Sunday, November 06, 2005

Molly Taylor: Fond Farewell

Molly Taylor: Our Best to You
The Tom Green County election administrator, Molly Taylor will retire after the Nov. 8 Texas Constitutional election. I could not let this pass without acknowledging her outstanding service to Tom Green County. I have been either precinct judge or alternate (depends on the precinct winner in the last governor's race) since '94 and Taylor has been a Godsend to the county in her 7 years. I have over my voting life lived under good, bad, and indictable in that position in three states, so I have some background for comparison.
I will put it as simply as I can; over the years of her service, I have many times talked to Molly about specific questions of election law and procedure. To this day, I cannot tell you if she is Democrat or Republican. To my mind, no higher compliment can be paid to an election official.
The court case involving the precinct one race between Danny Cardenas and Ralph Hoelscher was an unfortunate outcome to a closely fought race, but really a shining moment for Taylor. I was part of the recount process acting for Hoelscher as a watcher. I do not, in retrospect, blame Cardenas for questioning the election night results, as it developed, there was a problem with the counting software, and the early reporting results made for a lot of confusion. Had I been Danny, I would have called for a recount if not the court challenge.
As it developed in court, the election night results aside, no one questioned either ballot security from election night to recount day, or the recount itself, a process which had counters counting counters and watchers watching the counters with both candidates present and allowed unfettered observation of the counting tables.
I have seen too many close races across the country end up with people in doubt due to the political affiliation of the person in charge. Thanks to Molly Taylor's professionalism, that was not the case here.
Taylor's replacement will be up to a committee and has not at this time been announced. I hope we stay with the primary qualification being competency and knowledge of election law.

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