Election Integrity

Last Chance for Election Integrity!

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The 86th Texas Legislature has gone from over 400 election bills to just one last chance for true reform and that bill, Senate Bill 9 by Hughes, is in danger. Some portions of the bill have been strengthened by a committee substitute, but other crucial portions of the bill have been removed. SB 9 needs your help and your testimony on Wednesday, May 15th at 8:00 am. Below is your brief guide to the bill.

What’s Still Included:

SB 9 is an omnibus bill, covering numerous aspects of the Election Code. It includes increased penalties for election fraud as well as civil penalties for organized election fraud. This allows the Office of the Attorney General to increase its ability to go after the bigger fish in harvesting operations. It allows the closer tracking of potential harvesters by requiring a form to be filled out by individuals assisting voters. SB 9 also cracks down on potential illegal activity involving curbside voting.

The bill has several sections on cleaning up the processes involved in voting. It clearly defines the procedures for opening and closing the polls, ensuring accountability. It limits electronic devices around the central counting procedures as well as cleaning up the language concerning the signature verification committees and watchers. Countywide polling is also addressed by SB 9, limiting the reduction of polling locations and governing their placement.

In the event that the results of an election are in doubt, SB 9 provides solutions that are clearer than the present code. It defines the parameters of election contests, sets requirements for automatic recounts, and establishes risk-limiting audit procedures.

In addressing the voter rolls, it places restrictions on prefilled voter registration cards and eliminates barriers for the interstate cross check systems.

What’s Missing:

The committee substitute removed language that would address a growing issue involving mail-in ballots, false disability claims. Harvesters are marking voters who wouldn’t otherwise qualify to vote by mail as disabled. SB 9 would have added language to the application, clearly defining what disability means in the context of voting. It would have required something similar for in-person voting, but that provision was removed as well. Assistants would have been required to note the type of assistance he or she provided and why the assistance was needed. 

The most important piece of SB 9 that was eliminated was paper ballot backups. Direct Action Texas has been broadcasting the need for paper ballot backups since before this session began. No piece of this legislation is more important than paper backups. With the current electronic systems, there is no way to truly ensure the integrity of an election. In a recount, there is nothing to recount. There is no actual record of votes.

We must have paper. However, we need more than just paper. We need hybrid systems. Hybrids offer an electronic count that must match the number of paper ballots. Those two counts must then match the number of voters checked in. Each paper ballot must have a serial number, preventing ballot box stuffing. Without all of these elements working together the door is wide open for fraud.

Paper ballot backups passed in the Senate. They are not lost yet in the House. A Representative can take a stand for election integrity and add them back in as a floor amendment. They can also be restored in Conference Committee. However it happens, this crucial portion of the legislation must return!

If you plan to testify in Austin on Wednesday, please email us at info@directactiontx.com for more details.

Grassroots Coalition Letter on Secretary of State

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Today, conservatives from across the state are calling on Governor Greg Abbott to ensure his appointee to the position of Secretary of State is a proactive leader on election integrity.

In a letter delivered to Governor Greg Abbott’s office this morning, grassroots leaders have laid out several actions the incoming SoS can take to protect elections from known weaknesses.

This past Monday, Abbott named his Deputy Chief of Staff David Whitley to replace outgoing Rolando Pablos.

We look forward to learning more about Mr. Whitley in the coming days ahead of his nomination hearing and working with him to ensure necessary steps are being taken to combat election fraud in Texas.

The letter, included in its entirety below, was signed by over 136 political leaders across the state.

To continue reading, click HERE:

Tarrant County Voter Fraud Conviction Upheld

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The Texas 2ndCourt of Appeals has upheld Rosa Maria Ortega’s voter fraud conviction. Ortega, a non-citizen, resident alien was originally convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail by a Tarrant County jury for voting illegally.

Direct Action Texas staff were present during the original trial and witnessed Ortega’s testimony and attempted defense. Her attorney attempted to sway the jury with claims that “She voted Republican! Like some of you might have” and that one vote couldn’t make a difference in an election. His arguments were weak, at best, and failed to refute the evidence presented.

