Midland ISD Bond Fight: New Contest Filing
Christine Foreman and David Joyner of the pro-bond We Choose Our Future PAC have filed a petition for an election contest in the Midland ISD Bond Election that has been fraught with errors and controversy. Their filing came the same day Midland County Elections opened a recently discovered ballot box revealing 836 ballots that were not counted in the recount. Their petition calls for “a manual recount to ensure all legal ballots cast in this election are counted and determine the true outcome thereof.” This is problematic in two ways.
First of all, in a press conference, Christine Foreman herself questioned the chain of custody for the newly discovered ballot box. Why would she, or anyone, want those ballots counted if they could have been compromised? Secondly, contests are not meant to result in manual recounts. There has already been a recount. That ship has sailed. In the case of a bond election, a true election contest would call for a judge to declare the entire election void. Midland ISD would then have to start again and hold another election if it wanted to continue to pursue the bond.
Foreman and Joyner’s filing would suggest one of two scenarios. We Choose Our Future could be following the path of Elections Administrator Deborah Land and making mistakes through hasty work. The filing could also be an attempt to show voters they care about their votes and their voices by wanting a fair election, but all the while knowing their petition will fail. If the petition fails, the bond passes even though 836 ballots were not counted in the recount and voters were clearly disenfranchised. We Choose Our Future would get their desired result.
The Better Bond for Midland PAC will also be filing a better petition for Midland. It will not be a rushed attempt at good PR. It will be a substantive legal filing. They have already announced their intentions to call for a voided election. They are willing to fight the legal battle despite the fact that the bond could pass in a new election. Their fight is not purely for self-interest, it is for integrity. No recount of already compromised ballots would result in a real, trustworthy outcome. The Citizens of Midland need to trust their elections, especially one with $569 million at stake. If Midland ISD wants its bond, it will have to hold a new election. It is the only way to ensure the people of Midland are heard.