Democrats Defend Re-count Fairness

POSTED: Friday, November 19, 2010 - 4:41pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 2:45pm

"Most of the votes were counted with no problems whatsoever. You could really tell what the voter wanted."

Marjorie Franks was a poll watcher at Christina Chambers' table during the re-count last weekend. For the most part, Franks says there were no issues. People were counting, as they were told.

Riley Morgan explains how they counted each and every vote to make sure there were no mishaps.

"The way we do this is, we pick up and look at the back first and it had Cascos and Wood. If nothing was marked there, then you turn it over to this side to see whether it was a republican or democrat."

"There were a few votes that were a little difficult to determine what the voter wanted."

"We had check marks, we had X's, we had people who used pencil instead of using the pen that was provided. We had people who marked in red ink and people who put check marks."

But for the majority of the time, Franks says, everyone at the table, including Chambers, agreed on the final decision.

"I think she was doing an excellent job. She was very accurate. Obviously she wanted the votes to turn out for Cascos, as I did for Wood but she was very accurate and very honest."

But something happened during the re-count where things got heated. Chambers claimed Democratic Party Chairman, Gilbert Hinojosa, forced her to change votes in favor of his candidate, John Wood.

"She’s talking about the X. I was at that table at the time one of these was called. So, where you fill in the circles on these ballots, all of them are filled out on the front page. On the back side, where it comes to county judge, there's a circle on Cascos and an X on top of it. Well the X on top of it was called."

Poll watcher, Richard De Los Santos, tells News Center 23, when that ballot was questioned, Elections Administrator, Roger Ortiz, went to the table, heard both sides and made a decision to count the vote for Wood because although the voter had bubbled in for Carlos Cascos, he marked an X on top of it, appearing the voter did not intend to vote for Cascos after all.

"Every ballot was counted at least twice at each table, I mean that was standard procedure at each table. If everybody followed these directions, then it was fair."