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Election Integrity Roundup 1.19.20

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Here’s a look at election integrity news from around Texas and the country.

Some of these stories have been shared via our social media accounts, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Democrats Sue

As part of a plan to win in 2020, Democrats are suing the state of Texas to subvert election integrity safeguards. National Democrats have sued Texas to implement online voter registration.

Currently, Texas requires signatures on voter registration and voting materials to limit exposure to fraud. Democrats would prefer electronic squiggles that cannot be used to verify identification, which would streamline vote harvesting operations.

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Predictable Outcome to Midland Ballot Count

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Today, ballots discovered in a box that went uncounted during a recount of MISD’s November bond were counted and the election was shown to have failed.

The margin of defeat was the original margin of 25, plus one bringing the total to 26. That extra vote could be that of a stray ballot discovered in a voting machine after the election recount was certified by the MISD board.

This outcome was predictable which is good, but it’s also bad.

Good, because it validated the position of many, that new voting systems which rely on both electronic and paper ballots help ensure accurate recounts. Now, to have an accurate recount all of the ballots are necessary but barring missing ballot boxes and with a rock solid chain of custody, recounts are possible and predictable with paper ballot backups.

Bad, because we have an election that was certified when it should not have been at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office. Advice from the SoS to certify the election, is based on the interpretation of code by SoS staff and is not mandated, despite breathless claims to the contrary by MISD officials and their allies.

The validation of the faulty election could have resulted in an unconstitutional result standing had it not been for the work of Better Bond for Midland and Direct Action Texas to understand and challenge the results.

Originally, intervenors from Better Bond for Midland were seeking the election be voided but, following the count today, an agreed order nullifying the election will be submitted.

A Midland judge is expected to reverse the election result early next week.

Secretary of State Falls for Bait and Switch?

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A week after the Secretary of State granted Dallas County permission to conduct countywide elections moving forward, Dallas County Commissioners announced they were going to up-end its established and tested election equipment.

Early this week, concerns about election security were cited in the media and used to abandon electronic poll book equipment used in November’s election. In its place Dallas County plans to substitute a competitor’s version, sparking speculation that the move was just another in a long line of vendor skirmishes in the election space.

There is no indication that the November election was misconducted or that the voting systems in place were compromised as suggested in the media.

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MISD Bond Continues to Crawl Toward Death

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On Friday, a Midland County judge ordered ballots found in a misplaced box be manually counted on January 17. Previously, an inventory of the found ballots was conducted to ascertain the number of ballots only.

The manual recount, of yeas and nyes on Friday, will not alter the election result but may bring a modicum of clarity to an election contest that has been marred by confusion and novel election administration issues.

Regardless the outcome, what will be most interesting to witness is the posture MISD officials and allies take after the ballots are counted. Currently, more than 800 Midlanders have been disenfranchised and the election inaccurately certified. This won’t be rectified by Friday’s count.

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Security of County Sites Conflated with Systems

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The recently concluded 2019 might best be known for the spread of misleading information.

Fake news has been around for years but there’s a new and growing sense of desperation about the direction of the country from those on the left that has fundamentally changed the degree and tone of their efforts.

In December, the League of Women Voters released a “scorecard” that suggested 80 percent of county election websites in the state are not secure. Reporting on this “shocking” statistic did a poor job of identifying what is being measured by the LWV and what are not affected, namely the security of our elections.

County websites lacking SSL certificates does not affect the security of elections. No information about voters or votes is transmitted across county websites in Texas.

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