A month after county officials were unable to answer questions raised about discrepancies in the March election results, a hushed meeting was held last week between a ballot machine vendor, county officials and representatives of the incumbent state representative… but did not include those who uncovered the problems. Texas Scorecard‘s Tony McDonald first reported on Thursday that county records indicate nearly 1,800 more votes were cast in Hill County than there were voters.
The previously undisclosed meeting was revealed in a Saturday statement made by the Texas citizen who uncovered the problems, Aaron Harris of Direct Action Texas.
In mid-June, Harris reported to officials that he found major discrepancies in Hill County’s March Republican primary. According to Harris, “county records do not have voters to match the alleged vote count recorded during the primary election held in March of 2016.”
As late as Tuesday, just before media and state officials were learning of the problems, Harris reports that “county election officials stated they were unable to find the missing voters or explain the discrepancy.”
The Tuesday meeting included the vendors responsible for the ballot machines, county officials and representatives of the office of State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), who barely won re-election in the primary.
Within forty-eight hours of that meeting, a senior county elected official in a private phone call alleged election staff had mysteriously “found” missing sign in sheets. These are the very forms their staff had been supposedly looking for over the last thirty days.
Harris notified the Texas Secretary of State’s office, which is charged with monitoring elections. The SOS, in turn, sent a request on Thursday for a criminal investigation to the Office of the Attorney General.
As of Saturday evening, the OAG has yet to take possession of the county’s records to ensure evidence isn’t compromised, Harris said.
Without a qualified, third-party investigation – as was recently recommended by the Secretary of State to the Attorney General – the origin of the discrepancy and those responsible for either fraud or negligence will never be brought to justice.
Hill County’s election records must be secured immediately so the appropriate authority can verify the primary election results. We call upon the Texas Attorney General’s office to secure all evidence and pursue an investigation to determine where nearly 1,800 votes came from, as recommended by the Secretary of State.
A request for comment from the OAG on the Hill County situation has not been returned.