Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Voting Locations in Fort Bend County: A Shell Game

A couple of days ago I mentioned in passing that it looked like the Fort Bend County elections office had unceremoniously changed the polling locations of precinct 2123.

It’s a little worse.

The polling locations of several precincts have been changed without word or warning. Thousands of voters could be left standing in front of a dark building on Election Day.

I view this as highly suspicious as I mentioned previously. This is a classic bait and switch voter suppression tactic.

And I wouldn’t be too concerned, but it looks like the county targeted two very Democratic precincts to do their nasty business. 2123 as previously reported, and also Precinct 1114, a precinct centered on the liberal leaning Teal Run development.
And I do mean liberal.

In 2006, voters in Teal Run, Precinct 1114 cast 760 straight Democratic votes (92% of all straight ticket votes cast in the precinct). In 2006 voters in Teal Run, Precinct 1114 cast 1016 votes for Barbara Ann Radnofsky who ran for US Senate against Kay Bailey Hutchison. That’s 83% of senate votes cast. Barbara Ann mustered just 36% of the vote statewide.

Precinct 2123, tucked in the far eastern corner of Fort Bend County, is even more impressively Democratic, percentage-wise anyway.

In 2006, voters in Precinct 2123 cast 314 straight Democratic votes (95% of all straight ticket votes cast in the precinct). In 2006 voters in Precinct 2123 cast 419 votes for Barbara Ann Radnofsky who ran for US Senate against Kay Bailey Hutchison. That’s 87% of senate votes cast.

But now, after voting in the same location for years, voters in 1114 and 2123 must find their way to new polling locations

Precinct 1114’s old location at Burton Elementary School is changed to Fort Bend County MUD 23, the M.R. Massey Admin B building.

Precinct 2123 old location at Meadowcreek Clubhouse is changed to Quail Valley Elementary School.

The democratic process, it seems, in Fort Bend County anyway, has become some sort of bizarre shell game with the pea being a place to cast your vote.

Quite frankly, the voting process in Iraq, blue thumbs and all, makes this democratic system look more like that of a banana republic’s.

Machiavelli would be pleased.

2 comments:

Mark Bankston said...

I was a bit worried, but I can announce today to my fellow Fort Bend progressives that there is some good news on this front:

Fort Bend Democrats PAC and Fort Bend NAACP President Ron Reynolds stepped up and produced a mail card that will be sent to EVERY registered voter in Pct 1114 and 2123 that informs them of the change.

Check it out:
http://img515.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1114mailcardfrontni3.jpg
http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1114mailcardbackfl1.jpg

Hopefully this will lessen the impact of the last minute confusion. We are lucky to have committed Democrats who are willing to help fight what appears (to me anyway) to be a blatant and ugly attempt at voter suppression.

Don said...

This was something I could never understand when I lived in Texas -- The only way I could find out where my polling place was located was to wait until the Chronicle published the list which was like election day (or maybe the day before?). And then it had things like Precinct 911 votes in Precinct 666 which you had to then look up and maybe it was redirected to someplace else. In some cases the primary election polling place for the Republicans was in on place and the one for Democrats in someplace else. Nuts, totally nuts. It's like they really DON't want anyone to vote.

Every place else I have lived, the address of my polling place was printed on my voter registration card.