Friday, March 30, 2012

Voter registrations In Harris County to be mediated today

A little meeting today over the Harris County tax assessor/collector's continuing efforts to thwart voter registrations.

Harris County officials have rejected far fewer would-be voters since 2008, but Democrats are demanding more proof that voter rolls are not being illegally suppressed -- particularly among Hispanics -- as another U.S. presidential election approaches. The two sides will meet in secret mediation Friday as Democratic officials seek assurances the county is following the terms of a 2009 settlement reached after the party challenged Harris County voter reviews in a federal lawsuit. The county's voter registrations have remained fairly flat at about 1.9 million since 2008 (emphasis mine), failing to keep pace with a boom in the eligible voting population. "Harris County continues to fall behind other large cities. Harris County rejects far too many applications and removes far too many eligible voters from the rolls," Chad Dunn, an attorney for the Democrats, told the Houston Chronicle.

Sumners has severely curtailed efforts to recruit and train deputy voter registrars as well. Sumners is in fact a tool of the King Street Vote Suppressing Thugs, about which much has been written here.

Sumners said he believes more applicants were rejected in 2008 primarily because a group of deputy voter registrars working for nonprofit groups turned in thousands of duplicate, illegible or incomplete applications. He said he hopes that the quality of applications in 2012 will improve under a new law requiring deputy registrars to complete mandatory training. But Dunn told the court that party leaders need more information to confirm applications are being reviewed as the settlement requires. U.S. District Court Judge Gray H. Miller, who oversees the settlement, ordered both sides to meet with a mediator Friday. If the dispute is not resolved, a hearing has been set next week.

Sumners, in the first sentence of the above graf, refers to Houston Votes, which as an offshoot of Texans Together conducted voter registration drives in minority neighborhoods prior to the 2010 election. Those efforts were effectively demonized by Sumners' predecessor Leo Vasquez, the KSP/True the Vote pasty gangsters, and pretty much every conservative media outlet they could find.

On and on it goes. Progressives encourage people to vote, conservatives restrict it. They only want their voters to vote. They cannot win if more people vote. That "center-right" urban legend is thus advanced. It is fallacy that conservatives represent the view of Texans and Americans when 50% of the population doesn't vote and hundreds of thousands more -- perhaps millions just in Texas -- are prevented from voting. Update: Big Fat Republican Bloggers have their own take.

But conservatives would go further if they could, restricting voting to taxpayers and/or landowners exclusively. That's where we're eventually headed, and Texas will lead the way.

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