Fighting for election integrity and transparency

More Missing Votes and a Mystery Box in Midland

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Midland County officials seem determined for Midland voters to lose complete faith in the integrity of their elections.

A $569 million bond passed by 18 votes and then failed by 25 votes on Election night. Then the bond passed by 11 in the recount, but 820 votes were missing. The Midland ISD School Board rushed to canvass the vote despite the missing votes. Next there was an attempt to find those missing votes with a partial recount. The results? The missing vote tally rose to 840. Now Midland County has scheduled another count, a full counting of ballots and the opening and potential counting of a new mystery box. 

Thursday’s Recount That Wasn’t a Recount

In what can only be seen as an attempt to redeem themselves, Midland County Elections was granted a court order from District Judge Lindemood to open the ballot boxes once again. This time, a team of two would physically count the ballots, with a third person to count if the first two counts didn’t match. Then the ballots were ordered to be counted by the DS450 scanner and tabulator. 

This last portion of the count became contentious when all parties realized the machine could not count the ballots without producing a “for” and “against” result. Could the pro-bond PAC, We Choose Our Future, be afraid of what that result might show? The election has been canvassed. The only way to change the election now is with a contest. Elections Administrator Deborah Land opted to replace the electronic count with another manual counter and all sides agreed.

All this counting stopped abruptly, however, when the first batch of ballots counted revealed a widening of the gap in votes by 20. Apparently, the counting of these first two boxes did not solve the problem as EA Land had hoped. District Judge Lindemood was called upon again to allow for a pause in the counting process until Monday December 16th

The Counting Continues with a Bonus Mystery Box

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Midland ISD Bond Update

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The Midland ISD school bond election has had a dizzying number of missteps and information false starts since November. This has lead to quite a bit of confusion.

So, where are we now?

The simple, somewhat unfulfilling answer is, we’re getting closer to the definitive case against the handling of this election but are still in process.

Unease is understandable. For one, there’s a lot of money at stake but more importantly, there needs to be trust in the process.

Election Administrator Deborah Land and the MISD school board have shown time and again throughout that rushing and selective transparency don’t instill trust or lead to defendable results.

Data from the recount was delayed in being released last week after Land ran out of ink during a printing session she publicly requested. Now that the requisite ink has been acquired and data finally printed, comparisons can be made and a summation of the discrepancies compiled.

Based on what we already know, a case against not only the election but the individuals overseeing its execution is coming. And, until changes are made, Midland County elections will not enjoy the levels of trust they need and deserve.

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Trust in Midland ISD Bond Election Irrevocably Destroyed

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Surprise, the story and result of Midland’s recent bond election have once again changed according to Midland County Election Administrator Deborah Land.

Yesterday, Land announced the recount of November’s election was wrong, insisting the election night totals were accurate.

Even on election night, there were questions about the count since a machine tasked with counting mail-in ballots was on the fritz and had to be replaced.

In any case, assuming that the election night result was correct, following the receipt of additional ballots and provisionally cast ballots the bond was shown to have failed.

This latest development is sure to drive up tensions in an already fraught situation.

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Election Integrity Roundup 12.06.19

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Here’s a look at election integrity news from around Texas and the country.

Some of these stories have been shared via our social media accounts, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Investigation Uncovers Illegally Registered Non-Citizen Voters

This week it was reported that hundreds of illegally registered non-citizens were discovered in Ohio. Texas has similar issues, with thousands of non-citizen registered and voting.

“The 277 individuals who registered to vote and the 77 who cast a ballot “each provided the BMV with documentation identifying themselves as non-citizens on at least two occasions, once before their voter activity and once after,” LaRose said”

Despite efforts by Democrats to keep non-citizens registered to vote, election administration officials and outside groups will continue to work on deterring registration and voting as well as removing non-citizens from the rolls.

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DAT joins effort to restore trust in Midland elections

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This week, Direct Action Texas agreed to partner with Better Bond for Midland to investigate a recent bond election in Midland, Texas.

This election is an important one to examine, as it illuminates important correctable flaws and exposes tactical approaches that can be countered to slow runaway bureaucratic creep.

Before getting to the specifics of the election, note, this is no longer about the bond itself but about a process that has undermined trust in our form of governance.

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