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VOTE411 Voter Guide

County Clerk

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Gayle Young Mitchell (Dem) Public Servant

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    Diane Trautman (Dem) County School Trustee, At Large

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    Nat West (Dem) Retired Public School Administrator and Retired (Army) Command Sergeant Major

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Biographical Information

What is the most important thing you will work to achieve during your term in office?

What specific steps will you take to increase voter participation in Harris County?

What steps can the County Clerk do to ensure the security of every vote cast in Harris County?

Education/Degrees The Bradford School of Business. Undergraduate Student at Texas Southern University - Barbara Jordan/Mickey Leland School of Public of Affairs. B.S. Degree Candidate-Public Affairs/Administrtion
Professional Experience Outreach Coordinator - YMCA of Greater Houston Director - Innercity Innovations Deputy County Clerk - Harris County
Community Involvement Honorary Member of the Pleasantville Civic League Participant of Sterling Green Civic Association
Campaign Email glymitchell@sbcglobal.net
Campaign Website http://gymforcountyclerk.com
Campaign Phone (713) 305-8470
The most important thing I will achieve is authenticity. I believe their should be open dialogue between the Citizens of Harris County and the County Clerk.
Utilizing the voter outreach approach through-out the year rather than during election season only. Educate and/or enlighten individuals of the importance of citizens to participate in the democratic process.
The Harris County Clerk can ensure the security of every vote cast by ensuring that technologies are current and fully operational. Reviewing and adjusting the collection of mail-ballots for proper representation.
Education/Degrees BA - English - University of Houston; M. Ed. - Secondary Education - University of Houston; Doctorate - Educational Leadership - Sam Houston State University; Doctoral Dissertation: The development of a new leadership theory
Professional Experience I have over 30 years of leadership and administrative experience in running large and small organizations in banking, education, and county government with experience in budgeting, personnel, and policy making. Leadership is my passion.
Community Involvement Women Professionals in Government; League of Women Voters; NAACP; TASB; Girl Scouts Alumni; HAAM Covenant Council;
Campaign Email dtrautman@comcast.net
Campaign Phone (713) 417-4235
Twitter @dtrautman
I am running for Harris County Clerk to improve voter turnout in Harris County by making our election process more convenient, more secure, more transparent, and more fair to all citizens of our county. In our last election, we had a 6% turnout and we usually are somewhere between 20 to 30% even in presidential elections. We must and can do better if we are to continue to call ourselves a democracy. I want to make it easier and more convenient for people to vote. Every voter deserves equal access to the ballot box. Too many times, long lines, inconvenient voting locations, or last minute changes in voting locations confuse and discourage people from voting. I want to provide full access to all qualified voters so that every voice is equally heard. I want voters to be excited about voting again, just like when they voted for the first time. We must make it easier instead of harder for qualified people to vote, and that is what I will do.
I do not believe we can continue to have a democratic form of government without more citizen participation. And that's why I want to bring Voting Centers to Harris County. The concept of Voting Centers is simply "Early Voting on Election Day". Voters can vote at any voting location on election day. Currently, 42 counties in Texas have used this method of voting and all have improved their voter turnout. I believe that giving voters more choices about where to vote on election day will definitely increase voter turnout. The first step would be to apply to the Secretary of State, then I would ask for community input on where voting centers are needed. I believe that community input is vital for Voting Centers to be successful. The next step would be to get approval from Commissioner's Court, and upon approval, Voting Centers could be used in a small election first to see where improvements need to be made. The great thing about Voting Centers is that it gives voters a choice.
