Judge orders ballot boxes to be opened and counted for MISD bond election

MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) -- UPDATE: Judge George D. Gilles has ordered that the ballot box that was found following the recount be opened and the ballots counted for how they voted for and against the bond.

Previously the ballot box had been opened just to count the number of ballots that were inside of it. The votes for and against the bond were not checked.

The judge also ordered that officials count a ballot that was found at the bottom of a voting machine following the election.

Following that recount, officials will decide whether they consider those votes to be valid and legal for this election due to how long the ballots were missing. Attorneys argued that the ballots may not have the same integrity.

The count will happen next Friday on January 17. An exact time has not been set.
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The hearing for the contest of the Midland ISD bond election begins Friday morning at the 142nd District Court at the Midland County Courthouse.

The "We Choose Our Future" PAC, a group in favor of the bond, decided to contest the November election after more than 800 ballots went missing during the election's recount, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Those missing ballots were later found in a ballot box that had been misplaced.

The hearing is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

CBS7 will update this story with the latest information from the hearing.