Of course my Governor Rick Perry would never get directly in my face to tell me to shut up and sit down like the bullying Governor Christi did to one of his protesting constituents the other day.
But my Governor does far more evil than to yell at and verbally bully and abuse a constituent.
Worse, he signs mostly ALEC/Koch endorsed bills into law that chip away at our rights and protections as Texas citizens.
I will not stop writing about the Chief Justice John Roberts' enabled travesty to our democracy until I know that most of us are as outraged as Texas Democrats. For it is our Party's members who are bearing the brunt of this ginned up and faux voter fraud sham.
The voter fraud sham is a close relative of W./Cheney's WMD in Iraq.
Over 600,000 American citizens in Texas have been robbed of their right to vote because, essentially, Greg Abbott and the Texas Republican Party is afraid of losing elections. And their equally frightened enablers, obviously, the five SCOTUS conservative justices (i.e. partisan and ideological hacks who hide underneath judicial robes) are allowing the Texas Republican Party to run roughshod over the rights of hundreds of thousands of American citizens.
When fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in a law that should have never been been upheld. Or passed in the first place.
Voter suppression is happening all around the state. It is happening in all of the cities. I volunteer at the Harris Co. (Houston area) Democratic Party Headquarters. Democratic voters have filed a stack of Incident Reports with the Party because they either could not vote or they were given some kind of grief at the polls.
Yesterday I spoke to a man, Mr. S. who said someone from the D.A.'s office called him and accused him of voter fraud. Mr. S. is dumbfounded because someone, supposedly at the DA's office, told him he had voted in another state. Mr. S. is more than perplexed and confused b/c he has not voted in another state. Mr. S. recently moved from a nearby county but since moving to Houston he registered a new address with the DMV. He said voted in Harris Co. at the last election with no problem.
It wouldn't surprise me if the "DA" henchman who called our voter is a GOP operative. The goal would be to scare Mr. S. so he won't vote. Or perhaps Mr. S. is the victim of a practice called Crosscheck.
Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America. At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials say that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election â a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison. Until now, state elections officials have refused to turn over their Crosscheck lists, some on grounds that these voters are subject to criminal investigation. Now, for the first time, three states â Georgia, Virginia and Washington â have released their lists to Al Jazeera America, providing a total of just over 2 million names.The Crosscheck list of suspected double voters has been compiled by matching names from roughly 110 million voter records from participating states. Interstate Crosscheck is the pet project of Kansasâ controversial Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, known for his crusade against voter fraud.
Fortunately the Harris Co. Democratic Party has an experienced professional on board whose responsibility is to research every incident such as this one.
Last night, on Facebook a member of a Texas Democratic group called BACKDOORDRAFT Democrats, a member posted a video conversation he had with an election judge. The judge informed our member, a veteran, that he did not possess the proper documentation to vote.
The judge ruled that the veteran's VA government ID card is not acceptable. Which is not true. But the election judge did agree to have a conversation with our member outside.
The election judge may have been confused because Rick Perry and his Party deliberately make the legal language surrounding voting as vague and confusing as possible.
When my Battleground Texas group registered voters at a retirement facility in S.W. Houston last month several veterans asked if their VA ID would be acceptable. Our organizer had to check with the main office. The VA ID card is acceptable.
But it is not always included in Rick Perry's "what you need to vote" literature.
This veteran is not the only one who could not vote in Texas.
Earlier this week Meteor Blades reported another case.
Texas election Judge William Parsley told Emily Atkin at Think Progress that he had only seen one person turned away during the first six days of early voting at his downtown Houston polling station. In fact, there have been plenty of rejects.
That fellow Parsley rejected was a 93-year-old veteran whose driver's license had expired. Under the strict new Texas voter ID law that the U.S. Supreme Court gave a thumbs-up to, a current driver's license is one of the seven forms of identity accepted for voting. Those forms of identificationâpassport, military ID, veteran ID, non-driver's Texas ID, special voter's ID, a Texas gun licenseâexclude tribal IDs and student IDs. Out-of-date IDs are only acceptable if they have been expired for 60 days or less. Voter advocates estimate at least 600,000 Texans don't have any of the mandated IDs. For many people without the right ID there are financial and other obstacles to acquiring one:
The disenfranchisement is pervasive.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is absolutely 100% correct. Texas's extreme voter ID law is preventing people from voting all right.
A disabled woman in Travis County was turned away from voting because she couldnât afford to pay her parking tickets. An IHOP dishwasher from Mercedes canât afford the cost of getting a new birth certificate, which he would need to obtain the special photo ID card required for voting. A student at a historically black college in Marshall, who registered some of her fellow students to vote, won't be able to cast a ballot herself because her driver's license isn't from Texas and the state wouldn't accept her student identification card.
The Brennan Center for Justice
There are plenty of stories like this coming out of Texas in the early voting period leading up to Election Day. Texas' tough voter ID law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011, requires voters to show one of seven types of photo identification. Concealed handgun licenses are allowed, but college student IDs are not, nor are driverâs licenses that have been expired for more than sixty days.
has revealed a number of cases in which voters have not been able to vote.
Lee Calvin Molina lives in Mercedes, one of the oldest towns in the Rio Grande Valley. He is a registered voter and has voted in past elections, including in 2012. Mr. Molina has a Department of Public Safety (DPS)-issued state identification card that expired on September 10. When he went to vote, he was told by a poll worker that he was not allowed to vote with his ID even though it expired less than 60 days ago (as the law allows). After the poll worker told him he could not vote with an expired ID, he assumed he could not vote â there was no reason to think election officials were not telling him the rules correctly.
