voting

Issues with electronic voting systems statewide has some comparing the situation to a plotline from the ABC series “Scandal.”

As record numbers of voters hit the polls during early voting, reports statewide and locally have begun to trickle in regarding malfunctions in electronic voting machines.

In some areas, like Harris County, voters have reported that their votes for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke were changed to incumbent Ted Cruz when they voted straight party ticket.

Writer Leah McElrath, who voted in Harris County, detailed what she saw in a series of tweets.

 

Martha Merino told me that she voted at the Friendswood City Hall, and experienced the same thing.

“I voted straight ticket and it did that to me. I then found checked, triple checked before I cast my ballot,” she said.

Another reader told me her husband attempted to vote straight Democrat Tuesday morning in Richardson, and it switched to straight Republican. They alerted an elections judge, she said. Collin and Dallas counties do not use the same system that has been blamed for many of the issues. (more…)

Voters are fired up — and that enthusiasm was borne out in Monday morning’s record-shattering early voting tallies across the state.

And that makes sense — 15,793,257 people are registered to vote in this November’s election, a record number. In the 2014 midterms, only 4.7 percent of the 14 million registered at the time voted.

The state’s biggest counties — including Dallas, saw larger first-day turnout than they did in the 2014 midterms, and in some places met or exceeded some presidential election totals.

And the lines began nearly immediately and continued throughout the day.

“It’s been like this all day,” said one poll worker at Marsh Lane Baptist Church, where the line snaked down a hall, into a reception area, around the walls of that room, and back up the hallway again. “But it’s gotten worse as the day has gone on.” (more…)

Today is the last day to register to vote, which means in 29 days, nine hours, and 15 minutes, we will all be hitting refresh repeatedly on our computers and/or flipping back and forth between all the TV stations covering the midterm elections.

But something else is on that ballot besides Beto or Ted, Lupe or Greg, and so on and so on. Four ballot measures directly related to how Dallas ISD will be able to continue it’s impressive and monumental spate of improvement will also appear on every Dallasite’s ballot, and we’re betting you’ve only heard of maybe one of them.

And that’s OK. There’s been a lot of information in the past few months, and a lot to digest both public school related and completely unrelated. But we’ll be taking a look at those measures and helping drill down to make sense of them this week so that before you hit the early voting location of your choice, you feel comfortable with your choice of yay or nay. (more…)

primary

(photo courtesy LupeValdez.com)

The primary runoff election returns between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew White and Lupe Valdez were a bit like a ping-pong match for a good portion of the night — until Valdez eventually pulled ahead (about 53 percent to 47 percent) of White to become the first openly gay and the first Latina candidate to win a major party nomination for Texas governor.

After conceding the race to Valdez, White said he was ready to roll up his sleeves and help his former opponent face off against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbot, saying he was “ready to help in any way I can to give Greg Abbott an early retirement party.”

“I am constantly hearing this is going to be such an uphill battle,” Valdez told supporters after she clinched her win. “Please, tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle.” (more…)

electionThe beginning of a busy political season began today as polling places opened up for early primary voting in elections across the state.

Whether you’re voting in the Democratic or Republican primaries, a bumper crop of prospective politicians are vying for local, regional and state seats. (more…)

John Wiley Price's trial is held in Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn's courtroom inside the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

John Wiley Price’s trial is held in Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn’s courtroom inside the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

By Ashley Stanley
Special Contributor

For the first installment in this series, click here.

The morning didn’t go as planned. I was hoping to be at the courthouse at 7:45 a.m., remember? It was more like 9:03 a.m. I ended up taking care of other business matters, but nonetheless, made it to the Earle Cabell Federal Building in time to be second in line. Meaning if someone comes out, I go in.

It is not standing-room only. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn does not want anyone standing except for the security officer monitoring the door. You either have a seat, or you wait outside on a wooden bench. I benched it for 20 minutes until I snagged my opportunity. I made it in. However, while I was waiting outside the courtroom, I overhead two attorneys negotiating (nothing to do with the trial). It went a bit like this:

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I knew there was a good (well, in this case, terrible) reason, because John is, as I said, one of best Tax Appraisers/Collectors we have ever had. Under his watch the office has become much more efficient, the clerks are friendly and polite, and well, maybe he ought to interview for the new management job available over at Dallas City Hall.

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I tried calling John at the Tax office yesterday five times, never could get through because everyone was (probably) calling about their property taxes. May 31 was the last day to protest appraisals. Some tax consultants tell me they were getting calls at 2 and 3 in the morning. People sometimes confuse the Central Appraisal District office with John’s office down on Elm. He does not oversee appraisals, he administers the Tax Collectors office.

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Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Early voting began Monday for two sets of bond packages (Dallas ISD and Highland Park ISD), as well as a handful of proposed state constitutional amendments. (Photo by iStock)

Early voting began Monday for two sets of bond packages and a handful of proposed amendments to the state constitution. Both bond packages — one for Dallas ISD and one for Highland Park ISD — are important to the growth of the districts and even the health and safety of the students. And those amendments deal with everything from property taxes to the living arrangements of state officials.

But hardly anyone one will vote. Which is a crying shame, because (and excuse me while I get on my soapbox) there are people in some countries that would give both eyeteeth for the honor of having a say in anything — even something as mundane as whether small counties can be allowed to perform maintenance on private roads.

And sure, maybe voting is this arduous task that requires getting out of your car and walking into an air conditioned building to hand your driver’s license over to a nice lady or man who then finds you in a computer and walks you over to sign your name and then walks you to a booth to fill in some circles with a Sharpie. That’s hard. I know. I mean, it’s almost as hard as getting out of your car, walking into a Starbucks, standing in line, choosing a drink, telling a nice man or lady what you want to drink, and then paying for the drink before scooting over to wait for a barista to make your drink. I mean, almost. Right?

No.

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