Texas Senate District 11

Tax Our Children’s Future, or Not. #AllPoliticsIsLocal VOTE May 6, 2017


Local Election Day is here!

Remember that city and ISD elections will be held in different locations. To be safe, check their website for current polling locations.

If you live in the purple area below, Clear Creek ISD, there are two Trustee elections along with a $487 MILLION dollar Bond on the ballot. Did you receive your new appraisal values? Do we really want to full fill a temporary want at the cost of our children’s future?

Clear Creek ISD District Boundaries (CCISD) Purple Shade

 

See below for more information:

This is what our Republican Party of Texas Platform says about Bond Elections, along with our state party mission statement. 

 

  1. Check out the Citizens for CCISD PAC website and their Facebook page.
  2.  Polling locations for May 6th Election.

 

 

SREC 4th Quarter Meeting Highlights (Updates)


First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the healing prayers said while I was recovering from my neck surgery. They worked and I am well on my way to building up my stamina. God is good all the time and He answers our prayers!
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This SREC meeting was greeted by wet, cold weather but it always brightens my day when I see concerned grassroot Republicans from all over Texas, and especially from #TeamSD11! (Newly elected Galveston County SD11 District Chair, & representative on the 2016 RPT Platform Committee, H Scott Apley was in attendance, as well as Jeff Larson, our representative on the 2016 RPT State Convention Rules Committee.)
(Congratulations to Bianca Gracia, HCRP Pct Chair & part of #TeamSD11, on her new job as RPT Latino Engagement Director!)
Friday’s SREC Committee Meetings:
The Resolutions Committee took up the task of recommending the SREC’s 3 Legislative Priorities for this upcoming session. Quite a few were submitted but after much discussion, the committee agreed to these three:
1) Working to advocate for comprehensive school choice in a manner consistent with the RPT Platform. (Plank 147) 
2) We support denial and/or withdrawal of public funds for entities public and/or private, not in compliance with immigration laws, including sanctuary cities.
3) Protect the citizens of Texas from unlawful encroachments on their First Amendment rights, including Constitutional religious liberty and freedom of speech, and as specified in the RPT Platform plank 153.
When they moved on to Resolutions submitted to consider, time was very limited. The Election Integrity Resolutions were tabled until the next SREC March meeting, with more information being gathered. A Resolution in Favor of Protecting Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association was passed to consider on the floor at our Saturday general meeting, as was a Resolution for the State of Texas to Secure its Electric Grid.
Then I was on to the committee that I serve on, the Volunteerism Committee. Every two years, the RPT hosts a banquet for the 31 Volunteers of the Year, selected by each senate district SREC members. (If you remember, our beautiful friend from Brazoria County, Joy Weiner, was SD11’s Volunteer of the Year in 2015.) This event involves a lot of planning, coordinating, fundraising, data gathering/entry, and communicating ….. it’s so worth it to honor these hard working Texans.
Fortunately, I was able to sit in on the Legislative Committee meeting for a bit. They are in the process of figuring out what types of resources and training they will create, on top of advocating for our RPT Legislative Priorities.
Because our committee meetings are double booked, SREC members don’t get to see or hear what happens in the meetings we are unable to attend. I am so thankful for the patriots who live stream, and report on, them so we know what to expect to vote on Saturday.
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After our meetings, we were shuttled off to a Christmas gathering graciously hosted by Lt Gov Patrick at the gorgeous Caswell House.
Saturday general meeting: 
During our worship service, we were treated with lovely Christmas carols by Pastor Rex Johnson’s family, followed by a short message and prayer.
A motion was made, and approved, to move committee reports to the beginning of the meeting due to the meeting ending early.
Replacement of our RPT Secretary.
Reports on Victory 2016 and our 2017 Budget were given.
Chair of the Rules Committee, Melinda Fredricks, presented her request for a ruling from Chairman Mechler on Rule 18, voted on and adopted by over 8,000 delegates to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. Here is Chairman Mechler’s reply letter to her, provided to SREC members in our packet Saturday morning. A video of the questioned amendment to Rule 18 from the RPT State Convention Rules Chair giving his report was played for the body.
Why is this one issue so important, you may ask?
If you went to our state convention, did you take the time to read the rules packet? Do you pay attention to amendments being presented from the floor and vote on them?  Of course you do!!! The SREC debated, and voted, on whether your vote at the state convention was relevant or not, period.
READ the statement signed by MOST of the RPT State Convention Rules Committee members standing for the voice of the delegates.
* Added 12/13/16 Very thorough, easy to understand, write up on the accounts during the by-law ruling debate: Did they know what they were doing?
The debate on Chairman Mechler’s ruling on Rule 18 continued…… and numerous roll call votes.
See how all SREC members voted and read reports, as witnessed, from around the state:
Last, but not least, Candy Noble, Chair of the SREC Resolutions Committee, gave her report. We first took up the 3 SREC Legislative Priorities …. listed above under Friday committee meetings. All passed with an addition of campuses to #2.
Two Resolutions came to the floor for a roll call vote and passed:
These Resolutions were important to pass ahead of the legislative session due to the submission of the Ethics Bill filed last session, that was deemed unconstitutional by our TX AG along with Gov Abbott, and due to the lack of traction the Electric Grid legislation made in the House last session.
Gov Abbott, and his wife Cecilia, hosted a lovely Christmas Party after the meeting.
Should new information come to light after this is posted, I’ll add it to the bottom of this post.
It’s an honor to represnt #TeamSD11!
For God and For Texas,
Tanya Robertson, SD11 SREC

