Friday, April 4, 2008

VOTING THE TEXAS WAY

GREAT MOMENTS IN POLITICAL HYPOCRACY



Texas legislator, wants to require voters to have photo IDs is photographed casting multiple votes. One legislator was even recorded casting three votes after the morning he died unexpectedly.

KAREN BROOKS, DALLAS MORNING NEWS Dallas Rep. Tony Goolsby is pushing for an end to so-called "ghost voting" by Texas House members, asking for their input on a proposal to install fingerprint technology into their desk voting machines. . . . "It would be necessary for members to attend to floor proceedings, in person, beginning with the initial roll call continuing through every record vote," Mr. Goolsby said in a letter he sent to all House members . . .

House members have been criticized for voting from each others' desks, which they've defended as a courtesy and matter of trust among members. They also say that it allows them to not miss votes while they're outside the chamber meeting with lobbyists or constituent groups, who routinely call them off the House floor during session.

But the practice has also led to convenient excuses for changing votes on controversial issues, opening the House with less than a quorum, and embarrassing situations over the years – including an incident in which a House member was shown voting after he'd died. . .

"Every session there's some embarrassing story about legislators getting caught voting for their colleagues on the floor," said Tom "Smitty" Smith of Public Citizen. "And the citizens are often puzzled by the phenomenon of legislators reaching all over the desks and punching other peoples' voting machines."

Currently, members can simply lock their desk voting machines when they leave the desk, but it's voluntary.

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