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October 25, 2007 22:09 - Prather protest?
By Bill Peterson
We don't know how the San Marcos City Council election between incumbent Gaylord Bose and challenger Jude Prather will turn out, but we can guess that if Bose wins the vote, Prather could claim grounds for protesting the election.
Prather said Thursday evening that he has no intention of protesting if he should lose. However, his campaign sent out an email to media Thursday claming that "dozens and dozens of students" were turned away from the polls at Texas State's LBJ Student Center Tuesday by poll workers demanding more identification than the law requires. Prather's email said the number came to "at least 100."
Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan couldn't be reached for comment Thursday evening. Quoting Prather's email, "Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan has promised the problems will be fixed but this doesn't help the voters who were denied one of their most basic rights."
Election law requires that a voter produce either a voter registration card or a state-issued identification card. Prather indicated that poll workers could be confused if students registered to vote in San Marcos and showed drivers licenses with their parents’ home addresses from other towns.
The email also claims poll workers used an apparently outdated map to say many voters didn't live within the San Marcos city limits.
Prather said by phone Thursday night that Cowan addressed the situation right away Tuesday and that he hasn't heard of any similar events since then. Prather said his main concern is simply to get people voting, since so few people in San Marcos bother with it.
"It's unfortunate that this would happen on campus," Prather said Thursday night. "... You just have to let people know about these things. A lot of times, as the campaign gets down to the end, things get more and more hectic."
Prather, 25, is bidding to become the second Texas State student elected to the San Marcos City Council in the last three years. Chris Jones won election in Nov. 2005 as a Texas State student. He has since graduated.
The Place 2 seat between Prather and Bose is one of two up for election on Nov. 6. In Place 1, incumbent Betsy Robertson is up for re-election against challenger Kim Porterfield. Early voting began Monday.