By Camaron Abundes
ANDREWS- Inside the district courtroom at the Andrews County Courthouse on Tuesday lawyers launched into arguments about a by-gone election, decided by a mere three votes back in May.
"Do they live in the county, are they over 18, are they a U.S. citizen, that's what is paramount," John Pool, the Lawyer representing County Judge Richard Dolgener, said forgetful voters should not have their votes thrown out based on technicalities.
On Tuesday, District Judge Jay Gibson said more than 70 voters who didn't sign, check or complete their voter registration cards did not vote illegally, but he said it is important to peruse the voter log to make sure all the votes cast were legitimate. Gibson denied a motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of Melodye and Peggy Pryor by Attorney David Rogers out of Austin.
"What he said from the bench was we don't penalize the voter for a technical mistake for failing to check a box or failing to check a form in a certain place and throw their right to vote out. What we look at is are they actually entitled to vote," Pool said.
Gibson set the next hearing for October 6th at 2pm at the Andrews County Courthouse.
"With all due respect to the judge who thought very thoroughly about the arguments" Rogers continued. "If you don't sign a check, you can't cash it. And if you don't sign your voter registration form by law, you can't vote."
Both sides provided previous case law to the judge during the hearing.
Voter Elicia Sanchez wants elderly and dozens of other voters in Andrews County to continue to have a voice in the bond election.
"My case was I forgot to check a box, you know, so I just think it's ridiculous that somebody registered 40-50 years ago and has been voting all that time may be kicked out because they forgot to check a box or sign something or whatever," Sanchez said.
Melodye Pryor and her sister Peggy argue in a critical election with millions of dollars on the line, everything needs to be done exactly right.
"We're not attacking anybody and what they don't understand that we're questioning may have voted with us," Melodye Pryor said many people are silently supporting them to continue to fight the election. The Pryors' started "No Bonds for Billionaires" in Andrews and are opposed to the bond passing.
"They run up and hug us and tell us they're proud of us," Pryor said.
Others like Sanchez wonder why the election is still lingering.