Tag Archives: Texas Secretary of State

Election denier makes right call … imagine that

One of the more fascinating aspects of the Texas secretary of state’s findings about the integrity of the 2020 election is that the secretary of state is an election denier.

Imagine that, eh?

John Scott is leaving office soon, returning to private life. When Gov. Greg Abbott appointed him as the state’s chief election official, many critics were quick to say that Scott has called the result of the 2020 election into question, criticizing what he called “irregularities” in the vote process.

Well, it turns out that the audit his office did in four of the state’s most populous counties found what many of us have said all along: There wasn’t “widespread voter fraud” in Texas.

It reminds of the “forensic audit” done in Arizona earlier this year by the Cyber Ninja outfit hired to examine claims of widespread fraud in that state. They came up empty, despite fears that the Cyber Ninjas were nothing more than a stalking horse organization for the Big Liars — in that it had no experience auditing election returns.

Now we have the Texas secretary of state confirming that Collin, Dallas, Tarrant and Harris counties’ elections were done above board and were free, fair, legal and correct.

Who knew?


No ‘widespread voter fraud’ in Texas!

Guess what … after all that bellowing, blathering and bloviating about “widespread voter fraud,” the Texas secretary of state has determined that the 2020 election was secure.

We can sleep better now.

Secretary of State John Scott, who is leaving office in two weeks, conducted a thorough audit of four of Texas’s most populous counties. They are Collin (where I live with my wife and one of our sons and his family), Dallas, Tarrant and Harris counties.

Scott’s team found no evidence of widespread fraud, despite the yammering of those who believe the 2020 election was fraught with corruption. There were some reported COVID-19 “irregularities,” but they amounted to a major nothing-burger in the grand scheme.

So … may we now put this crap into the ground where it belongs?

The Texas Tribune reported: (Tarrant County elections administrator Heider) Garcia added that Collin County, which the report considered a “model” of how Texas elections should be run, could perhaps offer some tools to further improve Tarrant County’s elections. Both counties are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

That, right there, gives this Collin County resident comfort knowing that our ballots were counted properly and recorded for history’s sake as being legitimate.

Audit shows Texas elections secure despite COVID “irregularities” in 2020 | The Texas Tribune

I am delighted to know that the state’s audit of our system proved what many of us have known all along … that claims of widespread voter fraud are the work of demagogues and liars.



Hit the road, Mr. Secretary

So long, David Whitley. Don’t let the door hit you in the … whatever.

Whitley has resigned as Texas secretary of state after serving for less than half a year. His brief tenure as the state’s chief election officer will be remembered for one thing only: his botched effort to purge Texas voter rolls of ineligible voters, which turned into an embarrassing revelation that those so-called illegal voters were actually quite legal.

As the Texas Tribune reports, gubernatorial nominees usually sail straight through the Texas Senate. Whitley didn’t make the grade; he never was confirmed by the Senate. So, when the Senate gaveled itself adjourned today, Whitley had to leave. So, he did.

Whitley got caught up in the tempest over whether the state’s voter rolls were filled with illegal immigrants. His office flagged the names of thousands of Texans who were thought to be voting illegally. It turned out to be, um, false. The alarm turned out to be mostly false.

Whitley was left trying to explain why his office got it so wrong.

Senate Democrats stood firm in their opposition to Whitley and given the Senate’s two-thirds rule required to confirm nominations to executive positions, Whitley’s nomination by Gov. Greg Abbott was doomed.

Well, the governor will now look for another secretary of state.

My hunch is that the next one will not try the kind of stunt that torpedoed David Whitley.

Two-thirds rule likely to scuttle key Texas appointment

The Texas Senate operates on a rule that is designed ostensibly to promote bipartisanship.

It’s the two-thirds rule, which requires 21 of the Senate’s 31 members to approve legislation — and appointments.

However, all 12 of the Senate’s Democrats are going to oppose the nomination of David Whitley as the next Texas secretary of state. That leaves him with just 19 votes, all of which will come from Senate Republicans.

It seems that Whitley, who’s been acting as secretary of state, blew it when his office “flagged” several thousand voters who were thought to be illegal residents of Texas. It turns out that many of those flagged were quite legal. One of them happened to be a key member of a Senate Democrat’s staff.

Can we hear an “oops”?

Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Whitley to be the state’s top elections officer this past year, but the Legislature was not in session, meaning that the Senate hadn’t yet formally approved his nomination. With the Senate’s 12 Democratic members now on record as opposing his appointment, it appears that Abbott might have to look for someone else to run the state’s election system.

The Secretary of State’s Office committed a fairly embarrassing cluster flip with the flagging of those names. It sought to purge the system of what it said were illegal voters, only to determine that the list of flagged voters was significantly inaccurate.

Abbott said he still supports Whitley fully, which is what one would expect him to say.

I’ll offer this bit of advice: David Whitley needs to bow out; the governor needs to find another nominee. Then we can get back to the task of running our state elections instead of looking for bogeymen where they likely don’t exist.

Yes, the Texas Senate’s two-thirds rule works.

Texas AG won’t probe voter roll SNAFU . . . imagine that

Something suspicious occurred when the Texas secretary of state flagged the names of 95,000 Texans on the belief they might be non-citizens who voted illegally.

It turns out many of them — particularly in five of the state’s largest counties — were citizens after all. They all voted legally. The state erred dramatically.

How could that happen? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said his office won’t launch an investigation into what occurred. I wish the AG would rethink that option and look deeply into it.

The erroneous flagging has drawn plenty of barbs from Latino groups and others who believe the state might have been profiling voters simply because of their last names.

A large number of those flagged voters should not have been singled out.

There’s just something about this matter that doesn’t smell right to me. It has the stench of prejudice and a premature jumping to conclusions about those who comprise a certain minority group in Texas.

According to the Texas Tribune, county officials so far have discovered “at least 20,000” individuals targeted by the state were eligible to vote. Will there be more of them?

I am one Texan who wants to know how and why these individuals were flagged by the top state elections official.

Search for voter fraud comes up . . . empty!

I guess it’s fair to ask: Did the search for fraudulent voters in Texas come up empty?

The Texas secretary of state’s office flagged the names of 95,000 individuals looking for evidence that they aren’t U.S. citizens and were ineligible to vote. Then the office decided that many thousands of those flagged actually are U.S. citizens.

Gov. Greg Abbott is downplaying the significance of what transpired. He said something about it being an ongoing process and that the list was never intended to be a “final” assessment.

Well, OK, governor. If that’s your story, I’m sure you’re going to stand by it.

It just looks to me as though the secretary of state was looking for a problem where none seems to exist. The SoS informed officials in five large Texas counties — including Collin County, where my wife and I reside — that they likely erred in flagging those names.

It looks to me as though we are finding out that the instances of fraudulent voting in Texas is the non-starter that many critics of the allegations about voter fraud have said all along.

There just isn’t the epidemic of voter fraud in Texas that many have suggested is occurring.

Voter ‘crisis’ fizzles out quietly

Texas election officials sent out an alarming message that 95,000 voters’ names were flagged because they supposedly weren’t U.S. citizens.

Oh, but then came the big “oops!”

Those officials notified authorities in five large counties that many of those flagged for supposed voting ineligibility were actually citizens after all.

The secretary of state’s office notified officials in Harris, Travis, Fort Bend, Collin and Williamson counties that the individuals thought to be worth checking shouldn’t be on the list.

The way I view it, we have seen what happens when we presume to have a problem where none may exist.

Where is the crisis?

In Harris County, more than 29,000 residents’ names were flagged but then a “substantial number of them” were determined to be citizens. “We’re going to proceed very carefully,” said Douglas Ray, a special assistant Harris County attorney.

What we might have here is a rush to judgment in this era of voter-fraud alarm bells. Donald Trump has made it one of his several key wedge issues as he seeks to cement his “base” support. Now we hear from Texas officials that they are on the hunt for supposedly ineligible voters, only to learn that they are, um — wrong!

Be careful when attaching “flags” to voters’ names.

Don’t mess with Texas polling places


A motto designed to call attention to littering in Texas long ago took on new life as a macho mantra: Don’t mess with Texas.

Well, I guess I ought to apply the perverted definition of that motto here.

Don’t mess with Texas polling officials and places. This warning goes to the Russian government, which has declared its desire to “monitor” the U.S. presidential election that will occur on Nov. 8.


The state’s top elections official, Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, has declined the Russian request to place observers at polling places in Texas.

