Monday, November 12, 2012


WITH THE PROPER NEW ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR CAMERON COUNTY CAN SET AN EXAMPLE FOR THE  ENTIRE STATE

MILITARY VOTE

Before I get into the meat of today's post, I want to  discuss the military ballots.  From anywhere in the world I can now access my VA doctor through the internet.  I can be in Beijing sick as can be and message her for ideas which can be considered by a doctor in Beijing.  But somehow the military with all of its advanced technology cannot apply same to our personnel.

A TASK FOR CONGRESSMAN ELECT VELA AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE LUCIO

Both of these men need to introduce legislation creating a system whereby our military personnel can access the internet and vote from anywhere in the world.  With the states and  federal government working together secure passwords can be generated which then allow our military personnel to access the online ballots.  A few clicks will  take them to a main page, state, and then county.  A code provided by the county election administrator will take them to the correct ballot.  A few clicks and they vote with the results being forwarded to the proper county office.  All military personnel have ID's.  It should be no problem making sure before the soldier can vote, their electronic ballot access codes match with their ID's

JUST an IDEA GUYS


The oath of fealty needs to be avoided by the candidate selected for the position of Cameron county elections administrator. This is a problem of particular relevance to Cameron county.  It is not about loyalty to a particular ideal, or office, but to a person considered your lord. 

On the BISD issue my sources are 100% dead - why? - I refused the oath of fealty to Powers/Zayas.  Their vassals are keeping the fealty.  I have become persona non grata.  I do have a few people within the halls of the BISD administration building who I believe will come alive again once the dust settles over the wreckage which is our children. 

I speak to BISD because the example needs to be kept in mind in how the Cameron County Elections Commission chooses the new elections administrator.  An oath of fealty as a condition of employment will kill any hope for meaningful reform.  The position is an impossible position by its nature.  The very people the election administrator oversees for honesty in elections are in fact the same people who can fire him.

Bruce Sherbet, the former Dallas county elections administrator, swore an oath of fealty to no one.  He chose to resign after 24 years rather then be forced to swear an oath of fealty.   If Mr. Sherbet is available for the position here in Cameron county, we would be well served.

Another problem faced by the election administrator is funding.  A majority of commissioners court could cut funding for no better reason than the elections administrator did not do the "right" thing during their election. 

The election code needs to be amended to address some of the needed reforms.  First and foremost the hiring and firing needs to be done through the election commission and Texas Secretary of State.  The local elections commission can recommend a candidate subject to the approval by the Secretary of State.  This will insure the most qualified candidate is chosen, and not someone who has agreed to an oath of fealty to a majority of the elections commission.  The same rule for firing the elections administrator should apply.  If the elections commission wants to fire an elections administrator they should have to justify their decision to the Secretary of State who can then overrule their decision.

The reason why the Democrats and Republicans each get a seat on the elections commission is they participate in the primary process.  Not all political parties can afford to conduct primaries.  I would amend the election code to allow for the  election of 2 Independent candidates to the elections commission.  They cannot be tied to any party and must run for the position without political party affiliation or support, beyond Independents for "             "

A final and key reform is oversight by the county commission.  Any decision to  cut the budget of an elections administrator or not provide an increase in funding as requested by the elections administrator must be subject to review by the Secretary of State.  These simple reforms will provide the office of elections administrator with greater independence.

WHAT WE DO NOT WANT IN AN ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR

We do not want anyone willing to cow-tow to an organization like CAVA.  They have no credibility.  Any con-artist can come up with a good sounding name.  That is the nature of being a con-artist.  The fact they never notified the people that the person funding their so called reward was none other than the son of the candidate this so called non-partisan group was backing, is all the evidence anyone needs to know they were never legitimate. 

In many, many ways they are worse than the people who actually steal mail ballots.  They took this very serious issue and used it for political gain for Yolanda Begum.  To understand the accuracy of their research into the abuses one only need to look to their bogus claims that the Republicans turned to politiqueras.  CAVA had no interest in facts, namely the impact military ballots had on mail ballots.  This is why they endlessly attacked Roger Ortiz and Judge Cascos claiming inaction.  CAVA refused to turn over their so called evidence and then attacked public officials who refused to take action.  It was a very Kafkaesque.  They intentionally mislead people about evidence which they never produced prior to making their claims of inaction.

WE DO NOT NEED someone who promises to come in and put everyone in jail who participated in past wrongdoing.  It is time to heal and move forward with a forward reform minded candidate who can set a statewide standard for an effective elections administrator.  The harvesting of mail-ballots in Cameron county became a disease which put every candidate in peril of losing if they did not partake in the scam.  The key is to start anew with an elections administrator who will work hard to create an even playing field for all candidates, and who sends a strong message - yes clean slate, but no - no business as usual.  The abuse of senior citizens will end.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

Knowledge and education should be the first order of business of the new elections adminstrator.  Good intentioned community groups quite often get it wrong because of a lack of information and knowledge.  The elections administrator must also be an educator.

