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Protecting Right to Vote is a Priority of some 5,000 Texans Today at "Senior Day at the Texas Capitol"

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Message Karen Renick
ATTN: Political Assignments Desk  
Contacts: Karen Renick, VoteRescue: 512/496-7408
Clint Smith, Gray Panthers of TX: 512/458-3738

Protecting Right to Vote is a Priority of some 5,000 Texans Today at
“Senior Day at the Texas Capitol”
Austin, Texas - February 10, 2009

Eliminating electronic voting machines – both the screen-types and the
scanners - in favor of hand-counted paper ballots and voting down Voter
ID in Texas are two priorities some 5000 Senior Texans will be
discussing with their state legislators at the Capitol today.

The seniors are members of the Texas Senior Advisory Coalition (TSAC)
and the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature (TSHL), organizations upholding the
dignity and right for self-determining the future of older Texas adults.
This estimated group of around 5000 is rallying and lobbying at the Capitol
today to present numerous issues to their legislators on behalf of the
senior community. Eliminating electronic voting in Texas and voting down
Voter ID will be among the issues they raise. The rally will begin at
10:30 am at the south steps of the Capitol and will be followed by
visits to legislators to discuss issues of importance to the group.

Karen Renick, Founder and Director of the Austin-based election
integrity group VoteRescue, expressed enthusiasm that the seniors are
embracing the crucial issue of election integrity for Texas. “The
seniors understand that without a fair, accurate, and transparent voting
system for all Texans, their other political priorities will never be
properly addressed. To insure fair elections and protect our fundamental
right to vote, we must return to hand-counted paper ballots, with enhanced
security, and totals posted at the precinct level. In addition to the secret
vote counting by the machines, the capability of widespread undetectable
tampering with electronic voting is well-documented and Texans should not
tolerate this for even one more election cycle.”

Clint Smith, Member of the Texas Gray Panthers' and National
Gray Panthers' Boards, commented about why seniors will ask their
legislators to vote down the Voter ID bill:
“While it is reasonable to ask a voter to provide, for example, a voter
registration card or a utility bill at the polling place, to require a
photo ID has been clearly found to have the effect of disenfranchising
not only the elderly, but minorities, students, and in the case of the
2008 Indiana Primary Election, even nuns!” Smith added that Seniors
understand the significance of the battle ahead on Voter ID since the
Texas Senate in January changed their own rules that require a 2/3rds
majority to call for a vote and instead will only require a simple
majority of 51%...for the Voter ID bill only!

“The Senate has an agenda to pass Voter ID, but as the Gray Panthers
say, ‘Not without a fight!’. And the seniors of Texas will give them one
heck of a fight!” Smith declared.

Among the other issues to be raised by the TSAC and TSHL
members with their legislators include a request for $1 billion dollars
in additional funding for Medicaid reimbursement; they believe that severe
underfunding of Medicaid is threatening the quality of long term care in
Texas; requesting an increase in funding for affordable housing for
older adults in the form of additional tax credits and incentives for
developers and builders; and the need to develop a plan for funding
aging services in the state.

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Karen Renick is the director of VoteRescue and is dedicated to secure, accurate, transparent elections.
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