Right caves, left sues anyway
Surprise! Liberals are suing the State of Texas over election administration.
Being litigation fear mongers is a defining characteristic of the left and its completely predictable behavior ahead of a make or break 2020. It’s precisely because of this proclivity that legislative inaction in service of litigation avoidance by conservatives is played out, and should not have driven decision making during the session.
Last week, the Texas Civil Rights Project and a gaggle of its left-wing comrades, filed a lawsuit seeking to block election officials from throwing out mail-in ballots called into question during the signature verification process.
Currently, when a ballot is cast by mail and the signature does not match any of the multiple signatures on file for a voter, the ballot is excluded and the voter is notified within 10 days of the election.
This is a very rare occurrence, with fewer than 1,900 votes statewide reportedly rejected in 2018 and around 1,500 reportedly rejected in 2016. Outside of banning the practice of excluding ballots with signature discrepancies, the plaintiffs would like a “cure” for these ballots, a way to remedy votes being excluded by contacting voters.
Such remedies were suggested during the session, including HB 2562 by Celia Israel (D-Austin). The problem with Israel’s bill and similar measures seeking to correct errors in registering and voting is the method of communication, email. Insecure, unofficial, low hanging fruit for harvesters, buried in spam email which by the way is susceptible to the same type of error this lawsuit allegedly seeks to alleviate, misinterpreted handwriting.
According to NCSL, only a dozen states require some form of notification if there is a signature mismatch found on a mail-in-ballot. This suit and similar efforts during the session appear to be the same bad faith undermining of fair elections we’ve come to expect from the left.
During the session, HB 1459 by Jesica Gonzalez (D-Dallas) would have reconfigured ballot review boards in such a way that ties in the process of invalidating ballots would be possible. The aim of this legislation was, according to Gonzalez’ testimony, to lower the number of ballots being excluded.
Ballot review boards in Texas need attention and training but not because of the number of ballots that are being rejected, because of the ones that are escaping without proper scrutiny.
Direct Action Texas has made its bones in election integrity by locating anomalies in mail-in-ballot participation and discovering fraud within the tranches of cast ballots. In part, identification rests on comparing handwriting and finding mismatches.
Our organization knows from experience, there are countless signatures that do not match and should be questioned every election cycle.
This apparent attempt to cover up vote harvesting activities comes ahead of a cycle that will likely see a push for more mail-in-ballot participation for a couple of reasons.
First, both parties will be working to boost predictable participation by packing ballot-by-mail eligible voters to vote from home. And second, Texas is ending straight-ticket voting in 2020, a shift that will likely lead to longer lines at polling places and be used to persuade voters to vote by mail.
Voting by mail is offered to people with disabilities, those over 65 years old, voters who will be outside of the county at the time of an election, and eligible incarcerated individuals.
Mail-in ballot fraud is an ongoing problem noted during the legislative session by election administrators who called for stricter punishments to deter further fraud attempts. These needed deterrents were not delivered.
No, instead of taking needed actions to fortify elections against fraud during the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers killed needed integrity measures. One excuse given privately for inaction, fear of litigation.
Well here’s litigation without progress towards policy goals, a lose-lose situation.