From Nolan County (pop ~15,000):
Nolan County (Sweetwater pop ~12,000), is a Democratic leaning county in the sea of Panhandle red. Redistricting cut Sweetwater from Stenholm's district, but not the rest of the county. MANY Republicans in this area are still fuming about redistricting (inability to vote for Stenholm and save the farm). A total of 913 people voted during the first week and many more are expected this coming week.
County Clerk Pat McGowan said that during the last Presidential election, a total of 1,000 people turned out early. She added that during the past regular elections, the county tallied 5,000 total ballots.
"We are anticipating a better outcome than the last Presidential elections," McGowan said. She also said that she has not heard any confusion regarding redistricting, but noted that there have been complaints from early voters about the matter.
I voted in Dripping Springs on Saturday. We arrived at the polling location about an hour after it opened and found the wait at about an hour and a half. We decided to come back later in the day, hoping the crowds would have died down but I still ended up waiting in line over an hour. I can't recall ever seeing this kind of turnout anywhere. I won't speculate as to what the party makeup of the voters was, but I would not be surprised to see record voter turnout this year.
We have been hearing about voting issues with the electronic machines. Complaints have come in from Houston, Austin and San Antonio that when "straight ticket" Democrat is selected, the machines are automatically substituting Bush/Cheney in the Pres/Vice Pres choices.
We encourage everyone using the electronic machines to proof-read their choices carefully and ask the clerks to fix any erroneous selections prior to resetting the machine for the next voter.
For Anyone of any Party having voting problems, please note that there are many places to report your problems. We need to collect this information to improve the security and validity of our voting process in Texas. Information that you need to provide is as follows:
Your contact information:
Location where problems occurred:
Time of day:
What kind of equipment was it? (get the make, model and manufacturer as well as when it was purchased)
Persons who may have seen or assisted you: (i.e. witnesses or involved parties)
What were you doing when the problem occurred?
Was there an error message from the machine?
If there was an error message, what was it?
What did you do to try to remedy the problem?
Were you sent to several people?
What were their names and functions?
What did they do?
What did they say?
Was the problem resolved?
Did you feel that your vote was correctly recorded?
Did you get a transaction number or anything that would denote which of the voting records is yours (this is for checking the outcome from the data dump)
Did they let you vote again?
Did this happen to anyone else?
You can place your report by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will enter it in the EIS.com site for you (for those who don't have Internet access). You can also contact:
1-800-OUR-VOTE and report the problem
Visit Electionwatch or Votewatch on the Internet and leave messages.
Report the incident in writing (keep a copy for yourself) to your local voter registrar, tax agency or other government agency responsible for voting in your area.
Report the incident to your local political party
If you feel that there is a pattern based upon race, gender, country of origin or other indicators of bias, contact MALDEF (Mexican American Defense League), the OUR VOTE number listed above, the ACLU, the NAACP or the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Should you decide to contact any of the groups listed, it is best to contact them in writing with all the information indicated in the questionnaire included in this post. Always keep copies of the letters with the dates that you mailed them. This will help you to follow the progress of your complaint.
If you have questions, you can reach me at the email provided above.
Gina de Miranda