Clearing Up Confusion in Midland

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The Midland Reporter-Telegram published a story intending to answer frequently asked questions about the Midland ISD bond election. A few of those answers were incomplete or inaccurate.

“Did the recount have to be canvassed on Nov. 26?”

No. Section 213.057 of the Election Code does state that the canvass should take place “as soon as practicable” but it goes on to say, “after completion of the recount.” We would argue that with 820 votes missing, the recount was not complete. MISD could have pressed harder on the Elections Department to locate the missing ballots before the canvass. Would MISD have accepted such a discrepancy if the outcome had been the failure of the bond? 

“Will finding these votes change the outcome of the bond?”

It is true that finding the votes will not change the outcome. However, the article is incorrect when it states, “the results, however, can be contested, and that could change the outcome.” This is a common misconception. An election contest challenges the election not the outcome. The judge’s decision is whether or not to void the entire election, not to do another recount. 

“What will happen next? Will a revote take place?”

Better Bond for Midland and We Choose Our Future will file and have filed, respectively, election contests. However, the similarities end there. Both sides do not agree that there will not be a revote. We Choose Our Future incorrectly assumes the contest will be yet another recount. Better Bond for Midland is calling for a voided election.

“Why are representatives from We Choose Our Future and Rick Davis also contesting?”

While “Christine Foreman and Dave Joyner have said their No.1 priority is getting the ‘true results’ of the election,” that is simply not possible. Even if another recount was viable, it would not be an acceptable outcome. The box containing those 836 votes had one seal instead of two and was left completely off the chain of custody lists. Those ballots were not secure and cannot be accepted at this point. 

“What happens if the bond fails during the election contest?”

Once again, the bond does not pass or fail during the contest. The judge will decide whether or not the election will be voided. If that is the outcome, it will be as Rick Davis said. MISD will have to “hit the restart button and start anew.” If MISD chooses to push for the bond again, there will have to be a totally new election, most likely held in November of 2020.

The citizens of Midland deserve an election they can trust. With all of the mismanagement and mistakes of the November 2019 election and following recount, a completely new election is the only way to determine the will of the people. The old election cannot be salvaged.

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