Fighting for election integrity and transparency

Election Integrity Panel Confirms Needed Reforms

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On Thursday, an election integrity panel convened in Austin and outlined many needed reforms to secure elections.

Of course, the surface of election integrity can only be scratched in an hour but among the needed reforms addressed were ending mail-in ballot abuse, vigilance to expose illegal assistance at the polls, voter list maintenance, and civil remedies to pursue cases of voter fraud.

The was panel convened at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s annual conference and consisted of J. Christian Adams, Omar Escobar, Jr., Rep. Stephanie Klick and was moderated by Chuck DeVore.

The final word from the panel moderator DeVore was accurate and consistent with our analysis issued immediately after the legislative session, substantive and needed reforms passed out of the Senate but died in the House.

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Interim Hearing

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Today, the Texas House Elections Committee held a hearing in Austin to discuss interim charges.

Issued by lame-duck Speaker of the House, Dennis Bonnen, to his similarly situated committee chairs, this hearing and subsequent hearings are likely to be little more than going through the motions.

Interim charges issued by Bonnen followed his announcement that he would not seek reelection, following him and his consultants butt fumbling of public relations after the release of a recording of the Speaker making derogatory comments about fellow members and offering a quid pro quo to conservative leader Michael Quinn Sullivan.

The committee took invited testimony from Keith Ingram, Secretary of State Director of Elections, and Chris Davis, representing the Texas Association of Elections Administrators. The hearing, when boiled down, amounted to oversight of legislation passed during the 2019 legislative session.

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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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