Saturday, November 08, 2008

Local Politics - missing voters, prejudiced voters, Bettencourt

Where did all the new Harris County voters go? Two answers - poor Democratic Latino outreach and the possibly tens of thousands of new voter registrations that did not appear on the voter rolls. The voter rolls also contain many names of people who have moved.

I had people who registered months before in new citizen ceremonies and while getting new automobile tags and they were not added to the rolls. Add that to Republican Bettencourt implied to the Chronicle he was illegally requiring the voter registrations to have proof of ID, when those are checked at the polls and not required on the registration forms, and an investigation into his voter registration activities is warranted.

Houston voters rejected Democratic judges with foreign names. We had large crowds of ignorant and racist people at the polls. The strict registration requirements and the "use it or lose it" provisions of the Texas voter code were knocking out over 2% of people in my conservative precinct who showed up on election day. The conservatives coming out of the woodwork did not know you had to be registered, had to be registered 30 days in advance, and did not stay registered if you hadn't voted in years.

Votes may all be counted in Harris County by the 17th. Provisional ballots will be last. These could determine two races. I expect more than 10% will be accepted - if they can find the missing voter registration forms in Bettencourt's offices.

Overall Texas was pretty good for Democrats and better than last year despite some defeats. Texas is only slowly getting over being a red state.

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