Fighting for election integrity and transparency

Tactical Roundup No. 2

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Candidates and political parties that want to rig elections by stealing votes will go to elaborate lengths to accomplish the task. Here, we’ll explore an instance that proves any individual with access to voter information represents a potential vulnerability in the execution of an election.

This post is part of an ongoing series covering tactics used to steal elections examining cases from Texas and around the country.

In 2017 a U.S. Postal Service employee was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his part in a ballot harvesting scheme.

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Left Aggressively Working to Undermine Convictions

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The cause of identifying and stopping voter fraud is gaining steam in Texas and nationwide, a movement growing despite efforts to kill it with bully tactics and fake news.

This push brings with it a growing spotlight on fraud prosecutions and convictions, a growing trend that undermines a key talking point from some on the left, namely, that voter fraud doesn’t exist.

Of course, a more accurate sentiment from fraud deniers and certainly the true spirit animating their denials is, voter fraud should not be prosecuted or in fact possible. This position better encapsulates the desires of those working to erode our democracy, undermining the value of the vote by excusing vote theft tactics along with allowing non-citizens or disqualified participants to vote.

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Fake news falters; relying on left further burns media credibility

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Recent misreporting by several outlets in Texas and around the country suggested Governor Greg Abbott “spearheaded” an effort to remove non-citizens from voter rolls. This “reporting” cited emails from the Governor’s office sent in August to suggest he kicked off the effort.

This “reporting” was a copy paste job and another example of an already discredited media machine taking and running with a left-wing group’s narrative.

If this were just laziness, it wouldn’t be worth examining. But, it’s not laziness, it’s a conscious decision to advance a false narrative, mislead the public and cause confusion to sew discord.

Back to the story at hand. The “gotcha” writing was that Abbott launched the effort in August, In fact, the effort was launched in the spring of 2018 following a hearing of a Senate select committee meeting.

Further, the emails cited as evidence to back this claim speak to the actual timeline of events but since this does not fit the color by numbers narrative, slavishly adhered to when it comes to reporting on election administration, it’s obfuscated.

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86th Session Election Integrity Legislative Review

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This session lawmakers had an opportunity to substantially move the ball on the issue of election integrity. Unfortunately, this did not happen and our analysis suggests the fault for this inaction rests largely with the House.

The Senate moved major bills during the session and with time to spare. Bills removing non-citizens from voter rolls, providing verifiable paper ballot backups, increasing the ability of law enforcement to pursue fraud and measures aimed at curbing in person manipulation of voters passed the Senate. The House is where these bills went to die.

In fact, cutting against the narrative that House leadership allowed bills from across the political spectrum to be heard in committee and receive floor votes, all meaningful election integrity bills were effectively blocked from public debate by all members of the House. Bills that got close to the floor were procedurally bull guarded, redirected to a conference committee where they were either gutted of needed reforms or killed.

During the session, after key reforms were procedurally nixed in the House after missing deadlines and lesser bills were similar being killed we wrote, it’s not acceptable for bills crucial to accurate administration of elections to languish. Action in governing is transparency, and this session has been short on this on the topic of election integrity.

There were hundreds of bills filed related to election law and Direct Action Texas tracked all of them. Our review of the session will detail the most impactful of these measures and some of the antics surrounding their voyage through the legislative process.

While we tracked hundreds of bills, 47 pieces of priority legislation were identified from the House and the Senate. Of these bills, 4.7% were passed out of both bodies and have become law or are waiting to be signed by the governor.

Though the movement on election integrity was paltry, there was movement in the process, a good benchmark of interest in the issue overall and something on which to build during the interim and next legislative session. Bad bills were universally stymied in the Senate and the few that were oddly prioritized by Chairman Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) died before becoming law.

The following review is broken into three sections. Major bills are covered first with a brief play by play followed by groupings of House and Senate bills respectively. With the exception of the first section, bill numbering dictates the order in which bills are presented.

Major Bills

SB 9 – Arguably the most important and comprehensive election integrity bill of the session was SB 9. Passed by the Senate but killed by the House, SB 9 was an omnibus election bill authored by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) that would have accomplished several things including:

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Tactical Roundup No. 1

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Staying on top of the tactics used to steal elections is an important task. In this series, cases from Texas and around the country are briefly highlighted to expose methods used to manipulate elections.

This week, a Hoboken, New Jersey man pleaded guilty to participating in a voter bribery scheme, that included paying for votes. He’s the third of five to plead guilty in this case which is interesting for a couple of reasons.

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