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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Those dastardly voting machines

In case you havenít noticed, the voting machines that we donít have enough of anyhow are getting nationwide attention as state after state is denouncing the contraptions for a multitude of reasonsóprimarily because they just donít do the job promised. In other words, everyone is saying that the machines are not safe and can be manipulated. Well, duh! I believe Fort Bend County voters voiced these same fears a few years ago when officials with the county were hell-bent on upgrading our voting technology and opted for the new machines that we now have.

Fort Bend County Elections Administrator J. R. Perez says he feels the machines are safe based on the tests that were done in Texas and the fact there are groups of staff from his office and groups of election workers there to make sure the machines are not compromised during the election process. What he is more concerned about is whether Fort Bend County is ready for the general election or the primary election, for that matter.

What do local voters have to look forward to in the primary and general election? Perez will be the first to admit that the county is simply not ready for the elections if record numbers of voters show up at the polls. He has been encouraging early voting, increasing voting locations and generally doing a lot of finger crossing in the hopes of getting some cooperation and perhaps some positive changes before the election. Time is quickly running out.

Now, forgive me if I seem a bit perplexed but the time for these changes, increases, upgrades, additional machinery and the like is not two weeks before the primary election and a few days before early voting begins. Shame on the commissioners who seem to have fought Perez every step of the way since hiring him. If things go wrong, you can bet your sweet bippy, fingers will be pointed at Perez by the officials who put up roadblocks in the first place. Perez has repeatedly put forth plans that would have provided for a streamlined voting process and has been shot out of the saddle each time.

We will be watching with concern and interest at the way this unfolds. For the sake of the voters in Fort Bend County I hope commissioners will immediately start working with their elections administrator to resolve issues that should have been taken care of last year. If they donít, I hope their next volley of critical bullets ricochets back to the source.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  March 12, 2008