By Joan Carney, NSD treasurer
The Travis County Republican Party has done some crazy things. But this tops the list! They are refusing to renew a contract for joint Democratic and Republican March Primaries, unless the Travis County Democratic Party agrees to the following provisions:
No to Precinct-level voting
This would throw out a ten-year old policy of allowing citizens to vote anywhere in the county. Instead they would be required to return to their precincts on election days. This would clearly suppress voter turnout.
Hand mark and hand count ballots only
This wipes out three decades of progress in election technology. It’s a big step backward toward the days of paper and pencil voting! At great cost of time and money and with a greater potential for mistakes.
And why? They claim wide-spread election fraud!
UNTRUE. The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation found only 103 cases of confirmed election fraud out of 107 million ballots cast between 2005 to 2022 in Texas. And much the same in swing states, such as Arizona and Georgia. (1)
Worse to come: $100 million boondoggle
When Texas state lawmakers passed a sweeping and controversial new election law in 2021, they quietly included a provision that drew little notice or debate.
But election administration experts say the measure is unprecedented; it mandates the purchase of voting technology that doesn’t currently exist - and it’s on the verge of costing taxpayers more than $100 million.
Sponsors of the provision said they aimed to prevent cheating in elections by prohibiting the use of modern technology to count votes and store cast-ballot data. It passed without debate on a voice vote and goes into effect just before the November 2026 general election. (2)
Can things get any crazier?
(1) https://www.brookings.edu/articles/widespread-election-fraud-claims-by-republicans-dont-match-the-evidence/ Heritage admits that their tracker is not complete, and we have no doubts that there are probably cases out there still to be discovered or prosecuted. But thus far, the amount of proven election fraud is miniscule.