Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Court order filed to reopen ballot boxes in ballot discrepancy investigation

The order will allow them to reopen the sealed boxes and count the number of ballots, due to the discrepancy between initial numbers and the MISD bond recount.

MIDLAND, Texas — (Editor's note: The above video is from an earlier story on the MISD bond election.)

Steps are underway to get to the bottom of the ballot discrepancy in Midland County.

County Attorney Russell Malm filed a court order on December 6 to reopen the sealed ballot boxes from the November 5 election.

The order was signed by District Judge David Lindemood.

The order will allow those in the elections office to count the total number of ballots collected inside these boxes and determine whether the original count or the recount was more accurate.

During this process, only the number of ballots will be counted, not the votes themselves.

The boxes will be opened beginning at 9 a.m. on December 12. Anyone who is interested in observing the process is allowed to be there.

The order also instructs the election administrator to retrieve any documents erroneously placed in any of the boxes. The administrator will then make a copy of these documents before placing it in a sealed envelope with the date and the election identity on it to preserve it.

The elections office will also have to count the total number of ballots in the boxes using a DS450 scanner and tabulator or a similar machine. The Midland County Elections Office will also do a hand count as well.

Once the counting is completed, all of the ballots will be returned to the box they came from and the boxes will be resealed.

The difference between the initial count and the recount was around 800 votes.

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