Currently, the behavior of Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans mimic the injustices of Trump and Congress regarding voter suppression. Texas' attempts to reduce minority voting via suppression are blatant and ignore some basic principles of our democracy — “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, one nation, liberty and justice for all.”

Nevertheless, Texas legislators are practicing “Jim Crow” principles by engineering a blockage in Congress to suppress minorities votes by disenfranchisement, reducing and undermining Black voters.

A group of concerned citizens, representing all Texans with a nonpartisan call for justice, will participate in a prayer and justice march on the state capitol at 9 a.m. Thursday in Austin. Our aim is to protect our democracy, expand minority voters, erase corruption from politics, ensure everyone votes and their vote is secure.

Access and ease of voting shouldn't be hindered by our government. We must stop House Bill 3 (also Senate Bill 1) as it violates our freedoms and will resurrect a new Jim Crow 2.0 to violate our liberties as it reinserts injustices. 

If you'd like to go to Austin from Galveston County, there will be a chartered bus available to go. To sign up, call Robert Williams, 979-239-8071.

Deborah Jones

Texas City

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(41) comments

Carlos Ponce

Read the Bill:

https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB1/id/2423989

Point out what you think is the bill that will lead to voter suppression.

Don't rely on Liberal propaganda for your answer. Stick to the ACTUAL text of the Bill. There's a lot of misinformation out there.

Carlos Ponce

Deborah Jones, I recommend you take a copy of the bill with you on your bus trip. Read it aloud. Don't add anything to the actual bill. If you can find anything that suggests voter suppression, report back to this paper in another Letter to the Editor. Your current letter is full of political rhetoric sans substance.

Jack Cross

The Bill adds days and hours to early voting, that is not suppression. The Bill requires voter ID that is favored by a majority of voters including minorities.

The Bill requires a signature and identify to mail in balloting. That is not suppression, that is protecting the integrity of the election process and that is a good thing.

There is no room for identity politics in elections. These rules are sensible and apply to everyone. Why are democrats painting African Americans as not capable of voting, that is an insult, Blacks are smart and capable as anyone else to know how to cast a ballot. The intent of this bill is to prevent ballot harvesting and mail in ballots that can't be properly identified. That protects every one and doesn't see color. Isn't it time we stop making everything about race. .

Charles Douglas

Mr. Cross, Democrats have long maintained such ideas that BLACKS are stupid ...simply because up to this point in history, BLACKS have allowed the RADICAL LEFT to use them in this fashion, and to see them in this light. They are the ones, The LEFT takes advantage of to satisfy their political gains, and political aspirations. I think that Trump scared the daylights out of them with the number of White women, Hispanic and African-American votes he got in the last election!

They know what time it is, and they are now in an all out frenzy, scrambling, trying to get the minorities who stepped away from them back in check! This is why everything we see now is about SLAVERY, Jim Crow, Confederate Statues ...and so on! This is why they are attacking White Farmers, and White School Kids, & In doing so, they are Attacking African Americans too! I know the Democratic Party from the inside out, my parents and my family have dealt with them for decades, and more! Thry are afraid now of What has scared them from the beginning! They are afraid of that part of the New Generation of African-Americans coming up,... who are self responsible and are NOT looking for food stamps, welfare, or other government subsidies in order to survive! People like Charles Douglas, Candance Owen, Lawrence Jones, Leo 2.0, John James, and thousands of others in all walks of life, and who dwells in every part of this nation are beginning to see what the Democrats are about, and who have identified their pitiful, racist game!

Gary Miller

Charles> I think some blacks are stupid, they vote for Democrats.

Gary Miller

If the voting bill now being debated passes or if it doesn't not much will change. Texas election law already requires most of what Democrats object. The present law will not be repealed either way.

Jack Cross

Gary, the bill will correct things that was added by local politicians during the 2020 election such as 24 hour voting and drive by voting. With in person voting no one can be in the booth with you, that may not be the case with drive by voting..

The law applies to everyone, Blacks are as smart as everyone else, quit presenting them like children, that.s insulting and racist.

Gary Miller

Jack. You are correct but the basics of Texas voting law are included in the new bill. Yes some dumb things were added because of the pandemic. The new bill removes them. Trump received more votes from minorities than any other candidate ever did. Democrats are terrified by that trend and the fact the new bill is a wide open welcome to all minorities..

Ted Gillis

Nobody is asking for the “present” voting laws to be repealed Gary. What most Texas democrats object to is the constant tinkering with the present laws (adding this part and removing that part) just to inject confusion and distrust. Just leave it the heck alone Pete’s sake.

