Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Can Vote in Tea Party Straw Poll, But It Will Cost You

This post originally appeared on on January 13, 2012

There's still time to register for the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll, a three-day Tea-Party-sponsored event at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The poll's organizers say it's designed to give Texas greater weight in the presidential primary process. From their website,
Despite Texas’ apparent political clout as holder of the second largest delegation to the Electoral College and the second largest population in the United States, its position in the primary election, which is governed by political parties, is significantly and detrimentally out of balance to its general election influence...
Citizens from every corner of Texas have come together to bring Texas’ influence forward as an integral part of the national primary election process through a grassroots organized presidential straw poll, called the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll, which is designed to give Texans an appropriate voice in the Primary.
To participate all you have to do is make your way to Minute Maid Park, prove your identity using a state issued photo identification (of course), and shell out $45 for the tickets. Obviously this isn't a real election, just a straw poll, so pesky things like the twenty-fourth amendment and the Voting Rights Act don't apply, but it occurs to me that charging almost half a c-note for the honor of participating in a poll is a pretty good way of insuring that the poll results only reflect a particular segment of the population. Whatever the results of the poll (to be announced Sunday) let's hope that anyone repeating them includes the addendum that the poll reflects only the opinions of Texans able to 1. travel to Houston for three days and 2. willing to shell out $45 for the honor of voting in a meaningless poll.

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