Latinos For Texas Blog

2008-Feb-3

Voter Reg Drive - Austin, All Day, All Over Town

VOTER REG DRIVE
Be a part of the annual Last-Day-to-Register Marathon!
Feb 04, 2008 8am-midnight at Fiesta (38th and I-35)
ANY AMOUNT OF TIME YOU CAN GIVE WILL HELP!

If you want to register voters on Monday, you can get deputized by Glen Maxey who will be at the Riverside Grocery (just east of IH 35, Riverside at Parker). Stop by there first, if you are not already a Deputy Registrar, then stop by any of the locations listed below!

LFT is coordinating the Fiesta location at 38th and I-35, but wherever you can help for as long as you can help will make a difference.

Remember, Monday, Feb 04, is the deadline if you want to vote in the Presidential primaries! Shifts are in four hour blocks, but if you can only come for part of it, thats okay, too. Simply sign up in the shift that is closest, then email to let us know your details.

We do this every year for the last few years, and people always say they like it, even though it is a fair amount of work, it is good work. Also, don’t worry if a few people are already signed up, we can always use a few extra hands.

Spanish speakers especially encouraged to volunteer, but not at all required!

8am-noon
8 am - FIESTA MART - VOTER REGISTRATION MARATHON

12-4pm
12 noon - FIESTA MART - VOTER REGISTRATION MARATHON

4pm-8pm
4 pm -FIESTA MART - VOTER REGISTRATION MARATHON

8pm-midnight
8 pm - FIESTA MART - VOTER REGISTRATION MARATHON

Other Locations:
University Co-Op on the Drag @ 2246 Guadalupe
Wheatsville Coop @ 3101 Guadalupe
Goodwill @ 2800 S Lamar
Whole Foods Market @ 6th at Lamar
Fiesta Mart @ IH 35 and 38th
Guero’s @ 1412 S. Congress
Riverside Grocery (Parker & East Riverside) @ 1727 E Riverside Dr
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts @ 701 E Stasney Dr
MT Supermarket - Chinatown Center @ 10901 N. Lamar Blvd.

Email Ryan Giggs, anytime, at info@registertravis.com for details and assignments.

Thanks for being involved,
LFT Steering Committee
(Crystal, Lila, Mario, Michael, Richard and Sabas)

2007-May-17

Bill to combat non-existent Voter ID fraud appears to be dead in the Tx Senate

A report over at BOR links to an Austin-American Statesman article proclaiming Dewhurst has pronounced the Senates version of HB218 ‘all but dead.’

There is some great discussion in that thread about how this voter id bill really is NOT about ‘non-dilution of American’s votes, and keeping the vote safe’ and the like, but about a clever way to reduce Dem vote by about 3%, according to even staunch Republican Royal Masset in this comment, and elsewhere.

If the Lege wants to increase the vote, enact same-day registration, and county-wide polling places efforts (replacing my-precinct-only polling place). If the State’s technology is good enough to arrest someone in Amarillo for a warrant in Brownsville, if should be good enough to span a county on election day.

There is no voter ID fraud problem. Even according to Dewhurst, if you believe him, almost a few hundred non-citizens have voted in the last, according to him, 14 years! maybe as many as, in his words, 41 voted in two years in all of Bexar county. does he know how to do math, do ratios mean anything!! talk about a speck of a speck.
he then takes that and says ‘what about the ones we dont know about, what if it is “twenty-five thousand?”‘ WOW! what if its 25 ka-billion!?! What if EVERYONE stole EVERYTHING from HEB. We better enact a law to treat ALL shoppers as shoplifters, or at least the old, young, frequent movers, and poor ones.
how about focusing on problems we know exist — like education, healthcare, and infrastructure — and when thats all solved, you can take some time to work up a exciting David Blaine-style conjuring routine .

2007-May-1

UPDATE: HB 626 passes

Despite wide-spread opposition, and a truly remarkable, even stunning, lack of evidence pointing to a need for its existence, HB 626 passed out of the house.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) released a statement which sums it up nicely

“Let’s be clear about this: there is no voter impersonation problem or voter fraud epidemic in this state,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “This is part of a partisan disenfranchisement effort to keep seniors, minorities, and the poor from voting.  I voted against House Bill 626 to protect the voting rights of every Texan.”

