Archive for March 25th, 2021

Drive-Thru Voting

We are a long way from the 2023 H-Town mayoral contest.  The Dean got some mention here and elsewhere a few days ago.  Commentary said this about him last week:

“… he has $9.8 million sitting in his campaign account.  That is serious dough.  He is also popular among Democratic Party leaders here in H-Town.  He would be very tough to beat.”

We don’t know what 2023 is going to look like.  Will we be done with the pandemic? Will folks have forgotten about the pandemic?  Where will we be on BLM?  What will the national and state political climate feel like?  Where will H-Town be on issues? I do know this.  The major candidates for H-Town mayor have to have a vision for H-Town.  You have to be able to articulate a vision. Why do you want to be mayor?

Commentary doesn’t play golf.  I found this interesting in the Chron hard copy today:

When Tim Toy volunteered for the Houston Open last November, he had no idea Memorial Park would raise the rate for him to play by over 500 percent this year.

Toy, a West University Place senior who has been playing golf at Memorial since his mid-20s, feels betrayed by the park’s price increase for non-Houston residents.

On Oct. 20, the Houston city council approved raising the non-resident greens fee for the Memorial Park Golf Course to cover costs needed to operate and maintain the course to PGA Tour standards. Although it’s standard for PGA Tour courses to have increased non-residential fees, residents from nearby municipalities like Bellaire, West University Place, Southside Place, and the Memorial Villages also must pay the increased fees.

The city was not available to comment on whether they considered neighboring cities within Harris County when increasing the non-resident green fees.

“We’re a 15 minute drive from the park. We’ve always enjoyed not only the golf course, but also the park,” said Toy. “And now, suddenly, we’re kind of treated like outcasts.”

The non-resident rates, which went into effect in March, increased junior weekday rates from $10 to $60, senior/disabled weekday rates from $15 to $80, adult weekday rates from $30 to $120 and weekend rates from $38 to $140. According to the item approved by city council and confirmed by Memorial Park Golf Course staff, Houston residents will also have preferential access to the tournament course by limiting the number of rounds available to non-residents.

Here is the entire read: Golfers in area small cities feel betrayed by Memorial Park rate hikes for non-Houston residents (houstonchronicle.com).

I don’t know about that. We are not being too neighborly.  I don’t like going down this road. It does not seem right.  What is next?  How about tit for tat?

For the May 1 elections, it looks like there will be six drive-thru voting locations in Harris County.  Two in Baytown, and one in Pasadena, Webster, Kingwood and Prairie View A&M in 77070. There will be a total of 23 early voting locations.

GOP State Rep. Briscoe Cain, who also Chairs the Texas House Elections Committee, represents parts of Pasadena and Baytown. I wonder if he will take the time to visit the drive-thru voting locations in Pasadena and Baytown during the early voting period next month to see if shady stuff is happening.  Rep. Cain supports doing away with drive-thru voting.  One of the locations is actually in his district in Baytown.  If he is really concerned, he’ll take the time to visit and observe in April.  If he just wants to make it harder for folks to vote, he will find an excuse to stay away.  That’s gutless. Let’s see where he is really coming from.

Commentary can’t find political jurisdiction and precinct maps on the Harris County Tax assessor Collector’s website.  It disappeared.  I can’t find them on HarrisVotes.com either.  What’s up with that?

Here is from today’s Chron on the new voting gizmos:

Harris County’s new voting machine, which county leaders showed off on Wednesday, incorporates old and new technology the county election administrator says will make voting easier and boost public confidence in elections.

The Hart InterCivic Verity Duo, the county’s new model, has a touch screen interface that allows users to quickly make selections. It also produces a paper ballot which voters can ensure accurately marked their choices before submitting it into a scanner.

“I am ecstatic about the new machines,” Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria said. “The touch screen process, the accessibility features, the paper ballot so that people can make sure the selections they made are the ones that are counted — this is all phenomenal for Houston.”

Here is the entire Chron article on the new voting gizmos: Ditching the wheel, Harris County unveils new voting machines with touch screens, paper backups (houstonchronicle.com).

They need more outreach.

The Astros open the regular season one week from tonight in Oakland.

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