In an interview with Texas Scorecard, JoAnn Fleming of Grassroots America – We the People describes the vulnerabilities still in place within the elections process and how citizens can guard the integrity of their vote.
Election integrity issues have popped up all over Texas during the 2020 election.
Some of the most recent incidents include the unlawful drive-thru voting scheme in Democrat-controlled Harris and Dallas counties and when a North Texas mayoral candidate found with boxes of mail-in ballots in his home.
Unfortunately, questionable election activities are nothing new in Texas. While there was a chance to do something about it in 2019 with Senate Bill 9—which would have “buttoned up elections in numerous ways” and added penalties for breaking election law—it passed in the Texas Senate only to die in the House.
It’s also uncertain if Texas has verified voter registrations or if noncitizens, felons, or the deceased are on the voter rolls. Fleming said there are active cases of all three currently under investigation and being prosecuted in the state.
“The way you can tell they haven’t done anything to verify the voter list is that the left is not screeching,” Fleming said.
There’s also no set of standard practices for elections across Texas’ 254 counties. “When you look at the training and you dig down into it, you will see that there are even differences between election judges within a county as to how they handle provisional votes,” she explained.
Also, the Secretary of State has not yet said there will be no waivers of election law this year, and counties have not been given a list of instructions “to preserve the chain of custody of digital votes and paper ballot votes.”
But with early voting already underway, Fleming isn’t allowing these flaws to go unaddressed.
GAWTP and election integrity organization Direct Action Texas have formed a coalition to empower citizens to protect the vote.
Fleming’s first piece of advice to Texans: If you see an issue when you vote, stop and say something.
“As Christine Welborn [DAT director of election integrity] says: After you voted, I can’t do anything to help you,” Fleming says. “You need to contact us when you first find problems in your voting precinct.”
You can also become a volunteer poll watcher. Though early voting has already started, Fleming said training is still available.
“If you’re really concerned about it, go be eyes and ears,” she implored.
GAWTP and DAT have also provided training on how to work with local elected officials, county political parties, and whoever is running the election. (Some counties have an elections board; in other counties, the county clerk runs the election.)
Fleming says it’s important for citizens to ask county officials direct questions regarding how elections are handled. How is the county verifying its voter list? Are they reporting people who can’t serve on juries? Is the county clerk reporting death certificates to the election office?
Despite the vulnerabilities in our election process, Fleming strongly encourages Texans not to sit at home and assume their vote doesn’t count.
“If you care anything about Texas, if you care anything about this country, you better go out and vote anti-socialist, and you better go out and vote for people that are going to protect your God-given liberties,” she said.
If citizens encounter or witness any election issues, they may call election integrity organization Direct Action Texas: 877-267-VOTE.
The Texas GOP hotline for election issues is 855-433-1663.