Saturday, August 31, 2019

#TXLEGE: Even when they do something right, they still FAIL

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."
2 Timothy 4:2

We had a two part reaction to this Texas Observer article:
The Texas Legislature never seems to pass up a chance to make voting harder, scarier, or more confusing. True to form, Texas was one of several states this year that restricted—rather than expanded—access to the polls.

HB 1888, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law in June, goes into effect this week, effectively banning the use of mobile polling places, a strategy adopted by some counties to facilitate early voting in communities where people may have a harder time getting to a polling site. Travis County, for instance, has for the past several years operated dozens of temporary polling places at various times during the state’s two-week early voting window, opening up temporary sites at colleges, rural community centers, and senior living facilities. More than 28,000 people voted at those rotating polling sites last year, or nearly 6 percent of all Travis County votes cast during the 2018 midterm election.
You're welcome to read the rest of the article, but for the purposes of this blog post, all you have to know is that it exists..


Our first reaction: GOOD!!!

So-called "rolling polling" is one of the subtle, ongoing, swindles whereby the government biases the system to support whatever the government wants; you can learn more about why this is so problematic here.

Truthfully, the effect of rolling polling on major elections (ie. general and primary) is minimal.  Turnout in those elections is high enough that a few tens-of-thousands of rolling polling voters probably doesn't move the needle.  At least not much.

However, in lower profile elections (ie. May locals/bonds), rolling polling can be huge.

When turnout is low, the government manipulating polling locations to produce a favorable electorate can have massive implications.

Not allowing the government to manipulate polling locations to produce a favorable electorate can only be considered a win for taxpayers.

So good riddance.


Our second, more important, reaction: Why is this the first time we're hearing about this a hostile article in the Texas Observer?!?

Because it would have been nice to know about this both:
  • a) just to know

  • b) so we can anticipate the type of attacks outlets like the Observer made in the afore mentioned article.
This author is one of the closer observers (pun not intended) of these sorts of local government debt/transparency issues.  Yet even we had no idea this bill had passed.  Until this morning.

That's a problem.

How do they expect supporters to promote them if they don't even tell us about one of the few unambiguously good things they did?!?

During session, Governor Abbott had no problem communicating with voters about that worthless Chick-fil-a bill.  Imagine if the Governor had put a fraction of that effort into informing voters about the rolling polling bill.  Because the rolling polling bill is the type of things voters are going to need to know about if the GOP wants to have any credibility on taxpayer issues.

Instead, they allow supporters to learn about this bill in a hostile Texas Observer article.

That's a communications failure.


Bottom Line: Sure would've been nice to know about this three months ago....

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