Bob Gammage to SDEC: “Abolish the Texas Two-Step”
From Robert “Bob” Gammage
November 11, 2008
To: State Democratic Executive Committee of Texas:
Through most of the last 40 years as a lawyer, lawmaker and judge, I have fought along side many other loyal Democrats in Texas and nationally to see that every qualified voter in our state and country is given the opportunity to vote, and to have their vote count equally with those of every other voting citizen.
In 1971 we expanded the franchise to permit young people between 18 and 21 years of age, many of them serving in the military and others exercising all other adult responsibilities, to join their fellow citizens in voting on significant public issues and choosing their elected public officials.The poll tax had already been abolished and the unit rule for selecting delegates had been done away with. Since then, our state has appropriately and proudly expanded the election period and increased the locations in which citizens can cast their ballots, to assure that as many voters as possible have the opportunity to fully participate in our electoral system, and to circumvent the hazards of weather, job-related responsibilities, family obligations, physical infirmities, unavoidable election day absences, and other impediments or inconveniences which historically so often prevented citizens from voting on a single election day
In recent years, however, Texas Democrats have taken a giant step back from the fight for ballot equality by adopting the so-called “Texas Two-Step” system, which enables undemocratic caucuses to determine a third of the delegates who attend our presidential nominating conventions, regardless of the democratically expressed will of the voters who participated in the election itself. This system ignores the very purpose of all the preceding ballot expansion and democratization efforts, by giving an unfair weighted numerical advantage to a small percentage of voters who find it convenient to show up on a single night, after the polls have closed, for a limited number of hours to determine fully one-third of the delegates who will move to the next step of the presidential delegate selection process.
I strongly urge you to abolish the Texas Two-Step process and restore the democratic integrity of our ballot and our delegate selection process.
Justice, Supreme Court of Texas (Retired)
Captain, JAGC, USNR (Retired)