While what I am about to say is not really a must issue, I am starting here because it does not really fit with the other reforms I am suggesting, but speaks to education.

In my view an important role of the elections administrator is getting people involved in voting.  We live in an age of the internet.  The lack of information currently available on the Cameron county elections office web page is almost surreal.  There needs to be an archive page wherein citizens, educators, and students can go for information.  I can see any number of assignments a high school government instructor can create which requires use of past election results.  Such an assignment allows the government instructor to interact with the math instructor to create simple statistical analysis.  It is a real life example of what professionals do.  It connects the students to the election in a real way.  Here is a simple assignment.  Over the last four elections find 2 trends in voting patterns.  One would be - woman have the advantage.  Education is everything.  Wouldn't it be nice if we knew today how many of the mail-ballots were military mail ballots.  Future candidates could use this information in forming their campaign. 

The Informational Video

A video to educate seniors about mail ballots is not new.  After William Velasco sued Diana Flores in a Dallas election contest in 1996, it was discussed at the state legislative level.  It needs to be revisited.  This is not an easy task, as some would have you believe.  The video must be scripted and approved by lawyers who specialize in election law.  The new Cameron county elections administrator needs to go to the Secretary of State and ask for assistance in scripting such a video.  There needs to be both federal and state assistance in creating such a video.  Under the guidance of the right person such a video can be produced and ready for the May elections.  It would be  best if the Secretary of State would take the lead and produce a video for statewide use.  If not maybe Cameron county and Hidalgo county can join forces to defray the production costs.

Community Group Investigations

These do not work.  Evidence is not something you just go out and get.  In the wrong hands the evidence becomes tainted.  In the Dallas criminal case I defended, the DA actually called no witnesses.  The judge was so mad he had the sheriff go out and drag into court against their will two seniors.  You see, William Velasco's people so abused the alleged victims with bogus claims of criminal investigations and wrongdoing, their testimony became unreliable.  The community group made it impossible for the DA to find any credible witness.  Any statement by an untrained community activist to a possible witness can taint the witness's testimony.  This is exactly what happened in Dallas.  Of the 2 witnesses called one testified she did not like my client, but that he had nothing to do with her mail ballot.  The other witness basically castrated the judge for calling her into court.

The key to stopping the abuses is to stop the wrongdoing before it happens.  This is where the emphasis needs to be.  Unless you are dealing with a handful of votes, election contests do nothing more than abuse the senior citizens a second time.  Anyone who sat through the Ruben Peña Ernie Hernandez election contest saw numerous seniors complain about being called into court and having the sanctity of their ballot violated. 

Education of Poll Watchers and Poll Judges

I  would submit that poll watchers and election judges should have to attend a more detailed class  to learn their duties.  The class  not only needs to address their duties, but the areas where voter fraud is most likely to occur.  There needs to be a clear process for reporting abuses.  Along these lines, the web page for the Cameron county elections office needs to provide information on how to become a poll watcher or judge.  This encourages public involvement

The web page also needs to provide detailed information about voter registration drives.  It needs to provide an inspirational message to encourage people of all political views to organize voter registration drives within the four corners of the law.  The election administrator needs to be the county's cheer leader when it comes to voting and participating in the process.

Define Criminal Conduct with Assurance Violators will be Prosecuted

I can go on for pages with possible other areas for reform.  But for now this will be the last.  The elections administrator needs to post a public warning on the county web page stating the various criminal laws and associated penalties.  This will send a clear message that the elections administrator is serious about enforcing the law.  Examples of how the law can be broken need to be provided.  Hopefully, our DA would do the same.

An area of particular concern for me is the vans which bring seniors to the polling place.  We need very clear guidelines about campaign information in or around the vans.  Because many seniors vote from the van, the van is a polling place.  The elections administrator needs to post to the web page a very clear warning that drivers of vans who violate the law will be prosecuted.

Here is an Interesting Solution

How about on election day the county add as a polling place the high rise where so many of these seniors live and are abused through ballot harvesting.  With the polling place right in their building they will not need mail ballots or rides to the polls.

APPLY HERE FOR THE JOB OF CAMERON COUNTY ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR

http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/HR/job_opportunities.htm

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any updates on election results?

BobbyWC said...

Well Arizona ia a complete mess - we may not know for weeks the final results which include a US Senate race.

Oh, you mean locally - I was just checking the county and BISD page, and Herald for updates - I have no idea what is happening - given the margin in the two races which the update will impact I would imagine both sides are arguing over how the count is happening. If money is available I suspect election contests in both - we shall see

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Please keep posted on the BISD elections....morale is
so low....we feel like we have targets on our backs.

Anonymous said...

Has the expenditures and contributions received by the candidates for BISD Board of Trustees been made public? If not, can you please research it and provide the information to your readers? It would be interesting reading to see who contributed to the campaign of the BISD candidates and how much each spend on the election. Thank you.