Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It undercuts your protest when you don't know the law.

Just as much as it undercuts your reporting when you include something in your story but don't point out the obvious....

True the Vote draws Houston protest, Joe Holley,
Lucas said her daughter and granddaughter were intimidated by True the Vote-trained poll watchers during early voting in 2010 — her granddaughter because she was wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of Barack Obama
Yeah, so she was "intimidated" for breaking the law which isn't intimidation, but is a legitimate complaint of a voting violation. Joe Holley doesn't mention this, allowing the protester's accusations to go unchallenged by fact.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of "True the Vote" as I feel their tactics of targeting poor, minority, heavily Democratic districts undercut their assertions that they are 'non-partisan'. That being said I do believe voter fraud (especially on mail-in/absentee ballots) to be a bigger problem then anyone will admit. The Democrats say there's nothing to see, despite numerous stories documenting voter irregularities. The Democrats say it's only reported on by Republican-leaning news outlets. Which is a true statement, mainly because none of the mainstream Texas media have shown an interest in it.

Look at this story by Joe Holley, equating True the Vote with the vestiges of the racist South. It's an image many of them were fed in J-school, and to which they uncritically tie anything conservative today. Granted, groups such as True the Vote don't help themselves with their tactics, but the end result is that we're not getting an impartial vetting of how big the problem really is.

I've got a feeling it's somewhere between Massive(R) and Non-Existent(D) but we won't know until an election is out and out stolen and the media finally decides to take a look  and even then the thoroughness of the investigation might depend on which party is damaged most severely.

Until then can we at least get the basics of voting right? You have to be an American citizen (either through birth or naturalized) over the age of 18 and legally registered. All of the "no vote" provisions (felon, etc.) are ideally handled in the registration process, although this is not always the case. When voting you cannot campaign within a certain distance from the polling site, you cannot wear clothes, buttons, etc. that advertise a candidate and you sure as heck can't vote for someone else or intimidate them into voting a certain way.

You'd think this would be simple to report on. Obviously you'd be wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Well, to be fair, Ms. Lucas DID say she was "disturbed".

    But seriously, she also doesn't know the law regarding Poll Watchers, who - unlike the election officials - are not allowed to talk to or interact with voters at all. Poll Watchers are there to observe the process and ensure the election officials follow correct procedures. Anyone commenting on a voter's (illegal) clothing or looking at their voter registration card would have been an election judge or clerk, NOT a Poll Watcher.

    The poor disturbed woman also doesn't understand the federal law (NVRA) that requires states to maintain clean voter rolls and regularly purge ineligible voters (deceased, felons, people who've moved) - a 24-million-voter problem nationwide, according to a recent Pew study.

    This supposed "protest" against True the Vote is much "solidarity" about nothing. A more deserving target of protest is the Chronicle's shoddy reporting.


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