PALESTINE—Early voting in the local city election is scheduled for April 28 through May 6, but a candidate for the council position in district 1 has discovered those rules don’t apply when it comes to the inmate vote. Ricky Minton, an employee of the correctional system, first ran for council in 2012 but was defeated by outgoing council member, Will Brule, who announced earlier this year he would not be seeking re-election. Minton says he “learned a lot” from his first foray into local politics, “I was inexperienced and basically what happened was, I threw my hat into the ring and they just threw it back to me.”
Minton says he is aggressively campaigning for the upcoming election and has obtained a voter registration list as part of his strategy. He was “pleasantly surprised” to discover a large number of those listed now live behind bars in the unit where he works. Based on a lack of election related prosecutions in certain jurisdictions and continued denial of voter fraud and election misconduct voiced by members of the liberal crowd, Minton decided it was time to “remove the shackles” and see how far he could push the absentee voter envelope. “Participation has been good”, he said, “I’m running low on ballots but I’ll print some more when I get home tonight”.
Minton’s not sure if the inmates are really interested in the election or if it’s because he provides them “fresh donuts and cigarettes” and “unlimited access to their favorite girly magazines.” Despite the current turnout, some inmates are exhibiting what Minton describes as “total apathy” for the election process, a trait he finds revolting, but claims to be a step ahead of their reluctance by arranging access to several orange prison jumpsuits and an assortment of wigs and mustaches in order for him to assume the identities of multiple prisoners on election day, explaining, “They are going to vote, whether they know it or not.”
Minton is keeping a close eye on the results and indicated he currently has a 139 to 0 lead over his opponent, a lead even he admits might be less if not for the help of a nearby trash can. Despite the early positive results, Minton knows “every vote counts” and is prepared to “dress like a woman” if he has to. The election is to be held on May 10 and Minton has not ruled out the possibility of making campaign stops at a couple of local cemeteries in hopes of “digging up a few more votes” prior to election day.