Democrat Jimmy Alan Hall filed a contest against the Precinct 3 Hays County commissioner election—in which incumbent Republican Lon Shell won the election by 37 votes—stating that some voters were disenfranchised while other votes that should not have been counted were.
The contest was filed Dec. 13 after a Nov. 26 recount, requested by Hall, yielded the same election results in which Shell garnered 10,095 votes, or 50.09 percent, while Hall received 10,058, or 49.91 percent.
Hall’s petition states that some Hays County voters were given provisional ballots when, according to Hall, they should have been given regular ballots. He stated that some voters were given a Precinct 2 ballot even though they were registered in Precinct 3, meaning they did not have the option to vote for Hall.
Furthermore, Hall’s contest states that poll workers misdirected students who live on campus from voting at the LBJ Student Center on Election Day. He states that these voters were directed to vote at the Precinct 413 polling location on Thorpe Lane in San Marcos.
“However, when those voters presented themselves to the election officials at voting Precinct 413, they were informed that the residence hall in which they reside was in voting Precinct 334 and needed to return to the LBJ Student Center,” the document states. “Some of those students did not make it back to the Voting Precinct 334 before 7:00 p.m. Others of those voters gave up due to frustration. All of those voters who did not vote due to this improper advice were disenfranchised.”
Hays County Election Administrator Jennifer Anderson told Community Impact Newspaper that she could not comment on the contest because it is now a legal matter. However, Anderson said she believes the election was sound, all voters were given the correct ballot and all valid votes were counted.
Shell did not immediately respond for comment.