Griffith May Not Get His Runoff Election


SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Tom Green County Elections Office is grappling with the final vote count from the May 4 City of San Angelo Police Chief Election, where 38 provisional ballots and 44 mail-in ballots have yet to be counted. Candidate Mike Hernandez was only 33 votes away from winning the election outright after the unofficial count of ballots was completed Saturday evening. To win a multi-candidate race without a runoff, the victor must attract 50% of the vote plus one additional vote.

That means that, statistically, if Hernandez wins about 75 votes out of the 82 ballots yet to be counted, he wins the police chief election outright, skirting the need for a runoff election.

The elections office must tally mail-in and provisional ballot results before announcing the date of the final canvassing of the election. County Elections Administrator Vona Hudson said the end of the day Friday, May 10, is the sixth day after the election and the last day any mail-in ballot can be received and counted. According to Texas Law, there are four mail-in ballot deadlines leading up to the final deadline on Friday.

Provisional ballots may or may not be counted. These are ballots where a voter shows up to the polls, but the computer system shows that the voter had previously requested a mail-in ballot. These are also voters who are listed on the county voter registration rolls as living outside the city limits. The voter may have told the election worker at the polling location that their home of residence had changed to a new address inside the city limits but they had not yet updated their voter registration information. Also, provisional ballots may be mail-in ballots where the intention of the voter is unintelligible.

Hudson said not all provisional ballots will ultimately be counted because of irregularities that cannot be cured.

Hudson said that the list of names of those with provisional ballots is not releasable to the public. She said the only way a voter can determine if his or her ballot was counted is to check for his or her name on the Election Day, Early Voting & Absentee Rosters. If a citizen knows he or she voted and his or her name isn’t on any of the rosters, his or her ballot may be provisional. Hudson said her office contacts the voter with a provisional ballot in order to cure it.

Hudson said that those who have been notified of their provisional ballot status should contact her office to help cure them. You can do so by calling the county elections office at 325-659-6541 or stopping by their office at 113 W. Beauregard Ave. in the Keyes Building.

At the San Angelo City Council meeting on Tuesday, canvassing the police chief election was discussed briefly. The consensus was that the city secretary will publish a notice for a public hearing once the elections office has its final vote tally.

Saturday’s election saw candidate Lt. Mike Hernandez barely miss winning the three-way race without a runoff with 3,279 votes, or 49.52%. Candidate Sgt. Travis Griffith received 3,080 votes, or 199 votes less than frontrunner Hernandez, earning 46.5% of the vote. Candidate Lt. Chris Cimino attracted 263 votes, or 3.97% of the vote.

Meanwhile, politicos in San Angelo hang in a state of suspense.

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Almost forgot about all those after midnight provisional and mail in votes.

Tell me again who gets to appoint the POPO chief(:(:(:


I seriously doubt that there will be any voter irregularities in the Chief of Police election due to the oversight of Vona Hudson. Years ago, prior to her tenure, voter fraud in this particular election was common place due to the organization of the county election office, the ease of access to ballots in the county voters office, and individuals who benefited from this election. Ever since Ranger Shawn Palmer released his investigation into Chief Tim Vasquez concerning exposing the identity of a Federal Confidential informant to a Mexican Gang, the parties involved in previous voter fraud have stayed clear of the Chief of Police election process.

The numbers involved in this process makes a runoff election highly likely. If not, due to Vona Hudson's oversight, then the results of the election process are unquestionably correct.

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