#CLCWA $88 Million dollar Bond on our Nov 2016 ballot: Op-Ed


Why I am voting NO.

A few days ago, a voter asked what this Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA) Bond at the bottom of our ballot was all about…. after my initial loss for words, I remembered hearing about this possibility a few years ago and went directly to the CLCWA website for more information.

Bond info: http://www.clcwa.org/elections.htm

Here is what the CLWA is wanting us to pay for:

  1. $13.9 million for water line rehabilitation and replacements including a nearly 50 year old 20” water main that serves parts of Camino South and Meadowgreen, water tank recoatings, a large generator replacement, and a joint venture with the City of Houston and other co-participants of the Southeast Water Treatment Plant to replace a water supply main on Hwy. 3;
  2.  $16.8 million for wastewater rehabilitation and replacement including numerous lift station rehabilitations and upgrades, TV inspections and rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer lines, and a zinc and copper treatment system to meet state and federal mandated regulations;
  3. $33.3 million for rehabilitation and TV inspections of the storm sewer system, detention facility expansions and construction for flood control purposes (includes Exploration Green area, former golf course) and expansion of the reuse water system;
  4. $24 million for engineering, construction contingency, and fees.

 

needs-wants

I could almost see numbers 1 & 2 being viable ‘needs’ but these are expected upgrade costs that should have been worked into the budget and savings put aside to carry them out as needed, not proposed as an added property tax for property owners. Kind of like a ‘rainy day’ fund.

As for item number 3 … speaking as a tax payer in this district, I don’t believe my family should HAVE to fund a CLCWA real estate investment. We’ve seen their plans, before the property was even purchased, and completely disagreed with it, along with many residents in that community.

Item number 4 seems to be nothing more than a $24 Million dollar slush fund.

If you notice, CLCWA states that the financial adviser says that this $88 Million dollar Bond would not increase your tax responsibility. So …. I am supposed to trust an unnamed adviser that most likely doesn’t live in our community or pay these taxes? Umm… okay? And since when doesn’t borrowing money cost anything?

The bottom line is, there are so many taxing entities that a property owner must keep up with now, it’s ridiculous for any one of them to ask for more when we are all tightening our budgets to make ends meet. Why is it wrong to ask them to do the same?

