Fort Bend County (Tom Delay County) Election Administrator Forced to Resign On Eve of State Primary After Advocating for Paper Ballots...
By Brad Friedman on 2/19/2008, 3:55pm PT  

Another Election Director with the temerity to speak out with concerns about E-voting has been done away with. This time in Texas.

As Early Voting starts today in the crucial Texas Primaries, it looks like we've got yet another new martyr --- from the rare ranks of Election Officials --- who has reportedly been taken out by "the powers that be" during a fight for the ideas of Election Integrity, which he even went so far as to mention on a Houston television news report, if you can imagine such a thing.

The following details come from today's FortBendNow...

Fort Bend County Elections Administrator J.R. Perez surprised members of the county Elections Commission by tendering his resignation on Tuesday.

The board accepted his resignation during a closed meeting that the commission had called in which, one participant said, it’s possible Perez would have been asked to resign had he not done so on his own.
At issue had been his dislike of the county’s Hart Intercivic eSlate [DRE] voting machines, and appeared to anger some commissioners a week ago, when he told the court he favored scrapping the county’s $4 million eSlate voting system in favor of a system that would make use of paper ballots.
Perez told FortBendNow he doesn’t believe the county will be able to handle anticipated high voter turnout during the March 4 primary. He made similar statements in KTRK-TV reports, which appeared to fuel some commissioners’ angst.

Now, Perez will not be in charge of the county’s elections during the primary.
A reporter was barred from attending the Election Commission’s meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and was presented with a Texas Attorney General’s opinion – dating from a 2005 Titus County case – stating that “because a county election commission is not a county commissioners court, a committee thereof, or a deliberative body with rulemaking or quasi-judicial power,” it need not comply with the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Fort Bend County is part of metropolitan Houston and includes Sugarland. It has become reliably Republican over the years, at least until Tom Delay was forced to resign and a Democrat took the local Congressional seat. The county has also previously elected both Ron Paul and Phil Gramm to Congress.

The video report referenced above, from KTRK-TV, Houston's ABC affiliate, where Perez warned there may be lines from to two and a half to three hours at the polling places during Texas' big upcoming Primary, can be seen right here.

(Hat-tip to's John Gideon)

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