From the federal level on down, there really is a systematic effort by Republicans to win elections by manipulating the process, since they cannot compete on the merits. And, it doesn’t hurt that they find it morally easy to scapegoat the already tenuously involved, and their low-information, lousy-moral-compassed minions just plod along according to their marching orders.

is it too cliche to remind people of the banality of evil?

2007-Apr-23

UPDATE: HB218 passes out of the House, HB 626 postponed

from BOR:

“House Bill 218, the voter ID bill, has passed the House 76 - 68. Luckily House Bill 626, requiring proof of citizenship, has been postponed until next Monday.”

derrrghhhh… Altho, as i understand it, there is no true Senate companion bill, and Senator Ellis has proclaimed he has the support needed to stop one in his side of the dome. Lets make sure no Dems get peeled away — and make sure your electeds know you are watching and remembering.

URGENT: Call today to stop the Voter Roadblock bills (HB 218 and Hb 626)

LATINOS FOR TEXAS CALL TO ACTION

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

I am sure you read loads of alarmist-sounding posts, but please pay attention and act today because there really is a coordinated Voter Suppression effort rolling through the Lege right now, this morning.

There are two bills in the Texas House (HB 218 and HB 626) which pretend to fight Voter ID fraud although it has been proven to NOT exist. The real plan of these bills is to reduce voting participation by throwing up roadblocks to Voter Registration and Voter Registration Drives, and essentially kick just about anyone who moves frequently (read: disproportionately poor, minority, seniors, and youth voters, base-hopping soldiers’ families), or who doesn’t remember to send away for a ‘certified’ copy of their birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers weeks ahead of the 30-days-before-an-election voter registration deadline.

On a recent conference call hosted by True Courage Action Network, a non-partisan non-profit, it was revealed that the minimum cost, even for voters who have been voting for 20 years but maybe move, or get married and change names, will be roughly $20 for the certified copy of a birth certificate. And, possibly as much as $90 if you are a naturalized citizen.

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

HB 626 requires proof of citizenship at the time of registration, in the form of certified copy of either your birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers, and because no one carries these around, and if they did no one in their right mind will hand a copy of these documents to a stranger to register to vote, effectively killing voter registration drives. HB 218 requires multiple forms of identification at the poll.

Learn More:
http://www.truecourageaction.net
http://www.tx.billhop.com/bills/80(R)/HB626/

2007-Apr-14

Don’t Suppress the Vote in Texas

Texas is one of several states subject to the Voter Rights Act Section 5 pre-clearance whereby election practices or procedures are frozen until the new proposed procedures have been subjected to review by the US Department of Justice. You wouldn’t be too surprised by our state neighbors in the VRA Section 5 pool. You also wouldn’t be too surprised that under the Bush administration DOJ pre-clearance has been relatively easy.

LA Times 3/25/2007
Justice Department tugged to the right Under Bush, the department has been tainted by politics, many say.
The Civil Rights Division veterans focused their criticism on major voting case decisions over the last six years that they say have generally benefited the GOP.The most recent case concerned a 2005 Georgia law that required voters to provide photo identification. Staff attorneys raised concerns about the law after the Georgia secretary of state supplied data showing that tens of thousands of voters might not have driver’s licenses or other prescribed forms of identification. They said the plan could effectively disenfranchise large numbers of black voters.

On Tuesday April 17th, the Texas Legislature will vote on two House bills HB218 and HB626 that will likely suppress the vote in Texas if they become law and are implemented.

NY Times article 2/21/07
Lower Voter Turnout Is Seen In States That Require ID

States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests.

HB218 by Representative Betty Brown, requires voters to provide redundant forms of identification. A voter must present a voter registration card and a photo ID, or a voter registration card and at least two other forms of non-photo ID. Voters who do not have the required forms of ID and show up to the polls will be required to cast a provisional ballot. There are no mandates in the bill for voter education or notification of the change in the voting law. Provisional ballots in Texas are already counted at a very low rate. In the 2004 Presidential race of the 36,193 ballots cast provisionally, only 7,770, less than a quarter of them, were ultimately counted. A survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law found that as many as 11 percent of Americans, more than 21 million citizens, did not have a current government-issued photo ID.

