Friday, October 21, 2005

"We need to take care of our people and our land. The special interests can get to the back of the line."

Electronic voting machines to be unveiled


By:Billy Dragoo, Editor
Waller County News Citizen
Copyright 2005

HEMPSTEAD - Waller County Elections Administrator Lela Loewe will unveil the county's new electronic voting machines tonight, Thursday, Oct. 20, at the meeting of the Citizens for a Better Waller County.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hempstead High School Auditorium.

Loewe will demonstrate and explain the use of the machines and the audience will have an opportunity for "hands-on pracitice" with the electronic machines.

The county will use the electronic voting machines for the first time in the November election.

The November 8 election includes nine propositions on the ballot which voters will consider.

Early voting runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4.

Citizens for a Better Waller County is opposed to Proposition 1 and Proposition 9. The group hopes voters will attend to learn to use the machines and help them defeat the two propositions.

CBWC representatives met recently with others opposed to the propositions and the TTC in general.

The TransTexas Corridor if completed as proposed, will run from the Texarkana area to the Mexican border and will split Waller County in two. The plans call for a network of corridors up to 1,200 feet wide with separate tollways for passenger vehicles and trucks, along with rail lines and utility corridors.

According to a press release following the meeting a Rural Coalition is forming to defeat the two propositions.

According to a press release following the meeting, the two propositions may draw unexpected statewide opposition. Propositions 1 and 9 became high profile targets last week of groups fighting state plans to place tolls on highways already paid for with tax money as well as those opposing the mammoth TransTexas Corridor.

More than 50 leaders of grassroots organizations gathered in the State Capitol last week to discuss the implications of two propositions and the role their groups may play in defeating both at the polls next month. Proposition 1 would create a revolving fund to finance relocation and improvement of rail facilities. Proposition 9 would extend the term of appointed Regional Mobility Authority members from two years to six years.

Organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Texans attended Saturday's meeting. Leaders came to Austin from Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Even more leaders came from rural Texas communities in Bell, Comanche, Fayette, Gonzales, Grimes, Waller and other counties.

Linda Stall, co-founder of, is concerned that "Proposition 1 is an open-ended corporate subsidy scheme - a blank check. Our state debt commitment will also be open-ended. Taxpayers will pay unlimited tax dollars tn move private corporation rail lines into Gov. Perry's Trans Texas Corridor, putting at risk the full faith and credit of the State of Texas. We're working now through November 8 to make sure thai every voter understands the long-term implications of these propositions."

Karen Hansen, a leader of Citizens for a Better Waller County said, "We came here today to join with people across the state who are reeling from Katrina and now Rita. I would ask the governor where does he think all this money is going to come from? We need to take care of our people and our land. The special interests can get to the back of the line."

These groups believe railroad relocation should be left to private operators and RMAs should respect the existing law and adhere to the two-year term limit.

More information about statewide tolling and Propositions 1 and 9 is available at, More information about the Trans-Texas Corridor is available at

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