I’m not going to pretend to know all the details behind this bond because frankly, it flew in under my radar but what I do know is this type of behavior by taxing authorities is pushing a lot of families out of their homes, or at the very least, causing some hardships that they should not have to worry about. It’s bad enough that our water/sewer bill has steadily increased over the past few years (some of this is thanks to the new smart water meters) ….. has your household income kept up? I will tell you that ours has not.

Make no mistake about it…This is another PROPERTY TAX!

When, and if, more information surfaces, I will update this blog post. Until then, please share that we are voting on a tax increase with other voters in your neighborhood…. it’s at the BOTTOM of the ballot.

A CLCWA tax payer VOTING NO,

Tanya Robertson

 

2016 Election irregularities during early voting in Texas?


Concerned about election integrity? Have you heard about potential incidents of votes flipping on electronic voting machines? What if it happens to you?!? What do YOU do about it?

(Watch for updates at the bottom of the page.)

election-integrity

 

**DOUBLE CHECK YOUR BALLOT BEFORE CASTING YOUR VOTE**

If something doesn’t look right on the machine while you are voting: 

  1. Call the Election Judge over immediately to address the issue. Problem solved? Great! No farther action needs to be taken. Not solved? See #2.
  2. Let the Election Judge know that you would like to report the irregularity. (Document the number of the troubled machine for reporting.) *Ask to cancel your vote on that machine and to vote on another machine.

What else should you do?

  1. Call your County Clerk to report the issue. Harris Co, Brazoria Co, Galveston Co…. Follow up.
  2. Call your County Republican Party office to report the issue and ask what their procedure is to resolve, or report, it.  HCRP, GCRP, BCRP 
  3. Call the RPT Election Integrity Hotline: 512-766-4597
  4. Report the incident to the TX Secretary of State.
  5. If you want to take it a step farther, report it to the TX Attorney General‘s office.

*Document, document, document! Who, what, when, where, and how…. then follow up.

Check out the Republican Party of Texas Ballot Integrity Manuel for more information!

_______________________________________________________________________

poll-watcher

Interested in being an Election Poll Watcher?

Alan Vera, Chairman of the HCRP Ballot Security Committee, is conducting training classes (open to anyone wanting to serve from SD11) and signing up poll watchers up until Monday, November 7th.

Can’t make the training? Check out the video! (Although it’s much better in person!)

Leave a comment for additional information.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

How many friends, family members, church members, &/or neighbors can you get to the polls?

What, When & Where? #iVotedEarlyTXGOP

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Watch for updates on this post … stay diligent #TeamSD11!

For God and For Texas,

Tanya Robertson, SREC SD11

_______________________________________________________________________

*Update on Machines “Changing” Votes by Alan Vera (10/26/16)

Many of you have called expressing concern about 3rd party stories that electronic voting machines are systematically changing voters’ choices on the ballots. You’ve seen it on Facebook and received chain emails about alleged instances of the machines trying to thwart the will of the voters.

These stories are not new. They’ve been circulating for the last 3 presidential elections.

When we’ve traced them back as far as possible (given that the sources are usually untraceable), we’ve usually tracked the origins back to political groups campaigning to return to paper ballots.

If they can undermine voter confidence in electronic voting, they will have an easier time getting state legislatures to eliminate electronic voting and return to paper ballots—historically the ballot format MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO FRAUD.

In research done by many election integrity groups, it seems that 99% of the stories cannot be verified. “Somebody” said it happened to them or to “a relative.” There are never corroborating testimonies from election judges or voter assistants to substantiate the claims.

Almost all of these claims appear to be false.

Now to Harris County

HARRIS COUNTY 2016 GENERAL ELECTION—REPORTED PROBLEMS

Out of nearly 130,000 people who voted in Harris County on October 24 & 25 we’ve had 6 Republicans call HCRP HQ to state that they had just experienced problems with the e-slate changing one of their intended votes.

