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Official Suggests Preparing Before Election Day

Erik Hersman
(cc) flickr

The Dallas County Elections Administrator wants voters to do their homework before Election Day: Tuesday, May 29.

Toni Pippins-Poole says the local political parties chose polling places for the primary, and that could change voting locations for some people.

Pippins-Poole: We want you to check the website. Check your newspaper. Call our hotline. Find out before you go to the polls on May 29th exactly where my polling location is, so you don’t go to a place where you used to go and it’s no longer there.

LINK: KERA's 2012 Elections Guide

Pippins-Poole says voters should also check the impact of redistricting for congressional, state and county elections. You may be voting in a different district.

And, she adds that a photo ID is not required to vote if you have your voter registration card. The new Texas law requiring that second form of ID is tied up in the courts. She says there had been confusion among poll workers and voters in the May 12th city and school board elections, as well as the start of early voting in the primary.

BJ Austin, KERA News

SEC bars Dallas man from practicing before agency

A former official with the Securities and Exchange Commission has been barred from representing clients before the agency for a year due to federal conflict of interest violations.

The SEC imposed the ban on Dallas attorney Spencer Barasch because of his representation of financier R. Allen Stanford.

Barasch agreed in January to pay $50,000 to head off potential charges that he improperly represented Stanford in front of the SEC after leaving the agency in 2005.

Barasch's attorney, Paul Coggins, issued a statement saying his client, a former enforcement official in the SEC's Fort Worth office, settled with his former employer "to avoid the expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation."

Stanford was found guilty of running a $7 million Ponzi scheme and is due to be sentenced next month.


Feds to monitor primary voting in 3 Texas counties

The U.S. Justice Department will monitor Tuesday's primary elections in three Houston-area counties to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

The 1965 act prohibits voting discrimination based on race, color or membership in a minority language group. It also requires some jurisdictions to provide "language assistance" during voting.

In a statement Friday, the department said it will assign federal monitors to polling places in Harris, Fort Bend and Jefferson Counties who will watch and record activities during voting.

The announcement comes after the Houston-based tea party group the King Street Patriots dispatched hundreds of observers to Houston-area polling stations during the 2010 general election.

That sparked complaints of intimidation from minority organizations. But the King Street Patriots said its observers were simply looking for evidence of voter fraud.


State: Texas alligator killing wasn't self-defense

A fisherman is facing a $5,300 penalty for shooting an 11-foot alligator he thought was attacking him and his fishing buddy.

Patrick Miller and Keyon Ivory said they were fishing in the Trinity River near the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge May 9 when the alligator swam swiftly toward their two-person boat, prompting both men to jump out and Miller to shoot it.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Friday that state game wardens have determined the alligator killing was not in self-defense.

Game warden Clint Borchardt says the fishermen aren't poachers, they just "made a bad choice" and will be fined.

The fishermen could not be reached for comment.

A recording of their 911 call reveals their panic at the "huge gator...deliberately coming right at us."