PALESTINE, TX–Councilman Steve Presley, representing the Texas State Railroad Authority, says he’s currently organizing a political campaign “champagne” train to raise awareness for his run for mayor of the City of Palestine. Ultimately, he hopes to collect early voting ballots during the process claiming it will be an alternative to long lines at city hall. “Since my name is on the ballot, I expect the largest voter turnout in history,” he said.
According to Presley, he wants to add the Palestine Depot of the TSRR as an official voting location. If he’s successful, voters wanting a free ride on the “Champagne Train” can simply bring their Steve Presley ballots to the depot, show them to the conductors (poll officials) and then be able to board the train for the experience of a lifetime. “I’ve worked out a deal with the economic development group for possible food and beverage funding,” Presley stated, “We want our residents to be happy and I think we can justify the expenditures, as we always do. Transparency is important.” According to Presley, any ballots will be placed in an official voting box and turned into the City Secretary’s Office at city hall. When asked what happens if someone shows up with a ballot marked in one of his opponents names, Presley said they’ll be considered on a “space available” condition.
Presley was quick to point out he is not asking for monetary donations, “I want to be clear, I’m not using State property for the purposes of soliciting campaign funds nor my position on city council or with the TSRR Authority. This is a legitimate attempt to shorten voter lines by adding an additonal polling place. If we can reduce the wait time for voters, why wouldn’t we pursue all possible options?” Presley added, “I’m just trying to think outside the ballot box.” Presley did not address who would fund the cost of running the train during this free event.