DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After allegations of voter fraud prompted an investigation, elections officials stressed that Saturday night’s runoff results were not final. It may take days before an accurate count.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke at the Dallas County Elections Department to explain why this process is going to take a little longer.
Because of concerns about potential fraud with mail-in ballots in the last election, the district attorney has ordered some of the ballots held until Sunday for closer scrutiny.
Shortly after the polls closed Saturday poll workers began arriving at the elections department with the physical ballots to be counted. However what was not counted Saturday night were mail-in ballots that show evidence that someone helped the voter fill out the ballot.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings explained that based on earlier concerns with similar ballots in the last election, the district attorney sequestered those ballots to be examined by the ballot board starting Sunday. In some races those amount to only a handful of ballots, but there are hundreds of mail-in ballots held in the Dallas city council runoff elections.
It can be common for someone mailing in a ballot to have a relative or aide help them. In those situations the person helping signs the ballot along with the voter. Both Judge Jenkins and Mayor Rawlings said they’re confident they will get an accurate count, and they want voters to feel reassured by the extra effort made to validate each mail-in ballot.
“They’ll be looking at each document, taking each document out of the envelope, checking to make sure the signatures match, checking those against other signatures on file,” Jenkins said.
“The election process is a sacrament in our democracy, and when that sacrament is ruined, people lose confidence in the election, whether it’s a local election or whether it’s a national election when Russians deal with it,” Rawlings added.
Judge Jenkins reminds candidates they have a right to have poll watchers observe the work being done starting at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.