March 22, 2017

Fight for clean water, air and elections in Austin Friday

If you're going to be in the City Different on Friday, you might make time for the Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day. It's from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday. Per the Texas Greens notice:
Go to the “Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day” Facebook page for free tickets.

Update, per a GP email:

This Lobby Day will be a chance for concerned citizens to learn about the lobbying process, as well as a chance to meet with key Texas legislators in support of our electoral priorities to: a) end one-punch straight-ticket voting, and b) lower barriers to ballot access for minor party and independent candidates.

The public is invited to come any time between 10am and 4pm to the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Extension (Underground Building), Legislative Conference Center, Room E2.002. Starting at noon, invited speakers will talk about electoral reform, water rights, eminent domain, and the other priorities of Texans for Electoral Competition and the League of Independent Voters.
Priority bills for Texans for Electoral Competition are HB 25, HB 1711 and the Texas Voter Choice Act, HB 3068:

HB 25 would eliminate one-punch straight-ticket voting on Texas ballots. Texas is one of only ten states that currently has the practice. Ending straight ticket (one-punch) voting  enjoys the support of key Republican leaders of the House, including House Speaker Joe Straus.
Eliminating the one-punch option will not prevent voters from voting straight-ticket. It could, however, have positive effects for electoral competition. Having the one-punch option at the head of the ballot effectively asks voters to first identify their party. “Independent” is not one of the choices. Texans for Electoral Competition believes ballots should appear as a collection of candidates rather than a collection of parties.

HB 3068 restores voter choice by eliminating the barriers that prevent qualified candidates from running for public office in important ways.It caps nomination petition signature requirements at 10,000 for statewide office and makes filing deadlines consistent with constitutional standards; it replaces unreliable, inefficient and costly paper-based processes with secure, proven web-based technology; and simplifies ballot access by eliminating unnecessary filing requirements.

HB 1711/SB 829  would require an auditable paper trail with which to verify vote counts and perform recounts, something that is not possible currently. Recounts under our existing system merely rerun the numbers stored electronically in the central collection system, they do not actually re-tabulate the ballots.
More information will be available at the Lobby Day in Room E2.002.
About Texans for Electoral Competition

Texans for Electoral Competition was founded by the League of Independent Texas Voters, the Green Party of Texas, and the Libertarian Party of Texas. Current members of the coalition include Texans for Accountable Government, Left Up to Us, and the Constitution Party of Texas.


I got telephoned about another event in Austin, on Saturday. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it was, and doubly unfortunately, the party, even though it was an official call from Kat, doesn't have it on the website.

These are things that I mentioned in my "post mortem" last November. Green volunteers, from executive leadership on down, are appreciated (and I hope semi-Greens like me are likewise appreciated) but ... the organizational game needs to be moved up a step. The Saturday event should be on the website

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