recount

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.

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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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Hill County Recount

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Earlier this week in Hill County, State District Court Judge Lee Harris ordered a public recount at the request of investigators from the Attorney General’s office. It took place this past Wednesday, November 9th, just a day after many Texans went to the polls to cast their ballot for President. The recount is part of an ongoing investigation into potential criminal activity during the March 2016 Primary Election in Hill County.

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