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Count Every Vote Once, Twice,… Until the Democrat Wins

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Echoing the national Democrat sentiment of “count every vote,” Democrat candidate for State Representative, District 108 Joanna Cattanach has called for a recount in her race against incumbent Rep. Morgan Meyer. Cattanach lost by just 420 votes, less than 1% of the total vote and far below the state law requirement of 10%. The recount began Tuesday, November 27th, and is expected to continue for three days.

Rep. Morgan Meyer and Rep. Angie Chen Button are the lone Republican State House survivors in Dallas County. The November 6th election flipped five House seats from red to blue. Incumbent Representatives Linda Koop, Rodney Anderson, and Matt Rinaldi all lost their races to Democrats. Challengers Jonathan Boos and Lisa Luby Ryan failed to retain House seats left open by fellow Republicans.

In an interview with DAT, Dallas County Republican Chairwoman, Missy Shorey, vowed to stand with Rep. Meyer, the properly elected “rightful representative of the people.” She said she has dedicated GOP funds to the recount to help with the cost of 3 attorneys to assist in the proceedings. Chairwoman Shorey has also recruited well-trained volunteer poll watchers to observe during the count.

Rep. Meyer needs all the help he can get. Dallas County has been plagued with accusations of Election Fraud. Direct Action Texas filed complaints with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) back in April of 2017. In May of that same year, WFAA and the Dallas Morning News reported on citizens speaking up about vote harvesters attempting to steal their votes. Since then Dallas has been the subject of investigations by Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson and the OAG. Thus far, those investigations have led to one man pleading guilty to mail-in ballot fraud.

Since we filed our complaints in 2017, Dallas County Elections have become more and more opaque. Our latest request to view mail-in ballot applications and carrier envelopes was met with a cost estimate of over $67,000. We were also told our request would take over 9 months to complete. Closer examination of the numbers reveals outlandish estimates of hours for labor. It appears to be an attempt to hide the information from review.

Throughout, Toni Pippins-Poole, Dallas County Elections Administrator, has fought against transparency in her office. Her obfuscation has recently led to lawsuits from the Dallas County Republican Party (DCRP). Republican Ballot Board members identified mail-in ballot carrier envelopes with suspected harvesters named as assistants to the voters. The DCRP went to court and attempted to sequester those ballots and have them reviewed by a judge. Before the judge could make her ruling, the Democrat Ballot Board judge sent those ballot envelopes to be opened and separated from the ballots inside. Even if those votes were later found to be fraudulent, those ballots could never be matched up to their envelopes and removed from the count. Was this another Democrat attempting to “count every vote,” legal or not?

Joanna Cattanach even sued Dallas County Elections because they refused to provide the list of all voters who cast provisional ballots. Could we have avoided this recount if Pippins-Poole had fulfilled the request? It seems both sides have lost faith in the elections department.

The recount has started with the paper ballots cast on Election Day and will then proceed on to the mail-in ballots and provisionals. Cattanach has paid the $7000 deposit for that portion of the recount. It will cost her more to proceed further into Early Voting. The $7000 is just the tip of the iceberg on this recount, though. With all of the attorney fees and sleepless nights for those involved, this will be a costly recount.

It is still unclear if there was any fraud, incompetence, or human errors in this election. One thing is clear, Dallas County needs to re-evaluate its elections department. A lack of transparency breeds suspicion. Dallas County, Texas looks more and more like Broward County, Florida every day.

UPDATED: Dallas Election Administrator Says NO To Finding Fraud. Find it later.

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UPDATE: The Dallas County Republican Party (DCRP) has sent a cease and desist demand letter to Russell Miller, Chairman of the Signature Verification Committee. In the letter, DCRP’s General Counsel, Elizabeth Alvarez, demands that Miller cease to violate numerous statutes in the Texas Election Code. One of which is Section 33.061 referring to unlawfully obstructing a poll watcher. For the full demand letter, click HERE.

 

Dallas County has become the hot bed for mail-in ballot fraud over the last couple years. Earlier this year Miguel Hernandez pled guilty to charges related to him illegally harvesting 766 mail-in ballots in a city council race.

A record breaking mid-term election is in full swing and once again mail-in ballots are at the center of Dallas County elections. Members of the ballot board and poll watchers have been told they cannot take notes and poll watchers are even being told by Dallas Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole (TPP) that they are not allowed in the signature verification room. Insanely, the Dallas District Attorney agrees. Evidently the DA’s office is unable to read basic election code.

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