Judge knows records “Don’t belong to me…”

court

66th Judicial District Judge Lee Harris will take the bench for a recount

Hillsboro –  An unusual moment of great symbolic importance will occur on November 9 at 10 am in the well of the District Courtroom in this pioneer prairie city.

Technicians from ESS, the electronic voting machine provider, will be on hand to conduct a recount of the March Primary voting results.

Judge Lee Harris will take the bench, the Court Reporter will be on hand to take down what is said, and summonses for the former Elections Coordinator and all election officials who served on election day have been served. The entire procedure will be recorded by both video and audio equipment.

An unusual if not unprecedented happening, the entire affair will be open to the public and copies will be made for the District Clerk, the Judge, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, and for any interested member of the public who cares to compare the new count with the former.

Said the Judge, “I know the records don’t belong to me…” His phrase hung in the air. The truth is, court records of the State of Texas belong to We The People, and because a Political Action Committee named Empower Texas caught the fact that the total number of ballots cast were exactly three times the tally of paper records made by election clerks and judges, the Secretary of State asked the Office of the Attorney General to do a full investigation.

Public officials are the Custodians of Record of all records pertaining to the business of The People Of The State Of Texas, according to the Texas Constitution, the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure, and the Texas Public Information Act.

Sgt. Boone Caldwell of the AG’s office discovered in his inquiry that the machines are prone to starting their count over only if the operator tells them to, according to Judge Harris.

The technician from the electronics company did not begin the count over, and so “Apparently those votes were counted three times,” said Judge Harris. “It looked like we had a whole lot of folks come to vote.” That makes sense, because there was a record turnout.

It wasn’t caught for some time.” Nevertheless, “We commenced a Court of Inquiry then and there,” he said, beginning with his order to impound all the election results, the machines, and the issuance of summonses for all parties involved. 

Will the results change the outcome of the Primary, and thus the General election?

I don’t know how much it will change things; some things will change. That much I do know,” said Judge Lee Harris.

Though the Attorney General’s Office has made a determination that the inquiry is not really of a criminal nature, extra care is being taken due to the unusual circumstances.

It’s so unusual both fellows with the AG’s Office told me they’ve never been involved with this before.” The same goes for the folks from ESS. There is one hand who works for the outfit who will be on hand because he has been present at just such a clam bake in the past.

It’s the symbolic importance of the public’s faith in the election process that is at stake, said the Judge.

There is nothing more important I know of.”

So mote it be.

– The Legendary

bonds-alley

The view from the nickel seats in Bond’s Alley, and words to that effect

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