Today is Voting Day in Texas and there’s a record turnout, which has Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton losing his grip, apparently. Paxton is accusing local school districts of electioneering by encouraging students to vote and bussing them to the polls. Paxton has ordered a cease and desist letter to the school districts alleging that the districts have “used taxpayer resources to distribute messages to their staff and the public advocating for or against certain political candidates and measures.” Dallas News:
Allen ISD is among more than 200 districts to have adopted a “Culture of Voting” resolution, a mobilization effort by the civic engagement group Texas Educators Vote. The resolution included a controversial, but optional, clause for districts to provide transportation to polling places.
Paxton has not only issued the cease and desist letter, he is now demanding copies of emails sent between superintendents and principals on the subject of elections.
Louise Master, Allen ISD board president, said she was “flabbergasted” about the request from the attorney general’s office. She said she doesn’t understand why the board’s voting resolution would be controversial.
“I don’t know how it’s become such a crazy thing unless people have an agenda for not wanting people to vote,” she said.
That’s precisely the agenda they have. If gerrymandering doesn’t work, turn to voter suppression, that’s how the Republicans keep winning. Scott Niven, Superintendent of Allen ISD and an educator for over twenty years says he’s never seen anything like it.
Niven sent a couple of emails to Allen ISD employees in February as a “friendly reminder” about the district’s Culture of Voting initiative and reminded teachers and staff that they were “leaders in this community” and should set a “positive example” by voting.
He also reminded them to register to vote and included a link to the Texas Secretary of State’s website. A video with a similar message also is posted on the district’s website.
The Culture of Voting also has a :55 video which should be a boilerplate for similar videos all over the country. It’s astounding that something this benign and all American can be such a threat to Ken Paxton.