Search Results for: stephanie klick

Stephanie Klick on Defense, Backpedaling

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This week Representative Stephanie Klick emerged from her post-session hole to defend killing the most impactful election integrity bill considered by the legislature, SB9.

Klick’s defenses, months later and all weak, are unfortunately what Texans have come to expect from elected officials. Blame shifting, misdirection, and lying was front and center in the two speeches she delivered this week.

Her defense is setting off more bombs than it’s defusing.

How bad is it for Klick? One telltale indicator, she’s insisting that she not be filmed. One may wonder, why would Klick be skittish about being recorded?

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Stephanie Klick Can’t be Defended

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Alan Vera has come out and tried to defend Chairman of the House Elections Committee Stephanie Klick for killing the marquee election integrity bill of the legislative session. It was a fool’s errand.

Below is a point by point rebuttal of his article published in the Texas Scorecard.

1. Paper ballots have been and can still be counterfeited/corrupted.

Vera misrepresents what was being called for in SB9 by suggesting that the paper ballot backups being produced in new electronic/paper systems would be easily counterfeited. This is not the case. In fact, it is the electronic ballots that have been and can still be corrupted. Many voters have little faith in the machines that can change votes with a premature spin of the wheel or not clicking a touchscreen in the exact spot. Holding that paper ballot, verifying the choices before feeding it into the scanner, improves voter confidence in the system. Votes are physical, real and there’s an electronic count to compare.

2. Paper ballots are susceptible to loss and corruption.

With 100% electronic systems, recounts and exposure of potential fraud are nearly impossible. There are no ballots to recount. Recounts will be easier with electronic/paper systems being implemented. In fact, several recounts have occurred in counties using these systems and each has come back exactly to the published results.  As for the storage of the ballots, the same can be said for the storage of flash drives and electronic information. Texans want physical ballots that can be physically recounted.

3. Paper ballots can be easily altered.

Paper ballots produced through the electronic/paper systems cannot be altered. The voter makes their selections on an electronic device that then prints their choices. There is no chance for wayward marks or tampering. The voter sees and verifies his/her choices and then runs the paper through the optical scanner. The paper ballot is not hand-marked bubbles but printed names with a barcode. 

4. Electronic ballots should be the final authority. 

Paper ballots are a tangible record verified by the voter. An electronic record is not. Voters trust the actual ballot record, not the electronic report. If the actual ballot record is different from the electronic record, the election results should change. That is the point of a recount.

5. The unreliability of optical scanners.

First of all, we challenge the assertion of the error rates of optical scanners. However, the error rates of electronic devices make the case for paper ballot backups. The option for a hand count remains when there are paper ballot backups.

Voter turnout increases when voters are confident in the security of elections. An overwhelming majority of Texans want paper ballot backups. The good news for Texans is paper ballot backups are coming in spite of Vera’s efforts.

As was written in an Autopsy Report published to the Texas Scorecard, SB9 was more than paper ballot backups and it’s why Direct Action Texas supported the measure even when that provision was lacking from the bill.

Special Interest Vera opposed the measure in the Senate because of the paper ballot backup provision.
Vera going to bat for Klick does her another disservice by bringing up the delay once the bill was passed by the Senate. First, Klick could and should have had a companion bill to Hughes’s SB9. That bill could have had her lobby-appeasing removal of paper ballot backups. The gutting of SB9 was unnecessarily delayed until April.

Vera, is a self-described “election consultant” as such, his aims and ends should be accurately interpreted as advocating for clients. Undisclosed clients constitute a conflict when lobbying the legislature as Vera has.

Arguing against Vera on the topic of voting system adoption isn’t really a fair fight. Vera is currently lobbying for electronic systems only, a position that may change.

Such a shift at a later date will be noted and drive the final nail in Vera’s coffin of credibility.

DAT Calls on Klick to Concur with HB 2909

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While the fight for more comprehensively secure elections is currently on hold, following the demise of Senate Bill 9 in the Texas House, there are other measures that Texans should be pushing for lawmakers to advance in the waning days of the 2019 session.

HB 2909, by Representatives Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and Mike Lang (R-Granbury) was passed by the Senate yesterday where it is being carried by a bipartisan cohort including Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville).

After being amended, HB 2909 is heading back to the House.

Direct Action Texas is calling on Chairman Klick and members of the House to pass the bill as-is, concurring with amendments, so that the bill can be sent to the Governor and signed into law.

The bill, as written and amended, is an omnibus bill dealing with the nuts and bolts of election administration. Committee hearings in both chambers, like the bill’s authorship, resulted in a mix of support from election groups on both the right and left.

As written, HB 2909 will add a crucial component to Texas elections, a backup regime that can be used to verify election results.

This session has been an embarrassment for elected officials in the House who claim to be strong advocates and proponents of well administered and upright elections. Passage of HB 2909 would take steps towards improving elections in Texas.

Call on Chairman Klick to move the bill out of the House as amended by the Senate. Her phone number is (512) 463-0599.

Election Integrity With 20 Days to Go in Session

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Summary

Securing election integrity from the Texas legislature this session has been needlessly complex.

Republicans in firm control of all branches of government should have crafted and expeditiously passed sound election laws shortly after the session began, 45 to 60 days max.

This was an emergency item, but instead of reforming the beleaguered bedrock of our form of governance, lawmakers fast-tracked tequila-to-go.

By comparison, Georgia passed a clean election integrity bill with a Voter ID requirement on mail-in ballots in a thirty-day session.

Lack of proper prioritization aside, the problems in Texas elections needing addressing weren’t unique, with the policy prescriptions known since the fall.

Yet, here we are, nearing the end of a second legislative session with election integrity outcomes less than certain.

The Senate in both 2019 and 2021 has passed robust bills aimed at fortifying trust in election processes. The House has fumbled what’s been handed off to them and mostly piddled on the margins.

This session, Senate Bill 7, is the election integrity bill that was most needed to ensure trust in our election process could rebound following the ad hoc election administration seen in multiple jurisdictions across Texas in 2020. It’s the one Governor Greg Abbott has been touting on Fox News and on private conference calls.

The House’s election integrity bill, HB6, dealt primarily with election fraud and poll watcher rights.

Both bills are important, but in terms of prioritization, HB6 is not nearly as crucial as stopping the abuse of state logistical resources by Mark Zuckerberg or voting from tents in the middle of the night during a rap concert.

Once SB7 was sent to the House, the best course of action would have been to endure the pain of an actual hearing on the measure, pass it out of committee, and get it to the floor for an up or down vote with minimal or no amendments.

Instead, Briscoe Cain traded the temporary pain in a committee room for a completely avoidable defrocking on the House floor. By gutting SB7 and replacing it with HB6, a floor fight was ensured as amendments would be necessary to make the helpful bill.

HB6 and SB7 shared little outside of poll watcher protections, and SB7 had all of the clarifications to code needed after abuse by leftists in Harris and other counties in 2020.

Last Thursday, Democrats were prepared for a fight, and the Republicans weren’t. The resultant SB7 is a bastardized bill no conservative should be proud to support. Below is a breakdown of amendments added to the bill last Thursday.

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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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