“Williamson County elections were conducted in a very safe, open and transparent fashion,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said. “We made sure that appropriate measures were in place to protect the integrity of the election process, as well as [to protect] our employees from false claims of elections interference.”
There was an issue in the county’s precinct-by-precinct voting breakdown of which the county was made aware Nov. 2, Williamson County Administrator Chris Davis said during a Nov. 10 update to county commissioners. This precinct-by-precinct voting report is often used by county parties, school districts and others for data purposes, Davis said.
The county found a minor, non-results-impacting programming issue by its election machine vendor, Tenex Software Solutions. This only impacted the report that details how voters cast their ballot voter precinct by voter precinct—of which Williamson County has 94. This is a separate precinct distinction than the four county precincts into which Williamson County and each of which is headed by one of four commissioners, officials said.
Nonetheless, every voter in Williamson County did receive the correct ballot and voted in the correct races, Davis reiterated. No election counts will change from all votes cast before or on Election Day, he said, adding that the counts that were reported beginning at 7:01 p.m. Nov. 3 were accurate.
“We’re certain that voters throughout early voting in person, Election Day in person and by mail were all given the correct valid style, and they were voting the correct races on the ballot,” Davis said.
This error, however, has caused the county to re-scan already cast ballots—and no additional ballots—into its system, which will cause a delay in its voter precinct-by-voter precinct report, Davis said. He added that poll watchers will be invited to oversee the operations when they begin to take place and that poll watchers were diligent in evaluating the first round of ballot counting leading up to and on Election Day. The report will be available by Nov. 16, he said.
The county is still counting provisional votes which have yet to be included in the total count, but Davis said even their inclusion would not change the results of any county races as there are greater differences between the race results than votes to flip them.
Williamson County resident Lori Gallagher ,who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, requested the county do an audit of its electoral process, citing allegations of the casting of fraudulent ballots.
“There's enough national evidence that's in the public sphere right now that could show that there is a possibility for not only fraud locally, but statewide and across the country,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher was unable to provide proof for these claims when County Judge Bill Gravell and commissioners asked her to do so. She also said she was told by the elections office that she would need to file a suit in order to claim voter fraud.
Gravell then told her, as well as the rest of the public, to notify any members of the Commissioners Court of any known cases of voter fraud for which they are able to provide legitimate proof or evidence.
“I have kept my eye very closely on our election process, and any implication of fraud locally is just not something that anyone's been able to prove up thus far,” Gravell said. “We respect what you're saying today, and we want to hear you, but I have to have facts and truth to base it on.”
Davis told Community Impact Newspaper that he has not been made aware of any fraud investigations in Williamson County.
Following the Nov. 3 election, Williamson County reported its highest voter turnout in recent history, at about 75%, according to election data.
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