Monday, June 23, 2008

Fixing an election through voter suppression

That is exactly what Lone Star College System did back in May. It would appear that someone there analyzed the vote totals for/against from the 2006 election and then intentionally chose polling places with an eye towards suppressing voter turnout in those areas that were heavily anti-bond in the last election. In Montgomery County, all of the polling places were co-located with local school bond polling locations, in Harris County they were generally not, forcing voters seek out a second polling location in order to vote a second time. Further, in Harris County, in those areas with a strong pro-bond turnout history, the polling places chosen were the same as before, with no more than two precincts combined per polling location, making it easy for those who wished to vote to do so. For those areas that were heavily anti-bond, just the opposite was true, four and five precincts were combined, and the polling locations were invariably far from the normal polling locations, on average about 4 miles away from the historic polling locations. State election code calls for the placement of signage at old polling locations "if possible" to direct voters to the new polling location. I find it hard to believe that it was "not possible" to place signs at those other polling locations. I also find it hard to believe that it would have been cost prohibitive to put polling locations co-located with the Klein ISD bond election. The result? the turnout in Harris County was far below the turnout in Montgomery County, and turnout in historically conservative anti-bond areas was far below the turnout in pro-bond areas. In fact the entire Harris county turnout, roughly equaled the turnout at each of several Montgomery county polling locations. Therefore, it pays to design your own election, you can manipulate the vote without having to resort to stuffing the ballot box that way.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Designer Election.....

What next? Well if one were to take and analyze the voting patterns of the 2006 and 2008 election, there certainly appears a pattern.

I kind of thought this was all in the past with Duval County, but even in the national election when the underdog is getting more money they want to throw out the campaign finance reforms and get all that they can.

Looks like we have that here too!

June 23, 2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The distrubing issue about this election was the ballot boxes were left laying around for days unaccounted for. Some ballot boxes had broken seals and some had no seals. So I guess you pick which votes will count and which votes will not. No one really cares and nothing is going to be done about it. Almost 1/2 Billion dollars decided by 20,000 votes. Welcome to Texas Politicts.

June 23, 2008 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad commentary on how devious school administrations are in running "fixed" elections. But since it seems no one really cares and nothing is going to be done about it, why bring it up?

Just saying....

June 23, 2008 3:08 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Actually it is my understanding that a lawsuit has been filed against LSCS AND Klein ISD for voting irregularities.

June 23, 2008 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RORSCHACH: There was turnout in both Montgomery and Harris Counties, In Montgomery County it was one precinct to one precinct, and the vote was pretty evenly distributed; polls closed at 7:00pm and we all had our stuff turned in and gone by 8:30pm.

Harris County was a different story. Chaos and confusion was perhaps a better description. People in the Humble ISD were combined into an average of 6 precincts on election day including a few that lived across in Montgomery County, so that in itself was a little strange. The rest of Harris County; (this is where it gets kinky) has the strange combination of voting. In 99 precincts the college only votes about 4,500 covering 5 school districts; but within one school district (Klein) they voted 9,100 ballots.... but it was not joint or polling with the college vote, yet they had close to the number of no Bond voters as the college had total voters for all 5 school districts......

A political Science professor told me that this one will make the text books, as it is as clear as day as to what was going on... it just went too well and now it's sticking out like a sore thumb that won't go away.

Rumor has it that the blame is being laid on an employee that recently left and went to another college........

June 24, 2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Every time I think I might want to change my mind and support this college district, these kinds of shenanigans turn up. I thought things would be different with a new Chancellor on board. Obviously, I was sadly mistaken.

I don't know, but I'm sure by now the District has been informed of any lawsuit filed against them for their gross negligence and malfeasance in handling the election. The courts should negate the election, fines should be levied, and someone should do a little jail time! Blaming everything on an employee who no longer works for the district should not exempt the Board of Directors or College officials from culpability.

Just my opinion

June 24, 2008 10:58 AM  

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