I was recently in Washington, D.C. attending a law conference. After class one evening, I walked into an elevator and looked up to see a quiet, distinguished looking gentleman whom I immediately recognized. I quickly stuck out my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Erin Shank from Waco, Texas. Thank you for standing up for our Democracy, our elections and for the State of Georgia. You are a true American patriot.” The gentleman quietly thanked me with a warm hand shake and smile and we exited the elevator together.
Moments later a young woman with her daughter tapped me on the shoulder. She had evidently been in the elevator with us during that conversation. She explained that she and her young daughter were from Georgia. “Who was that man you were speaking to on the elevator and why did you thank him?”, she asked me sincerely. I explained to that young mother and her daughter that the gentleman in the elevator was Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger who stood up to and refused to “find” Donald Trump 11,780 votes after Trump lost the 2022 Presidential Election. I explained that Georgia, like Texas, has free and fair elections and people like Mr. Raffensperger work hard to insure that our elections are free and fair.
I returned to Texas and have been following all of the election bills being proposed in the Texas House and Senate. They are all fueled by lies that we were told about that election being “stolen”. It was not stolen. We have free and fair elections in Texas and these bills are not necessary. Many of them will actually make it harder to vote. For instance, the fact that we can vote anywhere in McLennan County, not only at one specific polling place, is a great improvement in legislation and I am shocked that any legislator would want to vote to terminate that great improvement to our election laws.
I worked as an Election Judge on Saturday, May 6th here in Waco and saw first hand how our elections work and why they are safe and reliable. Dead people don’t vote. No one can cast multiple ballots. The ballot boxes can not be hacked. If you don’t believe me, volunteer to work on an election. I’ve worked on five elections now. It is fun and you finish the day feeling full of patriotism.
Our elections in Texas are conducted by trained professionals, and each election worker is fully trained before the election and paired to work with some one of the opposing party at the polls. I worked hand in hand all day long Saturday with my Republican counterpart. We loved it, I made a lovely new friend and I can once again unequivocally state that we have free and fair elections in Texas and McLennan County.
I just wish that more of us exercised our fundamental right to vote that so many of our ancestors fought and died for and which is literally the cornerstone of this Democracy.
Political Activist, attorney, and former candidate for the Texas House of Representatives
Published in the Waco Tribune-Herald on 5/11/2023