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During the past weeks, I’ve talked about an election that occurred in 2000, but the election problems and voter fraud have spanned decades.
The hope is that this series has begun to get people talking, analyzing and re-evaluating their own attitudes and perceptions about this issue and voting generally—to be more self-aware about personal voting patterns and more peripherally aware. Its intent is not to titillate the gossip, but to motivate action.
Thank you for the kind words of encouragement we have received. Please share, encourage others and become involved.
What’s happening today? The printed size of the Texas Election Code has grown since the first copy I purchased in 2000. So, now the process begins again as I read the newest version front to back. I am updating my knowledge base to the current laws and procedures relative to the current conditions. But, this time I’m analyzing it more carefully from an informed perspective and weighing it against the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA)—which has influenced election processes across the country. This year I am also planning to attend training for election officials and workers at the state and county level to see what is happening in that process.
South Texas Voter Fraud Series
I’m currently seeing a few positive changes at the Hidalgo County Elections Administration office. There seems to be a bit more professionalism with knowledge-based employees, and the website is far more informative and very beneficial to check out. The post-election figures are more readily accessible for all to see.
At the state level, the computer age has brought us greater accessibility of information. To get informed, the public doesn’t have to buy a hard copy of the Texas Election Code like I did. It’s on the Secretary of State’s website. I prefer to use a hard copy to make notes which prompt questions. Knowledge truly is power, and healthy knowledge begins with informed questions.
But, I am also beginning to see some problems at all levels. It is not yet time to publicly review those things until I am better informed and can get some questions answered one way or the other.
What is ahead? The Progress Times has placed an Open Records request with the Hidalgo County Elections Administration office to obtain copies of all documents pertaining to the Democrat and Republican primaries held in May 2012 and any run-off elections.
Based on past experience, I know what to look for this time around. I will be enlisting the help of others to have multiple sets of eyes on the documents. Each and every document from that election will be reviewed and compared line by line against original signatures and against the allowable procedures established under the Texas Election Code and HAVA.
I don’t know if anyone has ever reviewed an entire election of this size, in this manner, but that is what we have set out to do. Are we finally changing? Are the stopgaps finally working? Let’s get the numbers and find out the truth of the extent voter fraud plays in election outcomes—or not.
We will then share our findings with you. Have things improved, are they the same or are they worse than before? Common sense tells me that it’s going to be a mixed bag.
As an example, the current procedures with the mandated computer systems already have some holes in the process. These were holes we actually warned elected officials about back in 2000 before they were implemented; but it was pushed through by legislative action. All of a sudden, because of dangling chads in Florida in 2000, it became absolutely essential that all the states had to jump on the computer voting bandwagon. The problem is that it took away much of the documentable paper trail. Remember, that paper trail is the key to many aspects of detecting fraud in the elections.
Part of me likes the new system, and part of me wants the old Shoup machines back. There are inherent problems with a computerized system when the climate and conversation of corruption is punctuated with dollar signs. Yes, the Shoup machines were corruptible, but they easily told their tale with the naked eye. Not so easy to do that with computers. There have been reports across the country of the computerized systems showing a path of corruption, i.e., a county where over 100 percent of the votes all went to one candidate in one race. How is that possible? In some cases, it’s a glitch. In others, it requires investigation, but is anyone investigating—or even caring? It usually ends up a forgotten story.
More research is necessary to get a good analysis on today’s computer systems, but I will give it one potential thumb up: Is the lack of a drawn curtain making it harder for politiqueras to take control of the voting machine away from the voters they assist? Or, does anyone pay attention or really care? The forms where voters sign in will tell us how deeply entrenched the assisting process is now going on at the polling locations.
Although this concludes this series of editorials, it’s not the end. As more things come to light, we will inform you of the findings.
It is also our goal to help educate the public about the laws and procedures, which we will go into greater detail as the issues surface from the patterns we see. It won’t be weekly. The research is extensive due to the time required because of its sheer volume.
But, what’s ahead for you? Are you the problem or ready to be the solution?
It’s imperative for all citizens to go to the polls informed—about candidates and voting procedures. How can you hold politicians accountable if you’re not informed? Politicians are at the core of the problems. We are the answer.
As to the actual voting process, it’s important to not be offended if a properly trained election judge or clerk has to turn a voter away because they aren’t compliant with the rules. Ignorance doesn’t supersede the law—and the rule of law applies to all. It’s nondiscriminatory.
By the same token, it’s important to also be informed and know what the law is in the event the election judge or clerk is in error or not following proper procedures. It is your right to politely bring it to their attention, ask for someone with more authority or knowledge to clarify, if necessary, and to expect the opportunity to vote. In most cases mistakes won’t happen again, and empowerment is gained for the future.
It must be made clear, that the literal numbers affecting outcome of any election can only be reflected by the total sum of those who took the time to show up at the polls. Remember, the 83 percent who didn’t want to be counted?
That bigger and the more important story of the downfall of elections is told in the numbers of those who never showed up at the polls or didn’t even bother to register. In the March, primary, it was that 83 percent of you that we can label as being AWOL from the process. You signed up, but jumped ship. You aren’t fighting the battles and then complain about losing the war.
At the deepest core of my belief system, I am angry if even one vote is stolen, one elderly person is abused, one uneducated person is walked on or one newly-naturalized citizen is led astray by the deceptive practices and tactics of wolves in sheep’s clothing. The individual does matter contrary to the calloused response we get from elected officials. But, don’t allow even one negative story of such occurrences to stop the masses from going to the polls.
The illegal practices, the selective consideration of the law by those who have been entrusted to uphold it, and the apathy of a nation that allows it, all shred the very core of the fabric of those principles which were designed to bind this country together.
These United States only remain so when its citizens stand up and step forward. It is imperative to be counted and to hold one another accountable to those laws which constructively and collectively bind its citizens in a co-operative society. A lawless society is a conquered society.
Every choice brings a consequence. I have never known the choice of apathy to bear the fruit of success.
Next: Part 7, Epilogue—What happened to the evidence?
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.