The republicans intent is disingenuous to say the least.

Carlos Ponce

"Nobody is asking for the 'present' voting laws to be repealed Gary."

It seems Ted Gillis is. In the last election cycle there was only ONE Sunday for voting, hours from 1am to 6pm on October 25, 2020. Yet Ted Gillis posted that in earlier versions of lat session's SB 7, the legislature LIMITED Sunday voting to no earlier than 7am to no later than 7pm with at least 5 hours of Sunday voting. Finding those hours LIMITING suggests you are not satisfied with the "present" voting laws.

Gary Miller

Ted > What Democrats object to is the new bill is a wide open welcome to all minorities. The Republican intent is straight forward. Free and honest elections for all Texans.

Dan Freeman

Two thirds of eligible voters voted in 2020. Texas at 60% was in the bottom fifth. In the top fifth the rate exceeded 74%. We need laws that increase voting by eligible voters. Anything else is voter suppression.

Carlos Ponce

I spoke to a few who did not vote. Each did not like any candidate, even the down ballot candidates. So do you suggest we FORCE people to vote?

Gary Miller

Dan> Voter indifference is a greater problem than suppression.

David Hardee

The author of this article is infected beyond redemption with perception of victimization.

Anyone who want to vote in this country can vote! Only an imbecile would dispute the fact that there is universal ability to vote and no restriction to obtaining a ballot.

Those who join in this authors perception are beyond persuasion. It is useless to present evidence to a demented human's psyche. In their psyche resides permanent delusion's that will only be satisfied through overwhelming domination. The struggle is for power and the victor is in question in our land of FREEDOM(S). The conclusion will be that false liberties like riots, property destruction and civil disobedience will again be punished as criminal acts and not considered for mitigation because of a perceived injustice. Only the return to a strict enforcement of law and order will America be Great Again.

Carlos Ponce

Looks like no one can find anything in the bill that constitutes "voter suppression". I suggest Deborah Jones call her bus trip "Rebels without a Clue".

Charlotte O'rourke

As with everything else, there are good and bad things in this bill. I’m glad Ms Jones is writing letters to the editor and endeavoring via a Justice march to correct wrongs that limit or restrict voting rights.

Voting should be easy and secure, and not hindered by government or party. There is nothing wrong with drive through voting or having someone with you in a car to help make your voting rights easier.

Carlos Ponce

The bill does not prohibit curbside voting if there is a legitimate reason for not entering the polling place. But as Ken Paxton states in his letter those desiring curbside voting should not be questioned as to why the request is being made. On the other hand, election officials should not encourage it if not requested.

In the last election cycle I saw quadriplegics, people with canes, walkers, wheelchairs enter the building (SFISD Old School Museum) to vote. They should be applauded for their efforts. Now consider your excuse.

Charlotte O'rourke

As a touch of history about voter suppression, did you know that when the Park Board in Galveston was created .... only property owners with a poll tax could vote on the issue.

As a country, we have been moving in the right direction on voting rights for all Americans regardless of financial or property status, skin color, or party affiliations.

This is no time to slip backwards by reducing voting rights.

As to curbside voting, I have family members and friends that use curbside and mail-ins due to disabilities. Encourage it .... it keeps people connected. Don’t discriminate and take away this important right even if the individuals may vote differently than you would vote. It’s their vote.

David Hardee

The Park Board was created in 1962 while poll tax and literary test were in effect. Are you saying that the Park Board would have been better or worse had the poll tax and literary test not been in effect? If you are going to resurrect 50 year old situations as an argument at least produce an effect or some rational proposition to support your illusion that poll tax and literacy this compared to todays lunacy unconditional suffrage made a difference.

Per you example of personal experience " my family and friend " - you neglected to inform - did they get to vote -Yes they did - because - If the is a disability or any obstruction a voter can request a ballot and accomplish voting by mail. So why does it need to be INCOURAGED - do you want to give us the names of those you know that were refused?

Nothing in you comment has veracity as there is in the proposed legislation will restrict any voter.

FYI - none of the actions which you IMAGE to be voter suppression would have been in the agenda had not the Democratic progressive liberals not perpetrated the corruptions of the voting system that was in effect. If your not aware of the irregularities and the chaos created by these scoundrels across the county you are either intentionally ignoring the source and chaos or you are such a diehard progressive liberal infected with the Alinsky protocol and helping plan to destroy the Best Hope of Humanity.

Reflect that the meaning of LITERACY is: - the ability to read and write - competence or knowledge in a specified area. If that literacy test was still in effect we would have voters that were at minimum lucid and would do a better job of electing leaders based on competence. What we are getting instead of elected competence is a popularity contest winners.

