Natalia Contreras

Natalia Contreras

Reporter, Votebeat Texas

Natalia Contreras has covered a range of topics as a community journalist including local government, public safety, immigration, and social issues. Natalia comes to Votebeat from the Austin American-Statesman, where her reporting focused on impacts of government policies on communities of color. Natalia previously reported for the Indianapolis Star, where she helped launch the first Spanish-language newsletter, and at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Natalia was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The request to the U.S. Department of Justice comes after Texas undermined ballot secrecy in the name of election transparency.

Registered voters in 96 Texas counties cast ballots at vote centers on election day. Scrapping that option could have costly implications.

The action comes after Votebeat and The Texas Tribune confirmed that some voters’ choices can later be identified through legally available records.

‘What we're seeing right now is that conflict between transparency and secrecy.’

The public has wide access to a trove of records that, in some cases, can be used to figure out exactly how someone voted. Election administrators want that fixed.

Forms related to address changes and ID can trip up voters — and workers — at the polling place.

Gillespie County documents show election worker expenses for the primary more than doubled from 2020. And they’re likely to grow.

Right-wing challengers are ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ into their complaints about how elections are conducted.

An expanded post-election hand count and an added $14,000 cost for special ballot paper won’t make voting more secure, but they may appease skeptics — for now.

Votec, one of only three companies approved to manage voter registration data, is facing a financial squeeze and asking counties for a 35% surcharge.