Mr. Molinaâs mother is a candidate for a position on the school board. After he left the polls, he happened to talk to a campaign volunteer. Because of the campaign volunteerâs experience, she told Mr. Molina that he had been given the wrong information and should have been allowed to vote. He called the election office and they told him that he could in fact vote with that ID. After the call, he went back and cast his ballot.
Mr. Molina said he would not have known that he could vote if he had not run across an experienced campaign volunteer who knew the rules. He has voted before, and trusted poll workers to tell him accurate information. He just assumed that they would have the same rules across the state, and it would not depend on what poll worker he spoke with. Mr. Molina is worried about other people who may not get to vote because Texas is not enforcing the rules the way they are supposed to.
Others give up on voting which is exactly what the Texas GOP wants. In her scathing dissent
to the Supreme Court's refusal to uphold federal Judge Gonzales' blockage of the Texas ID law just prior to the election, Justice Ginsberg correctly pointed out that the state of Texas did very little to educate its voters about the new law. As a volunteer for the Harris Co. Democratic Party Headquarters I and other volunteers witness this fact first hand. We have to educate ourselves so we can help to educate our voters.
Mr. P lives in Edinburg and has been voting since he was 18 years old. He went to vote early with his son. After they waited in line to vote, his son was not allowed to vote with his Texas driverâs license. Mr. P believes the license expired about 75 days ago, just 15 days away from the 60 day expiration cutoff. Mr. Pâs son was not allowed to vote with his expired license even though he had a Texas ID with his picture on it, his voter registration card, and even his birth certificate. Instead, they told him to renew his license. But his son was so frustrated by the experience that he told Mr. P that he was just going to get his license renewed and then not vote â he was embarrassed and demoralized by being told he wasnât allowed to vote in front of several other people.
Mr. P said his son wasnât the only one who was stopped from voting. An African-American man only two spots ahead of them in line was also blocked, possibly because of an expired ID. He was with his family and was clearly upset. And he has heard of many other problems in the Edinburg area. One woman who works at the polls said the number of problems people were having was âout of control.â Mr. P is also worried about the large senior population in the area.
This is enough for Mr. P to believe the law is causing substantial problems. He says that waiting in line for a long time to vote, only to be told you cannot vote even if you have a picture ID, is going to discourage people. Heâs worried that younger people might be giving up â he is even worried that his daughter might not vote when she finds out what happened to his son. He doesnât understand the point of receiving a voter registration card if you canât use that to vote â especially if you also show an expired picture ID.
Voting is made more difficult for the elderly.
Diana F lives in the Austin area. Her mother is elderly â she will be 95 soon â and she has voted her whole life. Her mother was very upset when she learned about the voter ID law. Her driver's license had expired because she can no longer drive. She has a hard time getting around, it would have been difficult for her to get to a DPS to obtain an ID, and she doesn't know where her birth certificate is.
Diana F says that when she was trying to help her mother, she did not learn anything about other voting options from the state officials responsible for guaranteeing voter access. Only when she called a non-government election hotline did she find out that an absentee ballot might be an option for her mother. With Ms. Fâs help, her mother was ultimately able to vote by mail, and was very happy to be able to continue her long tradition of participation. But Ms. F worries about other elderly voters who may not have family members like her â Ms. F doggedly pursued the issue until she found a way for her mother to vote. She doesn't understand why a voter registration card isnât enough, or why an expired driver's license â a government-issued document with a picture â isnât good enough either.
When making calls for Battleground Texas and the Harris Co. Democratic Party I spoke to an eighty year old woman who told me she had to go to the DMV five times to finally get a state issued ID. Bound and determined she went back, time after time. Fortunately she had the means to do this. When I called her to remind her to vote earlier this week Mrs. T said hell itself couldn't keep her away from the polls.
In the small government state of Texas, services are not robust. In a big city like Houston one can travel up to 10 miles to get to a nearby DMV. The last time I had to go to one to renew a drivers' license I was there for 4 hours. I had to take one-half day off from work. Rick Perry's so called miracle is one for businesses. Period.
Finally, when the Texas GOP isn't rigging the system so fewer and fewer of us can vote we also find ourselves with willfully incompetent Republican county clerks in our election divisions.
The Harris County Clerk informed voters that the mail in ballots required 69 cents postage. But it seems that the postage required for the weight of the ballot is 70 cents.
The Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party went to the post office to pay $57.00 for postage due. I guess the Harris Co. Clerk hoped no one would notice the hundreds and hundreds of undelivered ballots.
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Hundreds of mail-in ballots that are being mistakenly held for days at a downtown post office will now be delivered to the Harris County Clerks Office.
The downtown post office was holding the ballots for insufficient postage, something they are not supposed to do.
"We found a glitch. And we're going to expose this," said Harris County Democratic Chairman Lane Lewis.
Lewis found out about the ballots and offered to pay for the postage shortage. Almost all the ballots were short on postage by just pennies.
"These votes whether Republican or Democrat, I don't know, but they need to be counted," said Lewis.
Despite the despicable efforts by despicable politicians and their despicable enablers (I am talking to you John Roberts) the hard work of Texas Democrats, Battleground Texas, the Texas Organizing Project and many other activist groups is paying off. Early voting numbers are up in Texas.
We are far from finished with our work. Today, Sunday, Monday and Election Day we will be blanketing the state with door knocks and phone calls from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. I am hosting a staging event in my neighborhood today and Sun. My friend and neighbor will host on Monday and Election Day because I'll be helping at the HCDP.
No matter the outcome this time, the great news is that we have built an infrastructure that will pay off in future elections.
Here we go, ready to rock and roll. Phase I of the BGTX Strike Force, 900 a.m. chez moi.