Elections Administrator Faces County Commissioners on Handling of Judge's Race
POSTED: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 3:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 11:07am
The two men at the center of the Cameron County Judge recount sat side by side, and listened, as commissioners fired their questions at elections administrator Roger Ortiz as to his handling of the Cameron County judges race and the recount that followed.
A little back story, incumbent Carlos Cascos won the general election over John Wood by just 80 votes. Wood then asked for a recount. The recount showed Cascos still came out on top by 50 votes; his victory didn’t last long though. Hours later, both candidates were notified by Roger Ortiz that there had been a mistake in the final numbers, a tally sheet of votes wasn’t factored in, and that tally sheet brought John Wood ahead by just five votes. Ortiz then and now, admits that it was a human error on his part.
Two main issues surround the confusion; that overlooked tally sheet from precinct 54 and disputed votes.
“Can you give me the number of disputed ballots that you might have looked at?” asked Comm. Garza
“No sir, I can't.” replied Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz.
“Can you give the report of the disputed ballots that you looked at?” asked Garza.
“No sir, I can't.” replied Ortiz.
“Does the election code not call for every disputed vote ballot to be recorded and the reason for the dispute?” asked Garza.
Garza told Ortiz if he didn’t follow the law based on the proper procedure for handling disputed votes, how could the public be so sure human error was the real reasoning behind the overlooked precinct 54 tally sheet.
In a final questions to Ortiz, “Can you tell me that you couldn't have a made another error elsewhere that you are yet to find out about?" asked Garza.
Both citizen outcry and Garza didn’t give Ortiz much time to answer that question.
He did however announce that a recount of precinct 54 votes will take place Tuesday, November 23rd at 3pm at the county elections office.
We’ll have the latest on those finding when they become available.