While there is a lot of talk about poll watchers in Harris County this election, Dos Centavos’ Stace Medellin couldn’t cite a single violation by a poll watcher in chronicling his voting experience Saturday, yet chose to observe the event as if he’d been victimized. You know, classic liberal stuff.
Reader’s Digest version: Stace was watched… by poll watchers.
After a few seconds, one of them stands up and hovers behind the staff who is checking the voters in[…] I picked my E-Slate (#3 on the pink side) and got to doing my duty, but I kept an eye on what they were doing as a few folks had walked in and the other intimidation team member stood up. So, being the avid voter that I am, I easily click Straight Democratic Ticket…but instead of clicking “next” to get to the last page faster, I used the dial and toggled over and and over and over again. It was loud enough to make one of the intimidation team members lose concentration and not hover as much.
So, let’s tally the score card, based on Stace’s assessment of the big, bad poll watchers:
- The poll watchers stood to observe Stace checking in
- The poll watchers were watching voting taking place
- Stace was so paranoid, he decided to toggle the eSlate click wheel
What Stace fails to mention is all of those things, as described, are not in violation of any Texas Election Laws. (Although, the click wheel toggling might have been a violation of sanity, as we’ve seen by many Democrats at polling places lately.)
According to a guide published by the Texas Secretary of State‘s office (PDF, Read Here), poll watchers are permitted to observe all early voting and election day activities, including when a poll worker assists a voter at the eSlate.
Meanwhile, here is what poll watchers are not permitted to do, according to state election laws:
- Talk with an election officer regarding the election except to call attention to an irregularity or violation. [Sec. 33.058(a)(1)].
- Converse with a voter. [Sec. 33.058(a)(2)].
- Converse with other watchers.
- Communicate in any manner with a voter regarding the election. [Sec. 33.058(a)(3)].
- A watcher may not leave the polling place without first serving for five continuous hours. If the watcher leaves without first serving five hours, the presiding judge may not readmit the watcher. [Sec. 33.052(b)].
- Reveal before the polls close how a voter has voted, the number of votes received, electioneer inside the polling place, so on and so forth.
And yet, despite this poll worker performing within his authority as defined by state law, he still was labeled a member of the “voter intimidation team,” “Teabagger,” supporter of waterboarding, and “intimidator.”
A few things to take away from this:
- Not every poll watcher has always observed the laws. I get that. But, when they do operate within the letter of the law, they don’t deserve to be demeaned or called names based on the action of another.
- Second, Stace Medellin must not understand that the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates are able to appoint their own poll watchers, as illustrated in another blog he wrote about these “evil” poll watchers. If they don’t, they chose not to, guy. Take it up with Gerry Birnberg.
- This liberal blogger cries over getting watched. By a poll watcher. Unless they are brandishing night sticks and acting like a bunch of lawless thugs like another group of “poll watchers” we’ve seen recently, crying is trivial.
Go vote, readers. This is the mindset we are up against.
Updated, 5:51 p.m.
By the way, I went back and checked the good ‘ol Dos Centavos archives. This same blogger who just wants to protect voters from intimidation never renounced the New Black Panther members in Pennsylvania for their corrupt (and clearly illegal) violations in 2008. In fact, two years before, the blog was “proud” to unite with the New Black Panthers in a meeting with then Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado.