Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Remember that time in 2020 when leaders of Native American tribes in Nevada gave away gift cards, televisions, and iPads to tribal members as an enticement to increase votes for Joe Biden?

Well something happened in Greenville this week that reminds me of that nefarious vote-buying scheme. 

A flyer, widely circulated on social media, which advertised  “Free Donuts and Pizza at The Polls” appeared Monday. The ad was paid for by the “Vote Yes” Political Action Committee whose sole purpose is to promote passage of the expensive Greenville ISD Bond and its accompanying property tax increase.

To my astonishment, the ad actually directed voters seeking free food, to the office of the Hunt County Elections Administrator. How could this be ethical or legal?

Thankfully, Hunt County Election Administrator Jeannie Ash quickly and firmly assured me that her office had nothing to do with the ad and is not connected to the committee offering free food to attract voters.

Furthermore, she assured me she will strictly enforce the 100-foot rule, banning electioneering near the entrance to the building. 

This “food for votes” scheme is just the latest episode in what can best be described as ethically questionable activities surrounding Greenville ISD Bond elections.

Past examples include allowing polling locations at GISD campuses on school days, thus facilitating easy access for supporters of more school debt, as well as an especially egregious example from 2014, when in March, GISD sent out a slick public relations mailer ahead of the May bond election.

The mailer, paid for by taxpayers, went only to registered voters, thus preparing them for the big tax increase that followed passage of the bond. 

Such examples smack of desperation by a school district that for decades has suffered from a perception by many that something is seriously wrong at GISD, despite the many dedicated employees who want the best for students.

Sadly, the “food for votes” fiasco only reinforces that perception. 

Ron Rogers


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