Recount of Liberty County primary ballots to take place early next week

Wilson now leads McNair by 5 votes in commissioner race

Craig McNair (right) addresses his concerns about the primary election with Elections Administrator Klint Bush. Looking on is Liberty County Republican Party Chairman Emily Cook.

The gap between votes received by the two candidates for Pct. 4 commissioner for Liberty County now stands at five with incumbent commissioner, Leon Wilson, in the lead over challenger Craig McNair.

On primary election night, March 1, only three votes separated the two candidates with Wilson having 1,112 and McNair having 1,109. After provisional ballots were opened on Wednesday by the Provisional Ballot Board, Wilson picked up another vote. A mail-in ballot that was received later in the week added yet another vote to Wilson’s win column.

Of the 16 provisional ballots that were reviewed by the Provisional Ballot Board on Wednesday, only two were accepted. Most were rejected because the persons were not registered voters or because they lived in another county.

The provisional ballot board met on Wednesday to determine if provisional ballots that were cast in the March 1 were valid and could be counted. Most were rejected for various reasons, including that the voter was not registered to vote.

Craig McNair watched in frustration on Wednesday as the provisional ballots were reviewed, implying to Elections Administration Klint Bush that there were problems with the election that he may eventually address through legal action.

“I’m not trying to accuse anybody. I just think there are issues with redistricting,” McNair told Bush. McNair said that commissioners court should have sent out postcards or notices to all votes who were impacted by redistricting.

McNair said he is willing to let the process play out and accept the opinions of his legal counsel, but vows to go to every expense to make sure the election was handled appropriately.

The election results will be canvassed next week and then a machine recount of votes in that race will commence, but Elections Administrator Klint Bush said the results are not likely to change.

“Under state law, an automatic recount of ballots is triggered only if the vote is a tie. In the absence of a tie, a candidate is allowed to request a recount. We fully encourage and support the candidate in Commissioner Pct. 4 to request a manual recount,” Bush said. Candidates must pay for manual recounts.

“We do not believe that the country is ‘lost’ when it comes to fair elections, at least not in Liberty County. Your election workers are your neighbors, your church members and community members. Each takes their job extremely seriously and [has] a passion to uphold the oath we took for each voter in this country,” Bush said.

Bush said his office strives to ensure votes are legal, fair and accurate.

As for McNair’s claims that redistricting is unfair to voters, Bush said that two hearings were held prior to the redistricting map being approved by Liberty County Commissioners Court and no member of the public objected to the proposed redistricting maps at either hearing.

“The process was open and posted in every news organization in the county and not hidden nor secret,” he said. “State law requires that voting precincts cannot cross county commissioner lines. While redistricting is not part of the elections process, it does have an effect on elections. Some voting precincts changed due to the change in commissioners court lines. That does not make it an elections issue; it makes it a redistricting issue.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. That look from Emily tho.. I’m wondering if a VERY narrow margin within her own party disgusts her. If so, she’s the wrong woman for the job. By the way, I vote in Prec. #2..

    • No problems with margins. Shows how important it is to vote. But thank you for your feedback. Feel free to come join one of our meetings!

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