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Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 3-4 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Leti. Today’s show is a fundraising show, so, with apologies, we can’t take on-air phone calls,
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For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
“Contrary to popular opinion, leadership is not a reserved position for a particular group of people who were elected or appointed, ordained or enthroned. Leadership is self-made, self-retained, self-inculcated and then exposed through a faithful, sincere and examplary life.” ~ Israelmore Ayivor is an inspirational writer, blogger and LifeSkills Entrepreneur. He is an author of several Self-help motivational books. He currently lives in Keta, Ghana.
MIKE: “It is a fact that Presidential; elections typically get the highest voter turnouts (up up 65%), while local election turnouts are often dismal (~35% for statewide), and as little as 10% for local and even 2% for bond issue initiatives,
“And yet, it is usually true that local and State elections have much bigger and more tangible effects on our lives than presidential elections.
“My guest today is County Clerk Dr. Dianne Trautman (D).”
“Diane Trautman was elected in November, 2018. Less than 4 months after taking office, the changes she’s making to her office and voting in Harris County are both tangible and less visible.”
From Harris County Clerk Home Page:
Make sure you are registered to vote!
- HarrisVotes.com (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965) Dr. Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk
- You may vote early by-mail if
- you are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- Make sure you are registered:
- Sample Ballots are now available!HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- (a) A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- There is a pop window here: Next Election: May 04, 2019 Joint Election Hours of Operation
- A new window opens here: Early Voting Locations PDF
Interview with Harris County Clerk Dr. Dianne Trautman (D)
- General roles and duties of the County Clerk.
- This might help clear up some confusing apparent-overlap or -division (with voter responsibilities) with the roles and duties of the Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar.
- Mention of less gender biased marriage licenses
- Changes or enhancements Dr. Trautman may be initiating in her new role as County Clerk that are different from her predecessor.
- Extending early vote hours
- Voting Centers
- Wait Time web feature ß This is interesting!
- Settled DOJ lawsuit/survey of all sites to ensure ADA compliance
- On voting and elections:
- On voting by mail: Certain categories will not change from year to year. For example, once I’m 65 and I’m not getting any younger! Why do I have to register every year? There are disabled voters who will not become less disabled over time. Why must they register for a mail-in ballot every year?
- As an aside, can the county provide postage for mail-in ballots?
- I see that the next election day is May 4. This question about the May 4th election is a good lead in to talk about who is on the ballot, which then lends itself to why there are fewer polling locations. This is the first election where voters can cast a ballot anywhere in the largest county in Texas.
- ELECTION INTEGRITY
- What kind of election is it? (I find no City of Houston issues/candidates?)
- I see that early voting info is ‘live’. I like the new format with an option for the PDF. The site might need to ask permission for pop-ups, however.
- Are there fewer or more location for early voting?
- Have some of the locations been changed or eliminated?
- What is the rationale for changes?
- Are there any initiatives underway to replace Harris County’s current voting machines?
- Will we be changing to some kind of paper ballot or a system with an auditable/preservable paper trail?
- General roles and duties of the County Clerk.
- After Democrats Surged In 2018, Republican-Run States Eye New Curbs On Voting, By Ashley Lopez, Bret Jaspers, Sergio Martínez-Beltrán | NPR.ORG | April 22, 20195:00 AM ET
- Trautman creates countywide voting centers to make elections more accessible, By Kaila Contreras, Staff writer | CHRON.com | 4/6/2019