This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Voter Registration Deadline Nears: The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Texas does not have online voter registration. Eligible voters can either mail a voter registration application to the El Paso County Elections Department, 500 E. San Antonio Ave., Room 314, or submit it to the department in person. The application must be postmarked by Tuesday. Tuesday is also the last day for registered voters to report an address or name change, which can be done online. The early voting period begins Oct. 24. The governor’s race is at the top of the ballot. Closer to home, four City Council seats are up for election and voters will decide on a $237 million city bond, which is largely focused on streets.
El Paso Astronaut’s New Job: Danny Olivas, the former astronaut from El Paso, has joined the staff of a program at the University of Southern California to explore the uses of artificial intelligence in space. Olivas will be co-director for AI Initiatives in Space at the Visual Intelligence and Multimedia Analytics Laboratory. He’ll focus on issues such as orbital debris, climate data, robots and rovers. A graduate of Burges High School and the University of Texas at El Paso, Olivas has a doctorate in materials science and mechanical engineering from Rice University. As a NASA astronaut, he flew three space shuttle missions that included 34 hours of spacewalks. Olivas led a space safety program at UTEP from 2013 until he resigned in 2020 after disagreements over how the university handled a NASA-related contract.
City Representative Candidate Debates: The Community First Coalition is hosting two city representative candidate debates ahead of the November election. The debate for candidates seeking to represent Districts 5 and 6 will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the El Paso Community College Valle Verde Campus in the Art, Science and Technology Auditorium. The majority of the candidates in that race are expected to participate. A debate for those seeking to represent Districts 1 and 8 will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Sacred Heart Church gymnasium, 602. S. Oregon St.