HB626 by Phil King, is a proof of citizenship to register to vote bill. His bill requires that all voter registrations must include proof of citizenship. Only three documents will satisfy the proof of citizen requirement:

  • a certified copy of a birth certificate
  • certified copy of a valid passport
  • certified copy of citizenship naturalization papers

This bill will effectively kill voter registration drives. No one carries these important papers on their person. And they will be unlikely to trust handing the documents to volunteers conducting registration drives. Therefore, the only way a new voter can register to vote is through the mail, if the person includes a certified copy of one of those documents. Or if they go down to their local country registrars office in person with their papers.
Consider that anytime a person moves from one county to another within the state, they have to re-register and this whole process will have to be repeated again.
Both of the Texas House bills are modeled after Proposition 200 in Arizona which passed in 2004, was temporarily suspended by the Federal Ninth Circuit court and reinstated by the US Supreme Court. An appeal is in the courts.

Proposition 200 implemented harsh voter identification requirements as well as proof-of-citizenship requirements in 2005. The law requires voters who cast a ballot at a polling place on Election Day to present photo identification deemed “acceptable” by Arizona’s Secretary of State, such as a driver’s license, or two alternate forms of ID that include the name or address of the voter such as a utility bill or a bank statement. Such requirements can disenfranchise voters without photo ID by making it hard for them to cast ballots if they live at a residence where someone else, such as a spouse, parent, or roommate pays the bills, or if they are uninformed about the rules. Students, the poor, and senior citizens are among the groups that are most likely to be adversely affected.
Source: People for the American Way.

The bill analysis for Representative Phil King’s bill, HB626 states:

While there is no evidence of extensive fraud in Texas elections or of multiple voting, both can occur and it could affect the outcome of close elections.

There have been over twenty million votes cast in Texas since 2002 in various statewide elections, and not one single case of voter impersonation has been prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General. Proponents of these laws insist that election fraud is rampant and that the purity of the ballot box is being threatened, but they can only provide anecdotal evidence of this. Turnout in the state of Texas is already pretty anemic. Only 34% of the registered voters in Texas turned out fo the last gubernatorial election in November of 2006.
Source: Texas Secretary of State Turnout and Voter Registration Figures (1970-current)

There are two ways to win an election. One is to get a majority of voters to support you. The other is to prevent voters who oppose you from casting their votes.
Source: People for the American Way Report; The New Face of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America

Further reading on election fraud:

2007-Mar-27

Act Today to Save Voter Registration!

Quick, do you have your proof of citizenship on you? Do you even know what counts as proof? Would you be carrying it on you when you head to a music festival, a parade, or immunization day?

Well, certain House Republicans know this, and in an effort to combat unsubstantiated and fabricated ‘voter ID fraud,’ the House Committee on Elections is moving on Wednesday to approve a bill which make it harder for people to become involved, or stay involved. These bills will do three things

  • Require proof of citizenship PLUS an additional ID just to register, at the time of registration.
  • Require even long-term voters to re-register after moving, WITH proof of citizenship — even if they have been dutiful voters for years and years.
  • Require two forms of ID at the poll.

THIS WILL EFFECTIVELY KILL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES!
CONTACT STATE REPS AND TELL THEM TO REJECT HB 218 and HB 626

CONTACT INFO:
PHONE NUMBERS

Opposing:

Rafael Anchía
Capitol: (512) 463-0746
District: (214) 943-6081

Lon Burnam
Capitol: (512) 463-0740
District: (817) 924-1997

Joe Farías
Capitol: (512) 463-0714

Favoring:
Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0584
District: (903) 939-2400

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0727
District: (713) 460-2800

Charlie Howard
Capitol: (512) 463-0710
District: (281) 565-9500

Undecided:
Kirk England
Capitol: (512) 463-0694
District: (972) 264-4231

FAX NUMBERS

Opposing:
Rafael Anchía
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0738
District Fax (214) 920-9996

Lon Burnam
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1075
District Fax (817) 924-6788

Favoring:
Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-3217
District Fax (903) 939-2402

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0681
District Fax (713) 460-2822

Charlie Howard
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0711
District Fax (281) 565-1579

Undecided:
Kirk England
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1130
District Fax (972) 522-5918

EMAIL ADDRESSES

Opposing:
rafael.anchia@house.state.tx.us
lon.burnam@house.state.tx.us
joe.farias@house.state.tx.us

Favoring:
leo.berman@house.state.tx.us
dwayne.bohac@house.state.tx.us
charlie.howard@house.state.tx.us

Undecided
kirk.england@house.state.tx.us

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