|AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 9, 2017 – Our right to vote is sacred. Over the last 150 years, Americans have passionately driven, and collaborated with, those in political and legislative power to guarantee the right to vote to all Americans:
- 1870: Non-white men and freed slaves
- 1920: Women
- 1924: All Native Americans
- 1943: Chinese immigrants
- 1971: Adults aged 18 through 21
- 1986: Military living on US bases, abroad, or aboard ship
The expectation of accurately counting our votes is front and center. In this current political climate, Americans are very aware of the risks of computerized voting–especially those that lack paper backup records. Legal cases around the country, such as Dr. Laura Pressley’s 2014 election contest in Austin, Texas have come about because of the lack of mandated election back up records to validate computerized results.
The Ruling from the Austin Third Court of Appeals
The virtues of Pressley’s election contest case are grounded in truth, evidence, and the rule of law. Yet, on December 23, 2016, the Austin based Third Court of Appeals did not rule in Pressley’s favor. They ruled the Texas Secretary of State (SoS) may instruct counties to ignore laws in the Texas Election Code related to backup records for electronic voting and recounts (pp. 19-20). This legal precedence is very concerning for Texas. Moreover, the Austin Court
- Denied ruling on the Texas Constitutional requirement to number Texas ballots used in elections (See ruling, last sentence on p. 20).
- Upheld that election irregularities and illegal behavior documented in Pressley’s case with audit logs, corruption errors, missing mobile ballot boxes, unconstitutional cast vote records, witness affidavits, blocking of poll watchers, computer science expert declarations, instructions to election judges to not print mandated full zero and results tapes, statistical mathematical patterns, more ballots than voters, missing security seals, waivers to law by SoS, etc. were not a scintilla of evidence to call into question her election results.
- Upheld the more than $120,000 in financial sanctions to team Pressley for exercising the right to petition in court.
|The outcome, of the Pressley case, could have been a positive and balanced one. This case offered an opportunity for the Austin Third Court to influence Travis County to improve their processes, to follow all election laws, address their recurrent tabulation corruption errors and security breaches, secure all memory cards, improve transparency, adhere to the Texas Constitution, and retain all mandated paper backup records. Yet, that is not what occurred.
The truth of Texas elections have been undeniably uncloaked. Unfortunately, not a word was written by the Austin appeals court encouraging better procedures or validating that each irregularity committed by Travis County Elections office opens the door to local election fraud. Honest admission of the issues would have ensured election integrity all over Texas.
What could have been some long overdue legal progress in ensuring the integrity of U.S. elections was trounced by this myopic Texas appeals court.” — The TRUTH HOUND
|Implications to Texas Elections and Next Steps
The legal precedence set by the Austin appeals court endangers election integrity in Texas and the ability for voters and candidates to challenge questionable results. Also, checks and balances mandated by Texas election laws must be obeyed by counties regardless of convenience. Dr. Pressley simply states, “Laws are not negotiable. The expectation for the strict adherence to the rule of law in Texas elections will not be silenced.” Pressley’s team is considering appealing to the Texas Supreme Court. In addition, the 2017 Legislative Session will be full of election integrity bills to secure the purity of our Texas vote. More to come on those efforts.