Posts by Daniel Greer

House Elections Committee Update

Posted by |

Yesterday the Texas House Elections Committee held its most substantive hearing of the session to date, voting out bills for consideration and taking up several major items.

In the Senate, the State Affairs Committee heard a wide-ranging bill by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). Direct Action Texas registered in support of the Hughes measure, SB 9. More on that later.

Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), Chair of the House Elections Committee, brought a handful of bills up for a vote, marking the first time this session bills have moved out of her committee. Four of the bills passed without opposition (HBs 88, 273, 1048 and 1241).

Two additional measures advanced did not receive unanimous support, HB 1067 and HB 1421. The former is a bill that would allow for a deceased individual to be removed from the ballot and the latter is an election “cybersecurity” bill.

HB 1421 and its counterparts across the country coincide with meritless hand wringing over Russian hacking of the 2016 election. While there were attempts at hacking, the efforts were largely unsuccessful, suggesting that measures currently safeguarding our election systems are effectively working.

Where the attacks were most successful reveals hypocrisy, as many cybersecurity advocates are clamoring for online voter registration. FiveThirtyEight reported that 21 states were scanned in 2016 and 1 was hacked. That state, Illinois was breached by way of the online voter registration system.

Last week, during testimony on HB 1421, multiple witnesses testified against the measure, noting that the bill is unnecessary given the effectiveness of our current system, the information being protected is a public record and that the bill appears to be a vendor handout.

In other states, including California and New York cybersecurity programs have been used to expand the scope of the power of political regulators, including the regulation of speech. In California, the cybersecurity monitors social media and “combats misinformation.”

Representatives Middleton and Swanson voted in opposition to the measure.

Currently the secretary of state’s office is conducting security evaluations with counties by way of a vendor with federal funding.

Among the more lively testimony, Pam Joyce, with the Harris County Republican Party testified convincingly in opposition to HB 1463 mandating joint primaries calling it a, “highly partisan and distasteful bill.” Currently, the decision to call a joint primary is up to county party officials.

Ed Johnson testifying on HB 1463 stated that election poll workers in Harris County have intimidated voters by refusing to give Spanish speaking voters Republican primary ballots, insisting they vote a Democrat ballot.

Chair of the Republican Party’s working group on election integrity Kathleen Wall testified that while working polls she had to instruct a man who had been bounced from multiple poll locations in a joint primary election that he had a right to vote a Republican ballot at the polling place he originally visited.

Participation in primary elections is a driver for general election participation. In counties where voter intimidation is taking place during a joint primary, this can have an adverse effect on general election turnout and results.

The bill immediately following HB 1463, to increase pay for election judges in joint primaries, was suggested by Democrat Glen Maxey. Briscoe Cain questioning the bill’s author Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) exposed this and

Of the bills passed out of committee with unanimous consent, two were authored by Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) and the others by Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), and John Bucy (D-Cedar Park) respectively.

Election Bills Moving

Posted by |

This week the Texas House Elections Committee held a hearing for the first time dealing with specific legislation.

Last week the committee heard invited testimony from ethics and election officials. According to Collin County’s election administrator, the aspect of our voting process most susceptible to fraud is mail-in ballots. More on this later.

Read More

Felon Voters Discovered in DFW

Posted by |

WFAA based out of Dallas has reported that hundreds, possibly thousands of felons, who are disqualified from voting, are verified to have voted in the 2018 general election.

Following the November election, WFAA investigated registrations of felon voters and interviewed several to confirm the voting activity.

Felons are not allowed to vote in Texas elections until they have completed the conditions of their sentence including parole or probation.

Read More

Non-citizens removed from voter rolls have been voting

Posted by |

Non-citizens registered to vote (and voting in some cases) are voluntarily taking themselves off voter rolls according to testimony given Monday at a hearing in San Antonio.

Left-wing groups are trying to stop routine list maintenance initiated by the Secretary of State to remove non-citizens from voting rolls, a needed process that is working.

Keith Ingram, elections director for the secretary of state’s office, testified that 45 non-citizens with recent voting histories have taken themselves off voter rolls. These non-citizens appear to have done so without receiving a notice from county officials.

In January, the secretary of state’s office sent a list of 100,000 potential non-citizens who were registered to vote to county officials calling on them to investigate and if warranted send letters of determination to verify citizenship status. The left and allies in the media sprang into action to stop the effort.

Read More

Report: Voter ID Isn’t Suppression

Posted by |

According to a recent report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Voter ID laws do not disenfranchise voters. The NBER is a nonpartisan non-profit based out of Massachusetts with a New York outpost.

According to Working Paper 25522, which reviewed elections from 2008 to 2016, the paper’s authors found voter ID laws have “no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.”

Additionally, the researchers found that voter ID laws “do not decrease the participation of ethnic minorities relative to whites.”

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest