Ballot Re-counter Claims Being Forced to Change Votes

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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.
 

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As a young voter, I am very disappointed with this year's election. It really makes me rethink our democracy in our country and wonder why even take the time to go out and vote if my ballot is going to get altered and be dismissed by the Voting Committee to better suit one of the candidates. I thought this was American, were the "people" elect and vote for who THEY best think is adequate for the job. After all this mummble jumble, I would have rather just stayed in at home and watched Idol.

As a young voter, I am very displeased with Cameron County election. It really makes me rethink about taking my time to go vote. For what? What is the point if my ballot is going to get altered or dismissed. Why even vote? Why have a democracy? Just be take away our rights and turn us into a dictatorship. Regardless us, as voters, our votes won't be accounted for anything, its going to get changed. Next, time I'd rather stay home and just watch television.

Christina Chambers supported C. Cascos all the way. She supported him through out the elections in Los Fresnos, holding signs and picking people up to vote for him. You want me to believe her story. Why not bring it to the media then, why not bring it to anyones attention to get this corrected then during the re-count. This looks like Cascos supporters are running around and thinking of things to do to make it look as if a party is stealing a election. Sounds like sore loosers and it stinks!!!

I was a counter for Cameron County and had an incident with Gilbert Hinajosa, during the recount....we were told only to count ballots, but because of Gilbert Hinajosa , Carlos Cascos ballots were thrown out....when I questioned what he was doing he wanted to have me removed...insted he assigned a Cameron County Baliff to table to intimidate me. I tried to speek up nothing was done so i took it to the media, call it what you want to call it...if anyone is a sore looser its Gilbert Hinajosa.

Mr. Carlos Cascos should contact the Texas Rangers to investigate because, cleary there is wrongdoing going on in this election.
Either we count all the precints or have a new election period.
The people have spoken all over the nation.
Mr.Hinojosa and Mr. Ortiz you can not win against the will of the people even in cameron county.

Why not bring in an independant party to conduct another recount for the entire election? Why not, because it is too logical and it would not be acceptable to the culture of corruption the citizen have enabled. We should be demanding that the Election code be upheald. How can we ever expect people to get out and vote when this is the result. Makes me absolutely sick.

Ms. Chambers did speak up and argue @dontfeedtheanimals. Gilbert Hinojosa made her cry and she had to leave the table.

you have the opportunity to speak up during the process. shame on you mrs. chambers for waiting until after the fact to do so. they should've never aired your story bc of your ignorance for not saying anything when you were volunteering. sad sad story

you need to refer to the comment after your. read it u may learn something.

I was there and was a recounter as well. I observed Mrs. Chambers take a stand. She was very courageous, however the only way to make anyone accountable is to make it public. Way to go Mrs. Chambers.

This sounds like intimidation. Clearly if a voter votes straight ticket then marks the opponents bubble they are voting for the opponent not the straight ticket. There were a total of 39 votes that were short from election day. Where are those votes. I believe that new people need to go & do another re-count, have knowledgeable people that will do an honest job AND not be intimidated, just follow the LAW. I would like to be there as a counter. I want what is fair and what the people voted for.VG

Wood do you really want to be known as a loser that cheated to win. Gilbert hinojosa is a scum bag politian that was voted out with red river. Why don't you just retire and take a vacation. It's like pinochio Hinojosa controlling jepeto.

Cascos should just let it go. He knows that he cheated since the beginning,& now doesn't know what to do. Because when they did the recount the numbers were very different from Nov.2. It is so obvious that Cascos cheated on the Nov 2 race because just at the last minute he won by 80 votes. Where did they come up with so many votes at the last minute if he was losing by over 600 votes. I hope John win's & Ortiz should not let Cascos & his people harasse him.

ladybug26 - How can Cascos sheet when the votes are not being counted by him? The only one harassing anyone is Gilberto Hinojosa. Please get your facts straight before you post comments. It is to Gilberto Hinojosa's favor to have John Wood as the county judge. Wood is Hinojosa's puppet and he will do whatever Hinojosa tells him to do. After all this is the man who thought that Conrado Cantu was the BEST sheriff that Cameron County had ever had! Poor judgement then and poor judgement now.

Has anybody looked into this travesty? I'm glad Ms. Chambers is speaking up about this, but has the Secretary of State been informed of this corruption? This is how the Cameron county goons plan to steal the election from Blake Farenthold. The fix is in.

YOU KNOW,..YA'LL GOTTA BE DUMB OR IN ON IT. TO MAKE SUCH A MESS. IF BY FORCE YOUR BEING TOLD WHAT TO COUNT,....YA'LL MADE IT HARD ON YOURSELFS, WHICH MAKES IT HARD AND LOOKS BAD ON OTHER'S.

As a Democrat I am embarrased to see this situation unfold. Is there no way to accept defeat gratefully? Once Mr. Ortiz oficially announced that Mr. Cascos had won we should accept it, even if that is not what we want. It looks very suspicious that all of a sudden votes favoring Mr. Wood appear from nowhere. Now I start to question myself: am I voting for the right person? If Mr. Woods does all this...can I trust him to decide for me? Are we turning into a third world country? What an ugly mess!

Oh my goodness, those freakin people are losers! Get Ortiz and Hinojosa out of there.

Is this the notarized statement that Hinojosa was talking about? Who has it? Ortiz was intimidated by Hinojosa all night. The only solution to this fiasco is a NEW ELECTION!

"Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbear- ing majority." Fed. Paper 10 (Sound familiar?)

Wow!

I had problems trying to vote in my district. I was not listed and was being turned away until I insisted that I wanted to VOTE. They eventually sent me out to Hudson, but I saw people being turned away without further instructions. This was something I commented to them about on the spot.

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