May 29, 2005
The Denny Amendment appears to be dead
I can't say for certain, but it appears that the attempt by Rep. Mary Denny to restrict access to the ballot box by enforcing stricter ID requirements to vote are dead. The most recent news stories that I see give this impression, though they don't seem to have anything newer than the Ellis/Van de Putte filibuster maneuvering. In theory, this sucker is in conference committee, where also in theory there won't be enough time to do anything with it before midnight. Which is good.
Karen Brooks notes how inflamed things got over this proposal.
Some House Democrats, led by minority lawmakers, loudly protested an 11th-hour move by Rep. Mary Denny, R-Aubrey, to tack her bill requiring an ID to vote onto another bill just hours before it would have been dead for the session. So they filibustered for two hours, only to have 25 members get together and push for an immediate vote, with no more debate. The measure passed. The next day, the list of those lawmakers was circulating in the House, and Democrats were busy picking off their local bills (or making their sponsors think they would) by postponing or talking them to death.
I think we're winding things up at the right time, don't you?
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 29, 2005 to That's our Lege
Jim Dunam's office is reporting as of 1:00 May 29 they are 99.9% sure the Voter Intimidation Bill is dead, but they remain ever-vigilant.
restrict access to the ballot box by enforcing stricter ID requirements
Surely you meant to write "restrict fraudulent access to the ballot box by enforcing stricter ID requirements".
In all seriousness, what is wrong with requiring photo ID for such a critically important function of our society as voting? Please quantify the impact, i.e. how many valid voters do not have photo ID?
Would you be willing to compromise along the lines of a "provisional ballot" for those who cannot show photo ID, where they can vote and their vote can be later authenticated as is currently done with provisional ballots? Is that not a reasonable approach?
Sad this bill didn't pass...
Friday, June 3, 2005
Attorney General Abbott Obtains Voter Fraud Indictments In Two Counties
Hardeman County commissioner, Beeville woman indicted for mail-in ballot violations
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced his office’s first indictments for alleged voter fraud in Texas, returned in separate cases by grand juries in Hardeman and Bee counties.
"My office takes seriously the one-person, one-vote philosophy that has been the backbone of this country throughout its history," said Attorney General Abbott. "When the activities of even one person would undermine the electoral process, we will hold that person accountable."
Hardeman County Precinct 1 Commissioner Johnny Akers, 58, was indicted late Thursday on six counts of election fraud in Quanah. The Texas Election Code violations involve alleged unlawful methods for returning completed ballots during early voting by mail. During the April 2004 primary runoff and November 2004 general elections, the indictment alleges, Akers personally handled or mailed ballots for six persons unrelated to him over several days, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,000 on each count.
On May 27, Beeville resident Melva Kay Ponce, 53, was indicted in Bee County on a charge of illegal voting. She allegedly posed as her deceased mother during early mail-in voting in the November 2004 election. Illegal voting is a third-degree felony punishable by two to10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Ponce mailed an application for a mail ballot to the Bee County Clerk’s office for her mother, Dominga Ponce, on Oct. 15, 2004, when her mother was still alive. Her mother died of natural causes on Oct. 20, and two days later the clerk’s office mailed a ballot addressed to Dominga Ponce. Despite her mother’s death, Melva Kay Ponce filled out the absentee ballot in her mother’s name. She then mailed the completed ballot back to the clerk.
The Bee County Voter Registrar, Andrea Gibbud, contacted the Bee County Sheriff’s Office about the suspicious ballot, knowing Ponce’s mother had died before the ballot could have been completed and returned.
The Attorney General’s Office investigated the allegations of election fraud at the request of the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.
1706 would have done nothing to prevent these two instances. As to casting a provisional vote, IT DOESN'T COUNT. Bruce Sherbet, Dallas County Elections Director, will personally tell you that. Why should thousands of people be denied the right to have their ballots count? These two cases sure don't justify that.