Fighting for Transparency & Fiscal Responsibility in Local Government

Texas AG Releases Opinion on Definition of DRE

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There is a struggle for election integrity ongoing in Texas. On one side are those who want to open up the market and include better systems with both paper and electronic trails. On the other is Harris County and certain equipment vendors who want to monopolize the industry and continue using 1980’s insecure technology.

Recently there has been several new systems come on the market which have both paper and electronic. In Texas we have Hart’s on demand paper ballots system, like Denton County has adopted. By ES&S they have their electronic ballot assist system which fills out a paper ballot based upon your selections. Both systems provide both a paper ballot and MBB hard drive with the results. There are multiple trails this way and much better accountability than a traditional DRE system. DRE is Direct Recording Electronic voting system. These are quite possibly the most distrusted systems in use today. Ironically enough this is one point with bi-partisan support – neither democrats nor republicans trust DRE’s, and with reason.

With the advent of the paper ballot on demand and the ballot assist systems beginning to take hold in Texas, a vendor began putting up obstacles in order to protect their market share. Oddly enough, the vendor, Hart, also sells the very systems they were suing to stop from being used. Their fear was loosing their contracts with counties that have countywide polling centers, to their competitor. The Texas Election code states county polling centers must use DRE’s. Representative Lyle Larson asked the OAG for an opinion and today the OAG released their opinion and they have cleared the way for this new technology to be used across the state. (You can read the AG’s Opinion HERE.)

This opens up the doors for new technology, much better technology to begin to be used across the state. This is a good thing for Texans and this is a good thing for Texas’ election integrity.

Thank you Gen. Paxton.

Citizen Files to Have Dallas Elections Administrator Removed from Office.

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Earlier today Dallas attorney, J.J. Koch, filed a petition to have a jury hear the case on the removal of Dallas County Elections Administrator from her elected office. This comes on the heels of  WFAA breaking a story last week that Toni Pippins-Poole, the Dallas Elections Administrator, was shaking down the county’s vendors for cash. In that story, they share various communications where Pippins-Poole is pressuring vendors to “sponsor” various activities she is involved in. One vendor replied asking where to send the cash, in the past they simply gave it to Toni. Read More

Three Strikes for Tarrant County

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Tarrant County officials would like taxpayers to think they have had a run of bad luck with their audits. The truth is there is clearly a culture of disregard for the law in the offices of those that are sworn to uphold it.

Tarrant County Auditor, Renee Tidwell, has reported yet another failing grade to the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. The latest black mark on the County record was the August audit of Constable Michael Campbell, Precinct 8.

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