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Posts Tagged ‘Harris County Tax Assessor’

Early voting starts today

Today we arrive at the more action-oriented part of the election cycle, in which voting actually happens. Early voting starts today and runs through next Friday, November 1. Here’s the schedule and map of locations for Harris County. Check with your County Clerk or Election Administrator for locations elsewhere. Hours for early voting this Monday […]

Still no injunction in voter registration lawsuit

Unfortunate. A district judged erred by partially blocking the enforcement of new Texas voter registration laws while a lawsuit alleging that the laws suppress voting goes forward, a federal appeals court has ruled. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 opinion Thursday that there was not enough […]

Early To Rise submits its petitions

From here it gets real. The Harris County School Readiness Corp., a new nonprofit led by business and civic leaders, is calling for a ballot intiative to levy a 1-cent-per-$100 tax through the Harris County Department of Education to generate about $25 million a year for training teachers and buying school supplies for child care […]

Credit cards at the Tax Assessor’s office

If you’ve paid your vehicle registration fees in person at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office, you’ve had to bring cash or check to do so, because they don’t accept credit cards for that. Thankfully, that’s about to change. More than a decade after the office began accepting credit and debit cards for property tax […]

Online voter registration bills advance

Some good news. House Bill 313, which received praise from committee members in a Monday hearing, and Senate Bill 315, which was voted out of committee Thursday, propose allowing voters to register online and have that application automatically authenticated rather than having to wait on local election officials to reenter the data in their systems […]

Precinct analysis: Third parties revisited

Politico has a question. Is Austin’s Travis County the nation’s Libertarian Party stronghold? The co-founders of a Libertarian political action committee based there make that case, arguing that the Texas locale is the “most Libertarian large county in America.” Wes Benedict and Arthur DiBianca of Libertarian Booster PAC note that 31 Libertarian candidates were on […]

Transition, schmansition

Don Sumners, ladies and gentlemen. “There is no transition,” said lame-duck Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners. The occasionally cantankerous 73-year-old anti-tax taxman said he and his two predecessors came in cold, and [Tax Assessor-elect Mike] Sullivan will have to do the same. “Frankly, I guess, it’s a little bit of bitterness on my part that he […]

Speeding tickets and vehicle registration

I confess, I’m puzzled by this. Municipal Court Presiding Judge Barbara Hartle has a proposal on Wednesday’s City Council agenda to sign an agreement with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles that would have the state refuse to issue vehicle registrations to people who have outstanding traffic fines. As proposed by Hartle, by investing about […]

Endorsement watch: Martin and Sullivan

The Chron can’t quite believe that Steve Stockman is on the verge of being foisted on us again as a member of Congress, so they do what they can by endorsing his opponent, Max Martin. Max Martin is a credible, if long-shot, candidate. Martin, a retired pilot who now owns an education software business in […]

All the interviews for 2012

As we begin early voting for the November election, here are all the interviews I conducted for candidates who are on the ballot as well as for the referenda. These include interviews that were done for the primary as well as the ones done after the primary. I hope you found them useful. Senate: Paul […]

Interview with Ann Harris Bennett

To wrap up my interviews for 2012, today we have Ann Harris Bennett, the Democratic candidate for Harris County Tax Assessor. Bennett is a former Court Coordinator and was the Democratic candidate for Harris County Clerk in 2010 – you can see what I wrote about her, and listen to that interview here. Suffice it […]

30 Day finance reports, Harris County candidates

Here’s a look at the 30 day campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates. All reports can be found by going to the Harris County Clerk campaign finance reports page. Candidate Office Raised Spent Loans Cash ========================================================== Garcia Sheriff 192,670 120,957 0 388,197 Guthrie Sheriff 158,700 48,633 171,000 98,152 Alessi Sheriff 1,019 2,007 700 1,719 […]

LULAC files suit against Tax Assessor over voter registrations

Texas Redistricting has the press release. Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a number of Houston residentsfiled suit against Harris County in Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas maintaining that Harris County officials wrongly rejected voter applications through discriminatory practices against Latino and African American applicants. Representing LULAC […]

“Dead voter” purge finally laid to rest

Our long countywide nightmare is finally over. The running dispute over presumed-dead voters on Harris County rolls was substantially resolved Wednesday between the Texas Secretary of State’s office and Harris County’s tax registrar just hours before a Travis County judge issued an order that temporarily prevents the removal of names from registration lists statewide. [...] […]

Deal reached to restore SOS funding for Tax Assessor

This whole protracted standoff between Harris County Tax Assessor Don Sumners and the Secretary of State over the “dead voter” purge has apparently been the result of a misunderstanding. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has brokered a deal with the Texas secretary of state to restore about $700,000 in funding the state had cut off […]

SOS ups the ante against Sumners

It’s getting real at the Tax Assessor’s office. Harris County election officials got a bit of a surprise Friday morning when they attempted to open the county’s spending account on the Texas Secretary of State’s office website and found their access blocked. State officials have temporarily cut off the county’s voter registration funding. “We received […]

SOS versus Sumners

It’s not a steel cage death match, but it’ll do. In a strongly worded letter today, the Texas Secretary of State’s office told Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners that his decision not to purge presumed-dead voters from the rolls before the Nov. 6 election likely violates the law and compromises the […]

Not dead yet

As they say, reports of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners said Monday that he would not purge from the voter roll before the November election any of the 9,018 citizens who received letters from his office in recent days notifying them that they may be dead and are […]

HCDE election lawsuit dismissed

The lineup for the fall elections is now officially set. The disputed election results for the trustee runoff between two Democratic candidates will stand after a federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Harris County Department of Education after a flawed primary in May. U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal released a 16-page […]

Who wants to sue over the HCDE election?

