of sportsmen.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, voters in Kansas are deciding this year whether hunting and fishing should be protected by the state constitution. The potential amendment has been overshadowed by other races this year, but the issue has raised a pitched battle all the same.

Texas Observer

Texas is seeing a staggering turnout for early voting this year. In fact, no election in history has seen so many early voters in the Lone Star State.

As The Texas Observer reports, the heavy early turnout could be good news for Democrats. Strategists have said it appears that Republicans are simply “not as enthusiastic” this year. Historically, heavy early voting numbers have been good news for the Republican Party in Texas.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

The heads of Colorado’s Democratic and Republican parties have found some common ground this election season: Neither of them supports a pair of ballot measures that would empower independent voters.

Click on the player above or tune to your local HPPR station for complete election coverage from NPR and HPPR through the night.  While NPR covers results of the presidential race and control of congress, HPPR is covering state legislative races and ballot initiatives across the High Plains region of Kansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma.  Also keep hppr.org on your screen to follow NPR’s live blog, read and hear additional election stories, and follow HPPR’s latest vote tallies on regional races:

news9.com

More than 225 new state laws went into effect in Oklahoma this week, News 9 reports.

Domestic violence victim advocates are cheering one of the new laws. Senate Bill 1491 says that anyone showing a pattern of domestic violence will be guilty of a felony. Under the law, a “pattern of domestic violence” is defined as two more instances.

Many Texas secessionists believe a Hillary Clinton presidency could speed the state’s movement toward a separation from the United States, The Houston Chronicle reports.

In the wake of England’s “Brexit” from the European Union, Texas Nationalists have experienced a surge in interest for their own so-called “Texit.”

NBC News

If the highways in your state are crumbling, you may soon be getting some help. Hillary Clinton is preparing a highway plan in the event that she is elected president.

As Bloomberg reports, the Democratic frontrunner has unveiled a $275 billion infrastructure plan that would aim to shore up the nation’s thoroughfares. The initiative would be paid for by corporate tax-law changes.

Poll Shows Kansas Voters Favor Retention of Justices

Nov 4, 2016
KTUL

A recent poll shows voter support for retention of five Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Omaha World-Herald

Next month, Nebraska and Oklahoma voters will go to decide state initiatives on the death penalty. In general, the trend in America is heading away from capital punishment.

As the Omaha World Herald notes, Nebraska is one of 20 states that have done away with the death penalty. Eight of those 20 states have done so in the last decade.

Topeka Capital-Journal

A new Kansas poll shows a result that is perhaps unexpected among the traditionally red state: Kansans show a preference for raising state taxes on the wealthy and big business.

Andy Cross / The Denver Post

It seems pretty much anyone can run for president in the Centennial State these days.

When Denver Post columnist Steve Lipsher opened his Colorado voting ballot last week, he was astounded by the number of presidential candidates he saw there. Where he expected to see a handful of names, he found “an astounding 22 would-be Leaders of The Free World.”

farmanddairy.com

In the past, HPPR has done separate stories on where the two major-party presidential candidates stand on agriculture. FarmandDairy.com has published a side-by-side comparison.

news9.com

One consequence of the deeply conservative nature of Oklahoma politics: It can leave the state’s voters feeling left on the sidelines.

As News 9 reports, both major-party presidential candidates have been focusing on the cares and concerns of the voters living in the eleven battleground states. And that can leave Oklahomans feeling forgotten.

The Wichita Eagle

The Republican Party is drawing criticism in Kansas for sending out mailers that feature an ISIS fighter holding an automatic rifle. In the background, an ISIS flag waves beside a rural windmill. The mailer reads simply, “Have you met the new neighbors?”

Clay Barker is the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party. He confirmed to The Wichita Eagle that the mailers are being sent out across the Sunflower State. “It’s a positive issue for Republicans,” he said.

Eric Gay / AP photo/Dallas Morning News

There’s been a lot of talk about how the presidential race in Texas could come down to the wire. But another fact has gotten lost among all the hype: On a smaller scale, Texas remains as red as ever.

agri-pulse.com

Agriculture hasn’t exactly been the focus of this year’s presidential campaign.

Agri-pulse did their part to make up for that omission this week by reporting on how Hillary Clinton would approach agriculture policy in the event that she’s elected.

Vic Vela / cpr.org

As this election season geared up, there was much talk of Colorado as “a battleground” and a “purple state” and “contested territory.” But, as CNN reports, Colorado may actually be America’s newest blue state.

Hillary Clinton has maintained a steady lead in Colorado polls. In fact, her campaign is so confident they’ll win in the Centennial State that they ceased running ads back in July.

AP photo

The Kansas Supreme Court races are drawing an unusual amount of campaign spending this year, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.  

But no one knows the total amount or where the money is coming from. That’s because a loophole in Kansas election laws prevents the disclosure of donor names and dollar amounts.

KSN

The U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to monitor election complaints in Kansas, KSN reports.

On election day, a federal prosecutor will be on duty to respond to complaints of possible election fraud and voting rights violations in Kansas. A phone number is available (913-551-6730) for concerned citizens to call if they suspect election fraud on November 8th. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon Patton  will be responding to voter concerns and complaints throughout the day.

NewsOK.com

With the news this week that Texas may be entering swing state territory, you may be wondering how much more unpredictable this election will get. But, as NewsOK reports, Oklahoma won’t be turning blue anytime soon.

The state has long held a reputation as one of the nation’s most reliably conservative, and that fact seems as true as ever.

Dallas Morning News

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is once again facing accusations of fraud from investors, reports The New York Times.

Lone Star State Lighter Shade of Red This Election

Oct 27, 2016
KQED

Texas, home to two of the country’s most recent Republican presidents, George Bush and his son, George W. Bush, and one of the most conservative states in the country, is a toss-up in this year’s presidential election.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

This week, rumors of “vote switching” ran rampant across the Lone Star State. Stories were traded on the internet about how voters were going to the polls, only to see their selections switched to candidates from the opposing party.

Some of the most prominent reports came from Canyon, the seat of Randall County. The reports prompted the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to investigate.

The verdict? No, Texas’ machines aren’t switching votes.

AP photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is among the top names being considered for Agriculture Secretary in the event that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

KFOR.com

Oklahoma has denied a request by Russian officials to monitor voters at a polling place on election day, KFOR reports.

The request came from Consul General Alexander Zakharov at the Russian consulate in Houston. The Russians said they simply wanted to observe the U.S. election process.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been making news with his recruitment of so-called “poll-watchers” to ensure that the election system is fair.

Critics have decried the move as a thinly veiled call for voter intimidation at the polls. Meanwhile, many civil rights groups have joined in a broad campaign to prevent voter intimidation by training their own poll monitors.

Blend Images / Hill Street Studios/Getty/HuffPo

If you’re planning to vote on election day, it might be best to leave your phone in your car—especially if you’re in the habit of taking frequent selfies.

Texas law prohibits photography within 100 feet of a polling place, The Huffington Post reports.

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