Yesterday, I called and got detailed information from 5 of those 6 people. I asked them to walk me step by step through their experiences. .

I also interviewed 10 Republican voters who voted Monday or Tuesday and had no problems with the e-slates recording their votes correctly the first time. Here are my non-statistically-projectable findings of the different factors that seemed to affect the contrasting experiences. (Think of it as a focus group of voting experiences.)

1. Machines Not Acting Alone

None of the 5 voters with problems said that the machine acted alone in “changing their ballot selection.” In other words none of the voters said that they: 1) made a selection; 2) took their hands off the e-slate; and 3) watched as the e-slate changed their votes.

In every case, the voter had made a selection and then pressed another button. That’s logical. The e-slate only takes action when you press a button. It only marks or unmarks selections when it thinks that’s what you told it to do.

2. TWO-HANDED VOTING & PROBLEMS

All of the voters who had NO problems in their voting experience said they only used one hand to work the e-slate. Most of the voters who reported problems kept the index finger from their left hand on the e-slate wheel and the index finger from their right hand on the “Enter” button.

In the 5 elections I worked as an AJ in Precinct 327 in Sheila Jackson Lee’s CD 18, every voter problem with the e-slate “changing a vote” was caused by the voter inadvertently moving the wheel slightly when pressing the “Enter” button. As soon as the presiding judge and I instructed the voter to take their finger off the wheel and then press Enter, the problem disappeared.

3. NEXT PAGE BUTTON AND PROBLEMS

All the voters who reported problems with their votes used the “Next Page” button to advance through the ballot after they voted for President or straight party ticket. All of the voters who reported NO problems said they advanced through the ballot using the wheel, not the Next Page button.

If you combine #2 with #3 it’s possible that both index fingers are giving the e-slate instructions without you realizing it.

I should point out that yesterday around noon I asked the Harris County Clerk’s office to try to replicate problems with the “Next Page” button. They responded immediately and reported back that they could NOT re-create any problem with that sequence.

4. ENTHUSIASTIC DOUBLE CLICKING

Three of the five voters who reported problems admit that they might have double clicked the “Enter” button when they voted for President or straight party.

You double-click the mouse on your computer. You DO NOT double click anything on the e-slate. On the e-slate the first click makes a selection; the second click cancels that selection. If you hold the “Enter” button down too long, there’s no telling what might happen,

5. SUMMARY PAGE IS KEY

Every voter who reported problems praised the value of the summary pages that let them review all their ballot choices before pressing “Cast Ballot.”

After correcting the vote(s) that they didn’t want, each was happy that their correct votes were reflected on the summary pages BEFORE they finally cast their ballot.

All of the voters who reported problems were ultimately confident that their vote was cast as they intended. They were simply unhappy about the hassle they experienced.

In my 7 years working elections in Harris County I’ve never seen a voter leave the polling place unhappy that the Hart equipment used by Harris County had permanently changed their vote.

Machine Failure: Once in 7 years I’ve seen an e-slate machine go bad and not carry out the voter’s instructions. After the presiding judge and I tried everything we could, we cancelled the booth, took that e-slate out of service and called the County Clerk to replace that machine. That was rare.

The voter was allowed to vote on a fully functioning e-slate and left the polling place satisfied.

SUMMARY

Please understand that on a national level, people and groups spreading stories about machines changing ballots have an ulterior motive—returning to unreliable paper ballots. Understand the motive before you swallow the story.

When you vote in Harris County on an e-slate, it’s better to work the e-slate with only one hand. That avoids the possibility that you’re inadvertently “telling” the e-slate to do something you didn’t intend.

And since the e-slate wheel only “tells” the computer to move your cursor (not any other selection command), it’s probably easier to advance through the ballot with the wheel than with the “Next Screen” button.

Don’t double-click any button on the e-slate.

