Posts Tagged ‘Paul Bettencourt’

Another post from our field contributor Sarah McDonald:

When I was deputized as a voter registrar in Harris County, I was warned to carefully double-check all forms to make sure every box was checked, every “i” dotted and each “t” crossed.  If anyone forgot to check the appropriate boxes, include their full address, or listed a nickname rather than legal name, their registration could be denied.  It made me angry that someone could lose the fundamental right to vote over such a silly mistake, but I figured — that’s bureaucracy for you.

So imagine my shock to learn that many valid, clearly legible, and perfectly completed voter registration applications were being denied by Paul Bettencourt’s Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector’s office.

It is bad enough when the vote is denied due to ridiculous human errors such as typos, misspellings, or nicknames that don’t match up to driver’s license databases.  But when 18-year-olds are told repeatedly that they are too young to vote, and applications with social security numbers clearly listed on carbon copy-receipts are rejected as incomplete due to that “missing” identification information – one has to wonder whether something more sinister is afoot.

KHOU-TV, channel 11 news in Houston, aired an investigative report to that effect which you can watch  here.  So amazing was the response to this story, they followed up with another story last night which you can see here.

Mounting evidence demonstrates that the Harris County trend of voter registration denial may be the result not of incompetence, but actual voter suppression.  An editorial that ran this week in the New York Times claims that Republicans in states across the nation (more…)

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