All Provisional and Mail-In Ballots Counted: Will the Police Chief Runoff Election Happen?


SAN ANGELO, Texas — There were 82 ballots, both mail-in and provisional, that needed to be cured before counting in the May 4, 2024, City of San Angelo police chief election. Today, election judges made their final count, and only 18 of those ballots were valid, the Tom Green County Elections Office announced Monday afternoon.

The race was close enough where provisional and late mail-in ballots mattered. Candidate Lt. Mike Hernandez was sitting at 3,279 votes, or 49.5%, and Sgt. Travis Griffith was at 46.5%. If enough of the provisional and mail-in ballots were cast for Hernandez—enough to give the frontrunner 50% of the vote plus one more vote—there would be no need for a runoff election scheduled for June 15, 2024. It was a long shot, as Hernandez would need to win about 75 of the 82 outstanding votes, assuming some votes would go towards Griffith or the minor third candidate, Lt. Chris Cimino.

After the smoke cleared at the elections office around 11 a.m. this morning, only eight of the 44 mail-in ballots could be verified. Elections Supervisor Vona Hudson referenced new laws passed by the Texas Legislature requiring an identification number from, for example, a Texas driver's license, a Social Security number, a Texas Election ID Certificate, or a Texas personal ID card to be properly marked on the ballot. If no identification was given, or a bogus ID number was marked on the ballot envelope, then the ballot could not be counted. This is in addition to the traditional signature verification procedures.

Only 10 of the 38 provisional ballots were cured. Provisional ballots are issued when the voter shows up at the voting center, but the computer claims the voter already requested a ballot by mail. Or, the voter's address was outside the city limits, but the voter informs the election worker that they had moved to an address inside the city limits. Or, the ballot is unintelligible, such as a mail-in ballot voted for more than one candidate.

Out of 82 ballots remaining to be counted, only 18 were cured, Hudson said. She noted this seemed like a fairly normal number of ballots in question after an election with 6,639 ballots cast.

The unofficial final count is published on the Tom Green County website. Here is how the count changed:

Election Day Count and Final Count Comparison, 2024 San Angelo Police Chief Election
Candidate May 4 Tally May 13 Final Tally Gain/(Loss) Final Vote %
Travis Griffith 3,080 3,088 8 46.51%
Mike Hernandez 3,279 3,286 7 49.50%
Christopher Cimino 263 265 2 3.99%

The San Angelo City Council will canvass the final results and make them official on Wednesday, May 15. Provided the council approves the election results, it will consider a resolution ordering a runoff election for June 15, 2024, "for the purpose of electing a police chief," stated the agenda.

The agenda posted today noted that council will allow public comments at the beginning of the canvassing.  Jackie Chesnutt, this is your cue.

Other articles of interest:

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Videos


Who would have ever believed that the fate of the 2024 San Angelo Police Chief's election would come down to weather a road trip to obtain an exclusive endorsement from former Chief Tim Vasquez can turn the tide and the momentum in the upcoming Run-off election?

Why is there an issue here? Just add mail-in votes until the right guy wins. If people misspelled his name or accidentally voted for the wrong guy, correct the ballot. They should all say "Spike Fernandez." Duh.

They have to order more white-out, deal with a software company about correcting miscast votes on the machines, and find new names with identifiers and addresses to add the correct amount of mail in ballots. Cut 'em a break — if anything, they're not getting paid enough!

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close