Texas Attorney General Files Amicus Brief in Pressley Case to Texas Supreme Court
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court of Texas in support of the petitioner – Laura Pressley. At issue in the amicus is whether all ballots, including Direct Recording Electronic voting machines (DREs), must follow the Texas Constitution’s requirement to number each ballot.
In question is the language of the Texas Constitution Article VI, Sec. 4 which reads: “in all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box.”. Note that the term “tickets” here is interchangeable with ballot – in other words every ballot must be numbered.
However, systems currently in use in Texas, specifically DRE machines, DO NOT number their ballots. In fact many simply do not have ballots, rather “cast vote records”. Aaron Harris, executive director of Direct Action Texas has stated, “There is a level of inconsistency in what is and is not recorded from one county to the next across Texas. Addressing this issue will help with consistency and the overall election integrity of Texas elections.”
The amicus explains, “The Constitution does not expressly address voting systems, nor does the Election Code directly address the numbering of tickets for voting systems. Thus, it is of significant importance to examiners whether the current requirements of the Texas Election Code fully satisfy the requirements of the Constitution regarding the numbering of tickets [ballots].”
Dr. Pressley has gained statewide notoriety asking this very question, not only in her lawsuit, but in numerous presentations to activists and elected officials across Texas. It has been a long and lonely 2 1/2 year journey for her, but now her case sits ready for the Supreme Court to take up and she finds herself joined by the highest law enforcement agent of the State.
The OAG sums it up by asking, “The question of whether unnumbered ballots cast using a DRE machine may lawfully be considered in a manual recount impacts what voting machines may be approved in Texas and is worthy of the Court’s review.”
In her statement, Dr. Pressley concluded by affirming “Texans look forward to having this constitutional question resolved.” We agree.
Now we wait for the Supreme Court of Texas to act.