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Perspectives

Did Billie Sol give Texas Sen. Yarborough $50,000?

Did Billie Sol give Texas Sen. Yarborough $50,000?

Did a swashbuckling swindler slip a certain Texas senator a big wad of cash on Nov. 6, 1960? Four years later, that was the $50,000 question that threatened to sink Ralph Yarborough’s reelection campaign. The swindler was, of course, the infamous Billie Sol Estes, whose specialty was suckering banks into loaning him millions on nonexistent tanks of chemical fertilizer. When his houseof- cards empire collapsed, the pudgy promoter was indicted on a long list of federal charges.

How Texas counts ballots and keeps elections secure

Elections are critical to our democracy and the political process, but they require lots of preparation and coordination. So how do officials ensure the integrity of elections? From election equipment to ballot counting and storage, Texas elections officials follow a long list of laws and procedures to ensure free and fair elections. They are also working increasingly long hours to respond to questions and concerns from members of the public. “I take that very personally, because it’s a reflection on me and my office, and I just am very serious about what I do,” said Trudy Hancock, the Brazos County elections administrator and president of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators.

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