Check your summary vote page carefully before pressing the “Cast Ballot” button. Make sure you didn’t make an error manipulating the e-slate.

And remember, your vote is much more secure with these systems than it would be with paper ballots.

Alan D. Vera
Chairman, HCRP Ballot Security Committee

Training: What you can do to ensure election integrity!


poll-watcher

 

If you REALLY want to ensure election integrity in Texas ….. Come one, come all! Whether you are an Election Judge, Alt-Judge, a clerk, or want to be a Poll Watcher, this training is for you.

Alan Vera, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party Ballot Security Committee, has offered to conduct this training for us in the Clear Lake area and it is OPEN to all #TeamSD11 members along with concerned Texans from surrounding areas.

Please join us to participate in this priceless training ….. we really owe it to our children, grandchildren, and to those who serve our communities, state, and our country.

Tuesday, October 18th 

6:30 p.m. 

Taylor Lake Village City Hall (map)

500 Kirby Blvd

Taylor Lake Village, TX 77586 

This event is hosted by TX Senate District 11 SREC members, Tanya Robertson & JT Edwards, and Clear Lake Area Republicans. 

HCRP Pct Chair & Activist Training


 

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To ALL New Precinct Chairs, Republican Activists,
And Experienced Precinct Chairs
Who want to Light up Your Precinct
Between Now and Nov 8!

The HCRP Training & Development Committee
Offers Training at a Harris County Location Convenient to You, 5 times fromSept 24 – Oct 8.

For Details go to http://www.harriscountygop.com/hcrp_events
And select the Date of Your Choice on the HCRP Calendar.
Be sure to RSVP, as space is limited at some venues.

Saturday, Sept 24 (South) Taylor Lake Village City Hall, 500 Kirby Blvd. Seabrook TX 77586. Registration 9 am; Class 9:30-11:30 am.

Thursday, Sept 29 (East) Gilbert Pena Campaign Office, Pasadena 77503. Registration  6:30 pm; Class 7 – 8:45 pm.

Saturday, Oct 1 (North) Lone Star College North, Houston 77060. Registration 9 am; Class 9:30-11:30 am.

Wednesday, Oct 5 (NW) Weekley Community Center, Cypress 77433. Registration  6:30 pm; Class 7 – 8:45 pm.

Saturday, Oct 8 (Central) HCRP HQ, Houston 77008. Registration 2:00 pm; Class 2:30-5 pm.

You will learn How to Find Volunteers, and What To Do with Them; get ACTUAL TOOLS for ACTUAL RESULTS in your Precinct; and Trade Ideas with other activists about what has worked for them. Learn how to make the most of NationBuilder and Advantage. RSVP, and take home a free Training Manual that will be a Resource for Years!

 Forward this message to your like-minded friends. On the HCRP website, be sure to look for “Training & Development Committee” in the title of the class.

 

Clarifying TX Voter ID Ruling, Part 2: Sue Evenwel, SREC SD1


More discussion about the TX Voter ID ruling and our November election. Thank you for taking the time to go through this and work so hard to clarify it for all Texans Sue!

“August 12, 2016

Dear friends and colleagues, Part 2

Who would have guessed that my email to clarify some misinformation over the Texas photo ID requirements for the November election, would take on a ‘life of its own’?  However, the debate over the ‘Reasonable Impediment Declaration’ has engaged so many people and brought greater understanding.  That is good for everyone.

My letter to you the other day did not go far enough to explain what happens with a voter who has no photo ID to present at the polling place.  I appreciate Eric’s summary of the “Reasonable Impediment Declaration”, but I feel the gravity of this procedure is being overlooked, it is not a simple waiver.  This is critical to understand and I am going to expand that.

