Can you spell Sekula-Gibbs?

You have to in the race to defeat Democrat Nick Lampson in the race to replace Tom DeLay. This is because of the Democrats successful lawsuit to thwart democracy in the district by keeping a replacement candidate for DeLay off the ballot. The Houston Chronicle looks at how the write in effort wil effect the vote count in the various counties that are in the district.

Election Night suspense could last longer than usual on Nov. 7 because of the quirky race to replace U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay.

The strong write-in campaign of Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs will mean vote-by-vote examination in some parts of the 22nd Congressional District.

"It's going to be a long night," said Galveston County Clerk Mary Ann Daigle.

Sekula-Gibbs is not exactly "Smith." Each misspelling — whether keyed into an electronic voting machine or written by hand — will have to be examined by small committees of election judges to determine "voter intent."

Electronic voting machines, used in Harris, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties, will at least group the misspellings. An approval once for "Gibs," for example, would be approved for all such votes.

But in Galveston, the fourth county that contains part of the 22nd District, most voters will use optical scan ballots, marking their selections by filling in boxes on a paper form. If they fill in the box for a write-in, they must write in the candidate's name.

When the votes are tallied, the write-ins will be projected onto a screen for the Galveston committee to determine who gets the vote, as there are three approved write-in candidates for DeLay's seat.

It's not complicated, but it will take time and it could delay results for other races. None of the four counties plans to report precinct results until all the write-in votes in that precinct are tabulated.

Electronic voting generally simplifies vote-tallying. But as a well-funded write-in candidate with major-party backing, Sekula-Gibbs presents a new wrinkle.

The election teams in the four counties of the 22nd District are gearing up for a record write-in vote Nov. 7. They say they are prepared, but they make no predictions on when they will finish the count.


There is more. This is an important race and a Sekula-Gibbs win will be an upset. She would certainly do a better job of representing the views of her District. Lampson is a liberal Democrat who will vote for even more liberal Nancy Pelosi as speaker. That alone is reason enough to vote against him. He has no real ties to the district, other than the fact that a portion of it was in his old district because of a Democrat gerrymander in the 90's. His political base is with the labor unions over in Beaumont. The part of the district that was in his old district is around NASA and it is more Republican in character. His only hope for winning is the thwarting of the democratic process by denying Sekula-Gibbs a place on the ballot. That tells you something about him and the Democrats' interest in a fair election.

In another example of Democrat bad faith and their attempts to criminalize the political process, they accused Sekula-Gibbs of a campaign law violation for going to the toilet in a polling location. When you consider that the only reason they are not running against Majority Leader Tom DeLay in this district is the bad faith indictment brought by Ronnie Earle against DeLay in Austin for a non existent campaign law violation, it is easy to understand that they will do anything to deny Republicans a fair vote in this race.


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