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Key Election Night Tools for Journalists

- From TX Elections Officials, Poynter

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office is now taking reservations for its election night returns data feed, the XML Newsfeed, for the Nov. 3 General Election.

Stations were emailed registration forms earlier this month. 

The forms and the $250 fee must be sent to the SOS by Sept. 30. 

The Secretary of State’s Elections Advisory Committee approved the $250 fee in July, the same fee that’s been in place for several years.

It is less expensive than the election night data feeds the SOS provided during the past 20 years.

Questions regarding the SOS’s election night services should be directed to Beva Kellison at (800) 252-8683 or at

As in previous elections, newsroom subscribers will obtain access to an online-based inquiry system with immediate update features.

Vote totals are updated continuously throughout election night as soon as returns are received.

The inquiry system will display election results for statewide, district, county, and early voting totals.

Stations seeking to view results on on election night can do so for free, but be advised the results are refreshed at a much slower rate than the XML Newsfeed

Free September Poynter Election Webinar
The Poynter Institute and its Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership are producing a free September webinar on reporting election results and voter turnout in the November election – The Weirdest Election “Night” Ever.

Texas journalists are encouraged to register now for the free Sept. 9-10 online sessions as spaces for the webinar are limited. The deadline is Aug. 28; you can read more about this offering on the Poynter website.

Poynter said the goal of the webinar is to elevate the journalism around election results and voter turnout in the 2020 elections.

Misunderstanding, misreporting and even mischief after the polls close this November pose a real risk for the proper functioning of the democratic transfer of power.

There is an expectation that the American public won’t have a quickly announced presidential winner due to delays from mail-in balloting driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

If the race is close, it may take a week to declare who won in races across the country.

During that wait, partisans might try to shape the social media narrative through misleading readings of voting returns.

It is Poynter’s belief that journalists have a special obligation to report precisely, ethically, and authoritatively, rather than being swept up in rumors.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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