NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - First impression of House Bill 6 by Rep. Travis Clardy.
“It is not a perfect bill at this juncture.”
The statewide debate concerns election suppression vs. election integrity. Rep. Clardy, a Republican representing District 11, leans to the latter.
“There are documented cases, true cases of convictions for voter fraud in Texas. They are not rampant.”
With little evidence of widespread fraud, election reform proponents work toward improving the perception of the election process.
“It’s the faith in our election system. It’s the belief that our elections are run fairly and honestly and transparently.” >
Representative Clardy says his purpose in serving on the Committee on Elections is to protect rural Deep East Texas from the special interests of metropolitan areas, particularly Harris County.
No arguments on that aspect from Nacogdoches County Election Administrator Todd Stallings. Sometimes he monitors hours of testimony before the House committee.
“There are things in these bills that I do agree with and things I don’t. There’s certainly things I think are probably a little much,” said Stallings.
He knows what he hears today could be far from what actually passes. And even then, when it comes to election rules, it’s not a done deal.
“Some of them will wind up going to Federal Court to be challenged. That seems to be a regular thing these days.”
Vote-by-mail applications, lengthening the early voting process, voting equipment video surveillance, and the list goes on and on, are under discussion.
Clardy will have his opinion on each. His prelude often takes him back to Deep East Texas.
“Again, I’ve said this every time we’ve talked about this, Cherokee, Rusk, Nacogdoches Counties have great election administrators and great staff.”
“We certainly appreciate the vote of confidence and I think the other counties he represent would be the same,” said Stallings.
Especially if sweeping reform doesn’t place, unreasonable restrictions on election administrators and rural counties.