Fake flier causes confusion among local voters

October 27, 2010 4:15:42 PM PDT
We have a very important warning about misinformation being spread around some communities across our area. Primarily, residents in local African-American neighborhoods are being told some misleading information about their vote. The mysterious fliers were handed out in parts of Sunnyside and Third Ward Tuesday night, and it is adding confusion to an already tense early voting period.

The fliers start out by saying "Republicans are trying to trick us" and goes on to urge voters not to vote a straight Democratic ticket. It also says a single vote for Bill White is a vote for the entire Democratic ticket.

In the Sunnyside early voting location, several voters say they were handed such fliers.

"They just said, 'Here take this,' and I told them I didn't need it," said Gary Carter.

The flier says the Black Democratic Trust of Texas is responsible, but it's a group that doesn't seem to exist. That bothers local African-American leaders.

"It angers me to see any negative emails going around related to any process, black or white, and right now, I'm just really tired of it," said Houston City Council Member Wanda Adams.

Nerves were already on edge since last week's reports of voters in minority voting locations feeling intimidated by some poll watchers. The new flier flap has caused one constable to send deputies out to some polling locations in her district.

"So we have a deputy out there. He's in plain clothes. He's just going to be there," said Constable May Walker. "If the voting judge has a problem, she has a person right there."

With no clear source of who printed the fliers, community leaders say there's no place for these shenanigans in voting.

"It bothers me they're coming up with shenanigans, lying to people anonymously. Show your face," said Houston City Council Member Jolanda Jones.

Our political consultant says voting a straight Democratic or Republican ticket is exactly that - a simple straight ticket vote. He says this flier is not only false, but could also violate election laws.

"I expect this to be illegal because it's so inaccurate, no political group would want to see it with a lie, this is the under the table stuff that we see in elections," said Dr. Richard Murray.

You can find the polling location nearest you, a sample ballot along with more insight on the races here on abc13.com.


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