Additionally, the provisional ballot process is still in place for November.  Some Facebook/Email comments have implied that this procedure will no longer be used.  That is not correct.  The provisional ballot process is for the voter who cannot present their photo ID at the polling place, but can bring it to the voter registrar within 6 days.  That voter can vote a provisional ballot, and it will be kept sealed, not counted, until a valid photo ID is produced to prove who they claim to be.  The the Late Ballot Board will process the ballot.  So if you left your driver’s license at home, you can still vote a provisional ballot, and show your ID to the registrar later.  Here is a link on the S.O.S. site for clarification.  VoteTexas.gov (http://www.votetexas.gov/faq/?wpmp_switcher=mobile).

The new procedure which has everyone concerned deals with the ‘Reasonable Impediment Declaration”.  This is not just a simple wavier that allows anyone with a utility bill to vote. The court-ordered impediment affidavit is a very serious document, and carries severe penalties.  It is not something to be taken lightly, or that gives a ‘pass’ to someone who cannot present a photo ID.  It will be used to let someone cast a regular ballot if (AND ONLY IF) there is an impediment to the voter getting a photo ID.  There is no reason to offer this type of voter a provisional ballot because he must declare that he doesn’t have a valid photo ID to present within the required 6 days.

With the impediment affidavit, you prove your identity by swearing under penalty of perjury (that’s a felony conviction and time in jail) that you don’t have a photo ID AND can’t reasonably obtain one.  There’s nothing left to prove.  So, if you lost your driver’s license, you bring a secondary form of ID, sign the affidavit under penalty of perjury saying you have no way of getting another driver’s license, or any other of the 6 photo ID options, and cast a regular ballot. Obviously that voter got a ride to the poll.

 The big question is, what happens if someone lies on the affidavit and casts a ballot, when they aren’t who they say they are.  That’s the concern voter ID is meant to fix. The interim Texas impediment affidavit says it can be rejected if there is conclusive evidence the person isn’t who they say they are.  So you can stop the process before the ballot is cast with conclusive evidence on identity. What about after the fact?  In theory, there could be three ways to cope with the ballot cast through a lie, and Texas law already has two of them:

  1. Strike the ballot.
  2. Throw them in jail.
  3. Contest the election.

Election Law junkies….I am going to give you all the links so you can look these up for yourself. LOL

On #1, Texas has no procedure I know of to challenge an individual, regular ballot after it is cast.  The Legislature could create one.  The North Carolina legislature did when it passed their voter ID law (which the Fourth Circuit just struck down).  The fact that Texas doesn’t have an after-the-fact procedure isn’t the end of the story, because I think #2 and #3 should still apply and have more force anyway.

On #2, you can commit perjury in Texas even if there is no judge or notary to swear you in, thanks to the “unsworn declaration statute”.

(http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.132.htm)

I’m not sure if the offense is perjury (a misdemeanor) or “tampering with a governmental record” (could be a felony).

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.37.htm.

If it’s a felony, you lose the right to vote during your punishment.

(http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/effects.shtml).  If I lied to cast a ballot, I would fear that a lot more than a challenge to cancel my vote.

On #3, you can still contest an election.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.232.htm  If I lost an election by fewer votes than impediment affidavits that were cast, I’d challenge it!  And if votes through false affidavits did not swing an election, that individual harm could still be solved by throwing them in jail.

So overall, yes, there is a difference between provisional and regular ballots, but not one that matters here if voters that lie on affidavits can still be jailed and elections can still be contested.

Warmest regards and have a nice weekend,

Sue Evenwel”

TX SREC Meeting Summary: August 6, 2016


This Saturday’s agenda was originally supposed to only contain training, and party updates, for SREC members and county chairs but a special short meeting was added to the call by Chairman Mechler to ratify his SREC Committee appointments that morning. We received this list of appointments on Tuesday, August 3rd via email.    