There is no discrimination (racism), no infringement on any right, but there is a very good reason to secure the system from corruption - or did you miss all the public clamoring about Russia, Harvesting, and Suspicions that a rampant across the country. Pay more attention,

Carlos Ponce

Side note:

While the enabling act (introduced by State Senator A. R. "Babe" Schwartz) to create a Park Board for Galveston was passed by the Texas Legislature in January 1962 (signed by Governor Price Daniel), the measure was locally defeated in a City of Galveston election on June 30, 1962 by a vote of 2131-for to 2200-against. Re-introduced on the City of Galveston run-off election ballot the measure passed on May 14, 1963 by a 2624-for to 1873-against vote margin.

Gary Miller

Charlotte > You mention something I think should be changed. I don't like Property owners not able to vote on things that concern their property.

Charlotte O'rourke

I agree Gary. I frequently complain about lost property rights. Galveston has the city council and 2 major boards that impact our daily lives, but we can only vote for city representatives. It’s okay if you have good boards that know what they are doing, but extremely bad when the board members don’t understand their decisions have major impacts on public policy and quantity and type of jobs. The PB has Trustees that are knowledgeable about tourism, but the Wharves Board frequently gets members that are clueless on maritime matters.

Galveston should have both tourism and industry as a focus and both public appointed bodies need to work closely with the city council and city management, Transparent as decisions impact residents. It would be nice to have elected representatives but that never seems to happen ....

Charlotte O'rourke

David and Carlos,

Can’t ask about covid status in Texas, but let’s make the disabled, elderly, covid believers or anyone else that wants to vote curbside or by mail jump through hoops to vote AND give REASONS to participate in democracy.

All because of a belief that it increases a party’s chance of election.

My comments were to encourage thinking like a human being that cares about others right and opportunities to vote and stop thinking like the political hacks that support suppression of votes.

Many disabled Americans and elderly live without a support system which limit their opportunities.

Government could help the disabled and elderly by advertising (encouraging) curbside voting and making it easier for ANYONE to obtain a mail in ballot.

History has shown that discrimination and restriction of voting of any kind has major impacts. The creation of the Park Board in the 60s helped turned the city away from industry and toward tourism. I’m not implying that the Park Board creation was good or bad as nothing is absolute and depends on time and perspective ... but this was a major change that impacted major policy, insulated political decisions from elected representatives and voters, and that a majority of Galveston residents were discriminated against and not allowed to vote on the issue.

Today, I think the Park Board does a good job doing what it was created to do - promote tourism. I do wish they would focus more on quality than quantity of tourists and put more emphasis on quality of life for residents and tourists.

Bottom line, I want more people to vote and not less people voting. Hence my comments against “now consider your excuse” and getting rid of drive by voting as good things.

Carlos Ponce

Charlotte do you know anyone who is elderly or disabled who doesn't know he or she can vote by mail? It was written on the pages of the Galveston County Daily News. It's on television, radio, social media. And they have friends, relatives that will tell them about it.

Charlotte, do you know anyone who voted in person who got sick from the Chinese virus? Remember, voters, workers and watchers didn't have to wear a mask. Many did, many did not. We had over 5000 people come to our museum to vote. No one became infected. If someone did, we would have heard about it - contact tracing and all that.

David Hardee

In this convoluted society of absurdities I am troubled by how to address my reply. I would normally with intent to be respectful use a Miss or Mrs. or Mam, but the protocol of traditions is no longer considered proper. I make this point to illustrate just how treacherous the advocates of the Democratic Party progressive liberals are in our society, and that there is no boundary to their dastardly deeds. One of their current targets is our voting system.

Charlotte, your prestige requires respect and your comment most likely has influence in our local society. Therefore, your position on matters is weighty. I called your attention to the element of respect for the SECURITY of the voting process. Your sympathy and concern for the PEOPLE is laudable. That said again I stress the COMMON GOOD has to be the driving force in all our decisions. It is my, after deliberation, that there are NO obstacles to any voter in the current system or from the proposed modifications. Your claims of intent to suppress are not valid. The intent is specifically to address the SECURITY for the system in light of the indisputable abnormalities that have perpetrated recently.

Benevolence and consideration for those with infirmities and those with more obstacles cannot overwhelm the common good.

Curiously, You did not answer whether those relatives and friends did or did not successfully vote.

Again please let us have, included in your remarks, a consideration on the security of the system and not only your emotional concern for those that you perceive as oppressed.

David

Ted Gillis

You couldn't do it, could you Carlos? You couldn't make it through one comment thread without having to resort to being insensitive.

