Saturday, October 6, 2012

Your Right To Vote In Texas

Today's mailbox contained lots of important election-related stuff.

First, from the ACLU of Texas, there's a reminder that Texans must register to vote by October 9. There are enlightened states that have same-day registration: this is not one of them. If you've been putting it off, get busy! Monday and Tuesday are your last chances.

Next, Lane Lewis, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party, warns us about a number of Republican tricks used in recent elections to discourage or even suppress the Democratic vote. I am certain they will be pursued this election as well. I am reproducing Lewis's list of things you need to know to assure that your vote will be recorded and counted:

You still have the right to early vote as well as vote straight Democratic party.  Some people will tell you otherwise, but they only want to keep us at home and away from the voting booth.


What actually happens:
When you mark your electronic or paper ballot “straight Democratic,” you are automatically selecting the Democratic candidate in every race with a Democratic candidate.
Are these computer programs reliable? Yes.
Are they tamper-proof? No.
That is why Democrats monitor every aspect of the election. Democratic poll workers will be there for early voting and on Election Day, and the HCDP office is always ready to take your call.

Our goal is to make sure you are able to cast your ballot on Election Day.  
  • It is important to remember: if you straight party vote, selecting a specific Democrat on the ballot will actually de-select them.
  • Do not pay any attention to viral emails or rumors about the election.
  • You get to review every selection you have made before you cast an electronic or personally mail an absentee ballot.
  • You can go back and change a mistake on the electronic voting machine until you cast your ballot and you see a little flag appear.
  • You can correct a mismarked paper ballot or request a spoiled paper ballot before you mail one in.
Your paper ballot is counted unless you receive a letter saying otherwise. Votes do not get lost or stolen on the Democrats’ watch.
If election officials will not provide you with a regular ballot, then fill out the paperwork and cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are the most powerful tool Democrats have for countering vote-suppression by radical or incompetent GOP state and county officials.
With 31 days until the election, we must be alert and ready to exercise our right to vote. 
Source: email received Oct. 5. Comparable information is posted on the HCDP web site's home page. Mark your calendars as necessary. Turnout is paramount!

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