Stephanie Klick stymied key election integrity efforts during the 2019 legislative session. Recently, the frazzled four-term lawmaker has struck out to defend herself for killing one bill in particular: Senate Bill 9.
Since this is an impossible task and misery loves company, Klick has called in outside support—namely the special interest actor who controlled her this session, Alan Vera.
Vera, a Houston-based political hack and self-described “election consultant,” spoke at an event in DFW where he continued to praise Klick for killing SB 9. I say “continue” because this is not the first time he’s been foolish enough to peddle misinformation in defense of Klick.
In an early-August commentary published by Texas Scorecard, Vera employed the same arguments he used in closed-door meetings with lawmakers during the session to try and convince the general public that they were somehow saved by Klick as she altered and killed SB 9 while, at the same time, ignoring a bevy of bills aimed at protecting elections.
In both his speech yesterday and the August article, Vera is largely myopic in his agenda and defense of Klick, fixated on paper ballots. Note, actual advocates for election integrity supported SB 9 in both chambers with or without a paper ballot provision. Vera opposed SB 9 as written, and its protections of elections, because he was—and is—a special interest agent.
You can read a point-by-point rebuttal of Vera’s August Texas Scorecard commentary at Direct Action Texas.
While the defense of Klick is currently centered on SB 9, both Vera and Klick must avoid discussing the multitude of bills Klick killed that would have bolstered accuracy and trust in Texas elections. Further, Klick offered no substantive bill mimicking the reforms called for in SB 9.
What’s really disgusting about the defenses being given to defend killing SB 9 is that they are misleading.
For one, the voting system being deployed now that Vera and Klick oppose is a “hybrid system,” where voters vote electronically, then a paper ballot reflecting the voter’s selections is produced for the voter to double-check and run through a scanner that then drops it into a ballot box. This system produces multiple redundant counts, both of the digital and the paper ballots.
No sane individual in 2019 is advocating for—and SB 9 did not require—a pure paper ballot system. The ballots being produced are not the Harris County absentee ballots Klick is bandying about.
Vera’s commentary and arguments appear to be aimed at an imaginary foe of a binary, human-marked ballot (think hanging chads). He’s set up a false fight, one he can win.
For a full accounting of bills that died in Klick’s committee and a more comprehensive record of her violence against election integrity efforts this session, check out our legislative review.
This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].