Against Vote Centers

Whereas, organizations known as VAC(Voter Awareness Council) and the League of Women Voters, want to follow other liberal organizations around the State of Texas in reducing the number of voting locations in Montgomery County under the pretense of a “greater voter convenience” and “saving taxpayer money”,

Whereas, the current law for Vote Centers allows an eligible county to reduce the polling places by 35% the first year and up to 50% in year 2 onward,

Whereas,  according to Alan D. Vera, Chairman, Harris County Republican Party (HCRP) Ballot Security Committee, Vote Centers have historically incurred an average of 40% reduction of places to vote but have reportedly no reductions in compensation for election officials. In fact, a Public Information Request to the Montgomery County Judges’ office on July 29th(2019), found that it would cost the county nearly $1.3 million, just in equipment alone, to upgrade to Voter Centers(excluding costs for software, virus protection, cell signal upgrade, storage),

Whereas, Chairman Vera in testimony to the Harris County Commissioners Court on June 4th of this year, stated that “they had uncovered serious deficiencies in the electronic poll books specified in TEC 43.007(d)(3), whereby the electronic poll books were not updating the appearance of voters across the county in a timely enough manner to allow an election judge in one vote center to know that a voter had already voted in another vote center that day”,

Whereas, Chairman Vera has stated that the problem of electronic poll books not updating in a timely manner was so pervasive in Harris County, that they introduced HB4130 in the 86th Legislature, which the governor signed (will be effective 9/1/19), that requires SOS certification of all electronic poll books, sets specific criteria for performance, and allows penalties against counties whose electronic poll books do not perform to standard,  

Whereas, according to Chairman Vera, Harris County Republican Party also has evidence that on May 4th, 2019 election, the Democratic Party bused voters from the 3rd Ward to the Vote Center at the Champions Forest Baptist Church (a heavily Republican area), with a goal of creating long lines at the Republican Vote Center to discourage Republicans from voting,

Whereas in the Vote Center Texas counties with elections run by an Elections Administrator(EA), it’s also been reported that it’s now very difficult for the average citizen to work as an election judge or clerk. The EAs have created a new bureaucracy of “permanent” election judges and staff of their choosing. Chairman Vera has verified that this situation has spread to Fort Bend County under their EA, which recently turned blue in the 2018 election,

Whereas, opponents of the vote-center approach have published reports and articles charging that the vote-center approach disenfranchises elderly and disabled voters who can no longer vote in their own neighborhoods and who do NOT trust the fraud-riddled mail ballot process,

Therefore, be it known that the CEC (County Executive Committee) of the Montgomery County Republican Party denounces any attempt at establishing Vote Centers in Montgomery County.  In echoing Mr. Vera's sentiment, “we believe that elections do not belong to government at any level. Elections belong to the citizens of Montgomery County, Texas. Elections belong to the people. The only sure way to ensure that elections continue to belong to the people is to have as many of them as possible directly involved in the process—not just by voting, but by actually being involved in the conduct of the elections themselves.  To the degree that citizen involvement in the conduct of elections is discouraged or limited by county-wide polling, we will see the credibility of our elections diminish among the public. Today, voters in most Texas counties can say, ‘Because I helped run it, I’m sure that the election was conducted fairly.’”