Good call, Mr. Secretary.

As the Texas Tribune reported: “Please note that only persons authorized by law may be inside of a polling location during voting. All other persons are not authorized and would be committing a class C misdemeanor crime by entering,” Cascos wrote last month in a letter to Alexander K. Zakharov, the Russian consul general in Houston. “We are unable to accommodate your request to visit a polling station.”

Frankly, I consider the Russian request to be the height — or perhaps the depth — of hubris.

Has the Kremlin bought into Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s allegation that the vote-counting will be “rigged” to produce Hillary Rodham Clinton’s election as the next president?

Indeed, U.S. intelligence officials across the board have stated their belief that Russia has been orchestrating the WikiLeaks barrage of e-mails that have sought to damage Clinton’s campaign.

So, they want to take a peek at our electoral process?

Give me a break, man!

The Russians should tend to their own issues. What’s more, imagine the Kremlin’s response if American officials sought permission to look over the Russians’ shoulders.

Ex-felons have rights, too


Some of the talk along the presidential campaign trail has turned to felons.

Do those who have been convicted of felonies deserve the right to vote? Sure they do … under certain conditions.

It’s becoming a bit of a sore point among many who think that felons must not have their rights of citizenship restored. If they’ve done something egregiously wrong, why, let them pay for the rest of their lives. That’s the mantra.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently granted ex-felons the right to vote in that state, much to the consternation of conservatives who argue that, by golly, McAuliffe is a friend and political ally of Democratic nominee-to-be Hillary Rodham Clinton. So, naturally he’d want to grant ex-felons the right to vote.

Former GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz of Texas actually said that those who commit crimes are more likely to be Democrats than Republicans. Let’s not paint with too broad a brush, Sen. Cruz.

Texas — of all places! — allows former felons to vote.

Check this out from the Texas Secretary of State’s Office:


If a felon completes all the terms of his or her release from prison — and that includes fulfilling all the parole requirements — then he or she is eligible to register to vote. The restoration of these rights do not extend to those wanting to run for political office.

Honestly, I fail to see why this is a big deal.

A left-leaning website chides the National Rifle Association for opposing the rights of ex-felons to vote while at the same time pushing for the rights of ex-felons to own firearms.


I won’t wade into that snake pit here. Maybe later.

However, the idea behind incarcerating people convicted of committing serious crimes is to force them to “repay their debt to society.” Once they complete a prison sentence and once they complete the terms of their parole — if they’re let out of The Joint early — then they have paid their debt in full. That’s how the judicial system sees it.

This clearly is a state-by-state issue. It need not enter the federal realm.

I’ve been critical in the past of many Texas laws and those who make them here. On this one, though, the Lone Star State got it right.


How about changing the oath of office?

IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, I, John Q. Public Servant, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of county clerk of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.

That, right there, is the oath of office county clerks must take before they can perform their duties on behalf of the people they serve in their respective counties.

In Texas, all 254 counties are governed by state statute, which means the state sets the laws by which county residents — and their elected officials — must abide.

I found it on the Texas Secretary of State’s website. It’s kind of a generic oath that county officials must take. Granted, some county officials take longer oaths, but it must include this particular pledge.

Just as an aside, I attended the swearing in on Jan. 1 of newly elected Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner and the oath she took was tantamount to the “War and Peace” version of the mandatory oath given to county officials.

I mention this oath in light of what Republican presidential candidate — and Texas’s junior U.S. senator — Ted Cruz said about how county clerks “absolutely” should be given the right to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Texas. He said the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage amounts to a declaration of war on religious liberty.

As I look at this oath, I don’t see any reference to the faith of the person taking it. I see nothing in there that enables the elected official to not follow all “the laws of the United States and of this State.”

I read the oath as requiring that those who take it must adhere to it — to the letter.

A majority of the justices on the Supreme Court has declared that gay marriage is now legal everywhere, in each of the 50 states. That includes Texas.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another GOP presidential candidate, said that we could save a ton of money if we just got rid of the court. I don’t know how serious he was about that suggestion.

Sen. Cruz, though, seems to be dead serious in encouraging county clerks to violate their sacred oath, which does end with “so help me God.”

Hey, let’s just change the oath and have county clerks affirm that they’ll uphold only those laws that do not trample on their religious beliefs.