Midland County investigating after 820 votes go missing during MISD bond recount

Published: Nov. 25, 2019 at 11:07 PM CST
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Controversy continues to surround the Midland ISD bond election.

Over the weekend, MISD announced the $569 million school bond passed after the recount was completed.

However, that tally is 820 votes short from the first round of results.

Now the county and state government are joining forces to get to the bottom of this.

Midland County Judge Terry Johnson said the county is investigating to figure out how more than 800 votes seem to have evaporated between counts.

“We hope to do a measured response to this crisis,” Johnson said. “It’s not a good deal.”

Not a good deal at all, even from the start.

You’ll remember trouble first started on Midland’s election night where brand-new express voting machines from ES&S failed and delayed results until late at night.

A week later, during the canvass election, initial results spit out incomplete numbers saying that bond passed before the elections office doubled back and announced it actually failed by 25 votes.

This weekend marked the end of the recount, Midland’s third try to count up the votes, and, once again, it didn’t go well.

The totals called the bond a success with an 11-vote lead, but somehow 820 less votes were counted puzzling the elections office and voters.

“Generally, for things like this the answer’s simple,” Johnson said. “Once you find what happened you go ‘Oh! Ding!’ So, we’re hoping that’s what it is, but we won’t leave one single stone unturned.”

The elections staff and secretary of state representatives have just begun their investigations, so Johnson doesn’t know how they’ll find that “ding” moment or how long that could take.

All we know is the results we have now can’t exactly be counted on.

“Until we can account for the 820 votes, I will reserve my confidence until then,” he said. “And we will find out what that difference is. Once that’s solved, I think we have an answer.”

Johnson also said because this bond election has been all over the place it’s possible that another recount or even a revote could be in order to set this all straight.