Texas Reporter

We’re looking for a reporter to cover voting in Texas. 

Votebeat, the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat to cover local election administration and voting access, is seeking a passionate journalist to serve as our Texas reporter.

This is a pivotal time to cover voting in Texas, a state that takes a hard line on voting access and aggressively pursues alleged voting crimes, especially in the wake of 2020 and the state’s new voting laws. You will be responsible for reporting and writing stories — in close collaboration with your Votebeat editors — focused on the intersection of elections and law enforcement, including efforts by the attorney general and county attorneys to investigate and prosecute illegal voting and election administration violations. You will also cover the secretary of state’s regulation of election policy and its reviews of elections such as audits and recounts. And, you will follow the disputes and lawsuits over election processes and results, including ongoing challenges to the state’s new voting laws.

You will dive deep into the details of election law and administration, synthesizing those facts into accurate, nuanced takeaways. Your journalism will inform the debate around voting and make an impact by spotlighting problems in election administration and voting law enforcement, and by pointing toward solutions. Because the prosecutions and lawsuits around voting are ongoing, we treat this coverage as a year-round beat. 

You also will serve as Votebeat’s public face in the community, working closely with our network team to cultivate reader engagement and represent the organization at public events. You’re comfortable appearing on local television and radio programs to explain the impact of your reporting and are eager to engage directly with local election offices. 

Who are you?

You are committed to local journalism and respect the transformative power of a good story. You’re a self-starter who is hungry to break news, eager to understand and inform vital public policy debates, and enthusiastic about creating new models for sustainable journalism. You’re a strong beat reporter who can develop reliable sources and find overlooked stories. You have the ability to write a range of stories, from breaking news to enterprise and long-term projects.

Most importantly, you can serve as a guide for our readers — election administrators, policymakers, voting advocates, and voters themselves — in explaining how elections work in Texas. And you’re not afraid to call officials to task when warranted.

Required background and skills:

  • Experience covering elections, the courts, law enforcement, or government
  • Knowledge of Texas elections, law, local demographics, and political culture
  • Experience with building sources and generating story ideas
  • Comfort or experience working with data, research, and reports 
  • The ability to write clearly, cleanly, and on deadline for quick-take, daily and longer-form stories
  • Autonomous work habits, including proactive initiative and diligent task management while working remotely 
  • Team-oriented mindset with a generous spirit toward supporting your colleagues
  • Interest in or experience with reader engagement, including finding creative ways to connect with a diverse set of readers
  • A firm grasp of AP style and proper grammar
  • The ability to accept feedback and use it to grow
  • A passion for political participation and civic health in Texas
  • Ability to report in Spanish is a plus

Not all candidates will check all of the requirements listed above, and that’s OK — we still want to hear from you. We especially encourage candidates from communities that traditionally have been underrepresented in journalism and especially in leadership positions.

This position can be based in or around Austin, Houston, or Dallas, with regular travel expected to the capital. The reporter will work from home and communicate remotely with the rest of the staff in Dallas, Denver, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. This is a full-time position with benefits and reports to the editor in chief. Votebeat offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefits package, including a paid one-week recess. Our virtual newsroom features daily interaction, social Slack channels, personal development sessions, and team exercise and meditation get-togethers.

This is a role covered by the CBA with the WGAE.

Our organization is committed to antiracism, and our staff is taking part in ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work. 

To apply, complete the submission form at bottom of this page.

About Votebeat:

Votebeat is the nonprofit news organization created by Chalkbeat, originally as a pop-up newsroom in 2020 and now relaunching as a permanent network. We are committed to providing local coverage about how elections work and holding public officials accountable for fair access to the ballot box. Read more about our mission, vision, and values.