Depends who you ask. At a court hearing July 30, the county, both political parties and an attorney for [runoff winner Erica] Lee all said they wanted the department of education’s suit dismissed (the school board wanted it to continue). First Assistant County Attorney Terry O’Rourke said a dismissal would be the most “efficient” thing […]

Chron smacks Stanart and Sumners

Ouch. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart is bad at his job. Specifically, Stanart has performed poorly as chief election officer in his duty to responsibly and effectively administer elections for Harris County. [...] Stanart said that the delayed results were due to faulty phone lines that could not be tested until Election Day. This excuse, […]

Is it time for an election administrator?

Campos revives an old topic. I think it is way past time to get an Election Administrator over at the County and take running the elections out of the hands of the ideologues and partisans. [County Judge Ed Emmett] and the County Commissioners need to do right and hand this function solely over to the […]

No settlement deal for HCDE election screwup

Just as well, because this wasn’t a good deal. A proposed settlement hashed out Thursday evening would have seen the Republican race – a blowout victory – stand, and the Democratic race – for which a runoff is under way – voided. In that race, the November ballot would list all three Democrats and the […]

July campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates

You know the drill by now. Office Candidate Raised Spent Cash Loans ============================================================ Sheriff A Garcia 47,025 41,900 357,818 0 Sheriff L Guthrie 70,176 75,646 33,075 157,000 Sheriff C Pittman 11,309 11,566 5,217 24,000 DA M Anderson 73,888 60,980 33,371 0 DA L Oliver 0 150 0 0 County Atty V Ryan 56,571 33,047 145,606 […]

HCDE sues for new election

From the inbox: The Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) today filed suit in federal court seeking new elections for Trustees whose district boundaries were wrong in the May 29th primary. HCDE officials learned earlier this week that outdated boundaries were used in the primary election for Trustees in Positions 4 and 6. The boundaries […]

Boundary screwup could affect HCDE race

This is just freakin’ great. Because of a mix-up with the new district boundaries, not everyone who was qualified to vote in a school trustee race was able to and some voters who weren’t supposed to, were allowed to cast a ballot. And the implications of all this may be far reaching. There are a […]

You sure you’re registered?

Your voter registration could get cancelled without you realizing what’s happening. More than 300,000 valid voters were notified they could be removed from Texas rolls from November 2008 to November 2010 – often because they were mistaken for someone else or failed to receive or respond to generic form letters, according to Houston Chronicle interviews […]

Sullivan confirms he will step down in January

There will be one more election on the ballot this November. Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan confirmed Thursday that he will submit his resignation next month as a result of his victory in the Republican Party primary for county tax assessor-collector, keeping a promise he made before Tuesday’s election. Sullivan said his resignation will be […]

GOP results, Harris County

Bullet points for all these result posts, I was up way too late last night. See the numbers here and the chat transcript from last night here. – You could have sold me on any result in the GOP DA primary going into yesterday, but I definitely did not expect such a wide margin. Mike […]

Chron overview of the Tax Assessor primary

Having just reported on the vehicle registration problems at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office, the Chron now writes about the GOP primary for that office. A Houston Chronicle story Friday reported Sumners’ staff is working overtime to process a backlog of auto registrations so motorists are not ticketed for driving with expired decals. [Challenger […]

I got those can’t get my car registration done on time blues

I have three things to say about this. The Harris County tax office is paying 32 clerks overtime on weekends to eliminate a large backlog of unprocessed auto registrations, a potentially serious problem that could force some motorists to drive with expired decals. Drivers can receive costly tickets and civil penalties for lapsed vehicle registration […]

30 day financial reports, Harris County offices

Candidates for county offices who are in contested primaries are also required to submit 30 day campaign finance reports. I’ve been going through the County Clerk’s campaign finance reports page to collect what’s there; ones for Democratic races are on the 2012 Primary page. Since I whined so piteously last time about how sucky the […]

Endorsement watch: Sullivan for Tax Assessor

The Chron made its first primary endorsement on Friday, and I just now noticed. The [Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector's Office] is, or should be, the quintessential service department – run with the customer’s satisfaction uppermost in mind. For almost half a century, the late Carl Smith was the agreeable face of the office, the boss […]

Your voter registration card is in the mail

Someone was just asking me about this, so I’m glad to see that they’re on their way. Harris County officials prepared to ship out 1.7 million voter registration cards Tuesday – after an unprecedented nearly five-month delay resulting from a grilling court battle over redistricting. Across Texas, election officials are required to send out new […]