In light of what happened in the last presidential election, the security of our voting process and voting machines becomes one of the most important issues to this office. Voters need to know that they can trust the voting process and that their vote will actually be counted. To address voter security, I think it is crucial for the next county clerk to look at best practices across the state by meeting with other county clerks, election administrators, and security experts to see what will work best for Harris County. At this time, I have met with the election administrator from Travis County and also computer security expert, Dr. Dan Wallach of Rice University to discuss their ideas on keeping our election process secure and I will continue to speak to others. I do believe that we need an outside Audit Firm that specializes in voting security to come in and take a look at our current systems and processes, and that will be one of the first things I do in this position.
Education/Degrees First African American graduate of Stephen F. Austin St.Univ., Nacogdoches, TX, in 1967 with a B.S. in Kinesiology; Earned M.Ed at SFA in 1972; Nathaniel West Minority Scholarship established by my Nacogdoches hometown in 1993; TSU Doctoral Courses.
Professional Experience Leader over 186 Voting Precincts. Leader over 13 states as proactive CSM. HISD Teacher, Coach and Central Administrator. Homeless Veterans Initiative. Servant leader with transparency, inclusion and organization. Won't tolerate graft or corruption!
Community Involvement PRES., Oak Manor-Univ. Woods Civ Club; PRES., Jones HS PTA; United Way Allocations; March of Dimes/Walk America; Friendswood Jaycees; 3rd Ward Redevelopment Council; Big Brothers; Junior Achievement; Tutor; SD13 PAC.
Campaign Phone (281) 851-7715
"JUST DO YOUR JOB" are the few words that I want every Employee, Volunteer, Retiree and High School Student to "buy in on" during my tenure as your HARRIS COUNTY CLERK. I'll empower a wide assortment of individuals -- Gay and Straight, Democrat and Republican, Young and Old, PROS and AMATEURS, Asian, Hispanic, White, Black, you name it -- to do every single day what the HARRIS COUNTY CLERK's Office should be doing Efficiently and Effectively: MAINTAINING the records of Commissioners Court, Probate Courts and County Civil Courts at Law; RECORDING vital documents such as Property Records, Marriage Licenses, Assumed Name Certificates, Birth Records and Death Records, and; SERVING as the CHIEF ELECTION OFFICER to ensure that we have a fair and uniform application and interpretation of Election Laws. RETIREES can be "re-imagined" in the County Clerk's Office with dignity. Millennials, get ready to show that you are our largest Labor group! Sweetheart contractors need not apply. Pray.
First, PRAY. Assemble/Maintain a DIVERSE TEAM that's committed to increasing voter participation while working with the Secretary of State, Elected Officials, Churches, Super Neighborhoods, Civic Clubs, Fraternities/Sororities and Schools. Consider these: #1.GET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS' INPUT REGARDING THE TABLET-SIZED VOTING MACHINE; #2.DON'T LEGALLY MANDATE REGISTRATION (AS IN NORTH DAKOTA) IN ORDER TO VOTE; #3.SAME DAY REGISTRATION; #4.AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION (AS IN OREGON); #5.UTILIZE OFFICIALLY MONITORED CURBSIDE BALLOT DROP BOXES; #6.PLACE DEADLINES CLOSER TO THE ELECTION; #7.PLACE POLLING PLACES CLOSER TO THE RESIDENCES OF NON-WHITE, YOUNGER, LESS AFFLUENT, LESS EDUCATED VOTERS, #7.CREATE A VOTERS "HALL OF FAME: GALLERY OF DISTINGUISHED VOTERS" (AS IN WHEELER AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH); #8.IMPLEMENT "RANKED - CHOICE VOTING" FOR THE 18 - 35 YEAR OLD MILLENNIAL DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS; #9.PUBLICLY FINANCE ELECTIONS; #10.CREATE A STATE ELECTION DAY HOLIDAY; #11.LISTEN
As a Retired (Army) Command Sergeant Major, I was not surprised that Russia had compromised the security of our 2016 Presidential Election in 21 states. Let's do this to ensure the security of every vote cast in Harris County. #1.Do not assume that any Voting System is 100% secure; #2.Do not trust hardware parts that were manufactured in other countries; #3.For security, there is an urgent need to secure US Voting Systems right now in order to be prepared for the November 2018 midterm elections; #4.Work on and improve our technologies that we use to manage our Election records; #5.If we use DIGITAL VOTING MACHINES, we must add backups of PAPER BALLOTS and ELECTRONIC SCANNERS. Used alone, Digital Ballots are vulnerable to compromise and manipulation because one cannot audit them afterwards; #6.Get professional HACKERS to assist in adding to the small handful of electronic VOTING MACHINE MANUFACTURES; #6.Allocate funds to secure BACKEND SOFTWARE since testing systems is not possible.