After reviewing the appointments, it was clear to me that they did not fairly represent the diversity of the SREC body, take advantage of the experienced members, along with utilizing the extreme talent within the body and dramatically reduced the size of important committees. For these reasons, I voted to postpone the ratification of these appointments until our September meeting, as it has been in the past. If you are interested, the debate over whether to postpone, or not, may be viewed here

 

The rest of the day was filled with reports on the TX Voter ID case ruling, social media messaging to win, minority outreach efforts, Mighty TX Strike Force, TX Victory 2016, and in a combined effort, the RPT, TFRW, Abbott U, and TRCCA are hosting GOTV trainings all over the state. There is so much energy leading up to the Nov 2016 Election, don’t miss it!!

 

Register here for Summer Leadership & GOTV Training in August.

 

If you would like more information regarding ANY of these efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact me and please know that you are welcomed to join us at the SREC September 10th meeting in Austin!

For God and For Texas,

Tanya Robertson, SREC SD11 

 

Mark your calendars now with all of these important dates!

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Clarifying TX Voter ID Ruling: Sue Evenwel, SREC SD1


Update 8/11/16 –

From Alan Vera, Chairman of the HCRP Ballot Security Committee, stated “We lost the provisional ballot angle. They can vote regular ballot with a utility bill and a completed affidavit. It’s 2010 plus an affidavit.”

 After communicating with General Paxton’s office today, we learned that he is correct …. BUT add that violating the affidavit (not waiver) is a felony offense and those ballots are subtotaled separately, in case an election is challenged for ease of counting and verification. It was this option or NO voter ID. 
We have a lot of work to do with this issue in the upcoming TX Legislative session!

**#TeamSD11,

During our training Saturday in Austin, we received a report on the TX Voter ID ruling that was full of inaccuracies and felt like this well researched explanation would help with a lot of confusion and questions. A mountain of gratitude is owed to Sue Evenwel for putting this together for us!

As always, feel free to contact me if you should have any questions.

Tanya Robertson

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“August 10, 2016

Dear friends and colleagues,

While many of you were in Cleveland nominating the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was announcing its decision in Veasey vs. Abbott, the Texas Voter ID case.  Earlier this year I was disappointed with another ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, in regard to the Voting Rights Act in my own case Evenwel vs. Abbott, which came to be known as ‘One person, one vote”.  So, when this Texas Voter ID decision was announced, I was more than a little interested in the outcome.  Several county chairmen in SD#1, and election workers in Titus County asked me to explain how this recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling will affect the November election.  After some comments and discussion at the training event in Austin this past weekend, I felt I needed to respond with the information I have been able research and discover.

Did you ever play “whisper down the lane” as a kid?  It is so amusing to hear the end result of just passing a simple sentence through a dozen people.  It doesn’t even resemble what was said at the start.  Regarding this case, there has been a lot of misinformation, unfair innuendos, and much confusion regarding the actions taken by our Attorney General (along with our Governor and Secretary of State) to protect the integrity of our election process.

The most troubling statement I heard was, “Basically, anyone will be able to present any form of ID, light bill or invoice, with or without a picture, sign an affidavit stating you are who you say you are, and be allowed to vote.  That is not true!

This November, in addition to a Texas driver’s license, 6 other acceptable forms of photo ID’s may be presented.

  • Texas Voters Identification Certificate, issued free of charge by the DPS.
  • Teas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
  • U.S. military identification card with person’s photo
  • U.S. citizenship certificate with person’s photo
  • United States passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, these documents must all be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polling place.

The name on these ID’s must match what appears on the list of registered voters, or be “substantially similar”, i.e. Bill instead of William.  If there is a slight variance, as in the latter example, the voter must sign an affidavit stating that they are the same person as on the registered voter list.

Now, people have been known to show up to vote with none of these acceptable forms of ID.  If that happens, they will be able to vote provisionally.  No one will be refused a ballot.  However, that voter must produce the proper ID to the voter registrar not later than the 6th day after the election for their vote to be counted.

