Friday, October 03, 2008

How 12,000 RVers tilt East Texas elections

n a place called Rainbow’s End, amid towering East Texas pines and hulking Winnebagos, sits an unremarkable, gray-brick building that is home to the biggest and most influential voting bloc in Polk County. No one actually lives at 100 Rainbow Drive, but the building hosts 12,000 registered voters.

The 10,000-square-foot building houses a massive mail-forwarding service, the largest in the nation. The service is geared toward recreational vehicle enthusiasts and allows them to receive mail—and vote by mail in Polk County elections—from wherever they happen to be. Known as the Escapees, the mostly white-haired RV owners have—in theory at least—exchanged fixed abodes for a life zipping across America in mobile mansions. These 12,000 overwhelmingly Republican voters—some of whom have never even set foot in the area—have helped erode what was once a stronghold of yellow dog Democrats deep in the Piney Woods of Texas. To some, the operation allows the Escapees to enjoy life on the open road. To critics, it is voter fraud on a grand scale.
Full Story...
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