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Voter Registration, Girl Scouts, & One Square Mile: Houston Matters for Tues., Jan. 21, 2014

A report by the Texas Civil Rights Project describes what the organization considers defective and inadequate voter registration procedures at both state and local levels. According to the report, these practices effectively disenfranchise thousands of Texans. There are seven bodies charged with registering people to vote, but the Secretary of State’s office doesn’t have enforcement […]

A report by the Texas Civil Rights Project describes what the organization considers defective and inadequate voter registration procedures at both state and local levels. According to the report, these practices effectively disenfranchise thousands of Texans. There are seven bodies charged with registering people to vote, but the Secretary of State’s office doesn’t have enforcement power over them.

Here in Harris County, more than two million people were registered to vote last year. But that number may be short of the total number of people who should be eligible to vote. A report by the Houston Chronicle’s Mike Morris estimates as of the 2010 census, 2.9 million of the 4.1 million Harris County residents were 18 or older, suggesting a significant number of voting-age residents are not registered to vote.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we’ll learn about the concerns raised by the Texas Civil Rights Project, and get reaction from the voter registrar for Harris County. We’ll learn about efforts to encourage Houstonians to register to vote, and find out why doing so can, at times, be challenging.

Also this hour: Girl Scout cookie season is underway. We consider how the Girl Scout organization here in Greater Houston is faring, and in what ways, if any, the program is changing.

Plus: There are 268,820 square miles in Texas. One square mile might be populated by thousands of people. Another might be empty, save for a handful of Mesquite Trees. A new documentary series aims to tell stories of Texas, one square mile at a time. Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty explains.

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