This solution, which General Paxton reached along with Governor Abbott and Secretary Cascos in agreement, is certainly not as strong as SB 14 was written, but it is a fair compromise, because the full 5th Circuit invalidated our law.  That means, without this interim solution there would be NO PHOTO ID at all in November!

The link below is an article by Hans von Spakovsky, a man I got to know in Washington, D.C. during the time my case was being prepared.  He is a senior legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation, and a highly respected authority on election law.  It was just published today!  Great minds think alike.  LOL

http://dailysignal.com/2016/08/10/texas-gets-the-best-deal-it-could-with-the-justice-department-on-voter-id-for-the-november-election/

I also want to take this opportunity in thanking General Paxton for his leadership on this issue.  As Republicans we take ballot security and the integrity of elections seriously.  I am proud our Texas AG has remained steadfast in his fight to promote and protect the values we share as Republicans.  This case is no different.  He has provided us with the facts regarding the recent decision of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals relating to our state’s Voter ID bill and came up with a clear solution.

As a sidebar, General Paxton was an early supporter for strict voter id requirements.  In 2011, when he was in the Texas House, he co-sponsored Senate Bill 14, which requires a person to show a photo id when voting. Analysts have noted that the provisions outlined in Senate Bill 14 made this legislation the strictest voter id law in the nation. After the bill’s passage, Paxton tweeted that a “Photo ID is required to board a plane, drive a car, and cash a check…why not to vote?”

Unfortunately, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, recognized as the most conservative appellate court in the country, answered that rhetorical question with a disappointing ruling 9-6 that Senate Bill 14 violates the Voting Rights Act. Four Republican-appointed judges joined the five Democrat-appointed judges to strike down our voter ID law. Judge Catharina Haynes, who was nominated by President George W. Bush during his second term as President, wrote the opinion stating, “We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in determining that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect on minorities’ voting rights in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

This Court declared Texas’ voter ID law dead unless General Paxton along with Governor Abbott and Secretary of State Cascos reach an agreement with the plaintiff and Department of Justice (DOJ) containing terms that all parties find reasonable for the election this November. Additionally, the legislature must pass a bill next session addressing the Court’s concerns regarding the “discriminatory effect” of SB 14 in order to save our state’s voter id bill going forward.

No voter ID laws have been held permissible in federal court unless the law contains a procedure for affidavit. Therefore, General Paxton with Governor Abbott and Secretary Cascos searched for the most reasonable affidavit procedure.  The one procedure they agreed to is described above. The agreement reached with the plaintiff and Department of Justice states that an individual must provide a proper government-issued photo ID when voting unless the individual cannot obtain a proper form of identification. In this case, the individual must complete and sign an affidavit to which the penalty of perjury (a felony offense) applies stating that he/she cannot obtain an acceptable form of identification for the purposes of voting AND that individual must provide some other document of proof complete with a name and address.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the issue.  Perhaps the most concerning part of this case is, the Appellate Court has remanded the case back to the District Court to determine if the Legislature exercised discriminatory purpose when passing SB 14. If discriminatory effect is found, then our state could be bailed-in again, which means our election laws and re-districting efforts would be subject to PRECLEARANCE by the Department of Justice, which would prove detrimental to our state under an Obama Administration or, heaven forbid, another Clinton Administration.   We cannot let that happen!  But that is the subject of another memo.

I sincerely hope this helps clarify the Voter ID requirement for November.

Warmest regards,

Sue Evenwel

Titus county Republican Party, chairman

SREC Committeewomen, SD#1

Plaintiff in Evenwel vs. Abbott”

You Are Appreciated!


Dear Senate District 11 delegates to the 2016 Texas Republican State Convention,

THANK YOU for honoring me with the opportunity to serve you for another 2 years on the SREC! Also, all of the support from our #TeamSD11 members who weren’t delegates, was VERY much appreciated …. I felt it while in Dallas.

thank-you1

 

We have a huge task at hand and I look forward to working toward our goals together!

For God and For Texas,

Tanya

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