Ballot Re-counter Claims Being Forced to Change Votes
POSTED: Friday, November 19, 2010 - 12:03pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 12:44am
"Gilbert Hinojosa interfered and stopped us, called Roger Ortiz. Roger Ortiz said no, that's a Wood vote."
That’s what Christina Chambers claims happened all day long as she re-counted hundreds of ballots. The re-count took place last Friday and Saturday at the Central Jury Room inside the Cameron Courthouse.
"What were you told? What were the directions for everyone recounting the votes? Just to count the ballots and if any ballot had two markings bubbled in for Carlos and Wood was a spoiled ballot."
But she says those directions were thrown out the window once she started counting.
"We had seen on some ballots where the voter had bubbled in democrat and put an X over democrat, even though he bubbled it and voted down the whole ticket and then when we got to Cascos and Wood but put an X over Cascos so we couldn't tell the intent of the voter because they did the same over democrat and did the same thing over Carlos Cascos. It was counted for Wood because he voted democrat."
Under Section 65.007 of the Texas Election Code, it states, “If a ballot indicates a straight party vote and a vote for an opponent of one or more of that party's nominees, a vote shall be counted for the opponent and for each of the party's other nominees whether or not any of those nominees have received individual votes.”
"They tell us in the beginning, they told us the rules. They said, you can't, you don't know the intent of the voter automatically. They can vote straight democrat, republican. They can still vote for liberal, green, or you know? And they still counted them for Wood."
Something that confused her tremendously because she says she was told one thing earlier in the day, yet the election's administrator told her something different once Hinojosa questioned her counting.
"If Gilbert Hinojosa argued about it, Roger Ortiz would say it's for Wood. If we found a ballot that was bubbled in for Cascos and Wood, we put them to the side because to me, that was a spoiled ballot and everybody else at the table. If I saw a ballot that was spoiled, I would put it to the side and question it, they'd give it to Wood, John Wood."
This is the first time Chambers ever volunteered to re-count ballots. As a voter herself, she says this experience has left many scars and now doubts if she'll ever go out to the polls again.
"I don't want to vote. I don't. I don't see a point in supporting someone if it's not going to be done right."
The canvassing of the recount votes was supposed to be held tomorrow afternoon, but due to an error in the wording on the agenda, the canvassing has been rescheduled for Monday.