You know my own mother would threaten us as kids "that she would wash out mouths out with soap" back when we would call the Lamar Terrace Grocery Store (our west Houston neighborhood convenience store), the "Chinaman Store", just because it happened to be owned and run by Chinese immigrants.

What are you, like 8 yrs old?

Carlos Ponce

No insensitivity on my part, Ted, just reality.

Charlotte O'rourke

I think you guys are missing the big point here.

If you are an American citizen and QUALIFIED to vote, government should make it EASY - not difficult - for you to vote. I know many people that don’t know about curbside voting as an option. Curbside should be encouraged so more legitimate citizens can vote if they missed the mail in request deadlines.

Restrictions and discriminatory practices influence public policy and opportunities for generations. Discrimination has reduced opportunities for African Americans for generations. And it’s hard to change policy once implemented when there is no ability to vote on the issues (appointed versus elected representatives) with entities believing that the created organizations are isolated, autonomous fiefdoms (PB, Wharves Board) within the city. And while I think the city has made progress with integration of one of these two important entities, it has a long way to go to be fully integrated again with common city goals.

“To be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must:

be 65 years or older;

be sick or disabled;

be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or

be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.”

Mail-in voting currently excludes a lot of citizens. Find ways to help people vote .... not suppress votes.

Carlos Ponce

" I know many people that don’t know about curbside voting as an option." So tell them. I know no one who doesn't know.

Mail-in for everyone invites fraud.

Carlos Ponce

"Frequently asked election questions" Oct 12, 2020

"I’m not qualified to vote by mail, but I don’t want to go into a polling place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What can I do?

The county is offering curbside voting during early voting and on Election Day. Pull up to the polling place and call 409-770-5108. The workers will come out to assist you.

You don’t have to meet any special conditions to vote curbside."

" Charlotte O'rourke Oct 13, 2020 6:03am

Thanks for the questions/answers on voting. Please exercise your right to vote."

https://www.galvnews.com/news/free/article_baad236c-cabb-5286-8860-d0c5bac03442.html

Charlotte O'rourke

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2020/Press/Mail-in%20Ballot%20Guidance%20Letter_06122020.pdf

Government - the deciders of what impacts personal health and voting rights while limiting business options on returning to normal by revealing vaccination status.

Irony.

I guess based on Paxton’s guidance letter that question/answer response is no longer a valid option for curbside voting.

Carlos Ponce

The link you cite is dated June 12, 2020.

"that question/answer response" is dated October 12, 2020.

And this one is dated October 16, 2020:

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/elections-guidance-letter-drive-thru-voting

Common sense tells you the most recent is the valid option.

Charlotte O'rourke

Carlos Ponce Jul 16, 2021 1:35pm

The bill does not prohibit curbside voting if there is a legitimate reason for not entering the polling place. But as Ken Paxton states in his letter those desiring curbside voting should not be questioned as to why the request is being made. On the other hand, election officials should not encourage it if not requested.

Hmm ....what’s legitimate. Common sense tells me that I make the best decisions for my health .... not government and Paxton. Common sense says in a pandemic that not congregating for voting in an enclosed space is a good reason for promoting family health and welfare.

Carlos Ponce

What you quote comes from Ken Paxton's October 16, 2020 letter.

What you call "common sense" is really called FEAR.

Charlotte O'rourke

What you call FEAR, I call a healthy respect and understanding of science and diseases and that people responsible for providing care to others that are immunosuppressed and/or unvaccinated need that extra layer of protection.

Knowledge of this virus is not absolute but evolves over time and extensive research with adjustments made based on the data.

Carlos Ponce

Charlotte expresses FEAR.

Charlotte O'rourke

Fear = false evidence appearing real

To you.

Lol. Have a good night.

- Charlotte

Charlotte O'rourke

If the above explanation doesn’t help, I gave it my best shot.

Thanks for the discussion.

Carlos Ponce

The proposed legislation makes it easy to vote, difficult to commit election fraud.

Ted Gillis

It is insensitive Carlos. You knew when you intentionally typed those words, while others in the conversation above were referring to the virus correctly, that you would flip the meaning of the term to something insensitive. Either that or you are trying to validate your credibility with the cult of racists that continues to use that term.

As a former educator you should know better, and if you were still employed as a public teacher, you would have already been called to the HR office. This term is not used anywhere in business or public discourse.

Oh I know, you’ll go look it up with the all of the power of your search sources and find several occasions were it has been used recently, even by liberals, but that does not make it right.

You’re use of it, with a wink and a nob, is deliberate, and that’s what makes it insensitive.

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