Dallas Poll Watcher Removed From HD 108 Recount

Voting booths | Image by Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

A Dallas poll watcher overseeing the recount of the Texas House of Representatives District 108 Republican primary election was removed from a polling location due to allegedly tampering with documents.

The recount is for the Republican Party primary election in the race to represent HD 108 between incumbent Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-University Park) and challenger Barry Wernick. Meyer finished ahead of Wernick by just 523 votes.

Since the number of votes separating the two candidates was less than 10% of the overall votes cast for Meyer, state guidelines allow Wernick to request a recount.

Dallas County Republican Party chair Jennifer Stoddard-Hajdu confirmed the individual’s removal to The Dallas Express, saying a female poll watcher was touching election documents and given multiple warnings before being removed.

“She was talking to the recount committees, which she was not allowed to do. Watchers are not supposed to talk to the recount committees. If they see something, they’re supposed to ask the chair to come and stop the recount committee so they can talk to the chair about it. She wouldn’t do that,” explained Stoddard-Hajdu.

After the recount chair asked the watcher to remove herself from the location, the latter “threatened [the former] by kind of rushing towards her,” Stoddard-Hajdu told DX.

“We want this to be a very smooth process, but it’s becoming more and more clear to us that some of the people being sent down there are there to cause disruptions and not efficiently and speedily recount this race that is separated by more than 500 votes,” added Stoddard-Hajdu.

Moving forward, Stoddard-Hajdu said the polling location could replace the watcher with someone else, and the Dallas County Republican Party will continue the recount process in the best manner possible.

“We’re trying to run an efficient and tight ship. We’re not going to allow these disruptions to continue,” she said.

“We need to work together and the recount chair has to be the authority in the room that keeps civility, sets the rules, and makes sure everybody operates in a calm manner. And if they continue to persist not to do that, we’ll remove them.”

Stoddard-Hajdu did not share the name of the poll watcher with DX. It remains unclear at which polling location this incident occurred and what steps will be taken next.

The recount for the HD 108 Republican primary has been ongoing since April 2 following a request made by Wernick, who stated that he believes “Election integrity is the number 1 priority of the Republican Party in Texas.”

“After coming within hundreds of votes in my contest, my supporters became aware that our elections administrator, Heider Garcia, made the decision to use software not lawfully certified for the ES&S EMS central accumulator computer that aggregates votes in this election, and he will do so again in May,” Wernick wrote in a statement about his request for a recount.

Garcia has denied Wernick’s allegations, writing in a statement posted by Jack Fink of CBS 11 that he supports the recount effort and is “confident that it will confirm the accuracy and integrity of the election.”

“All voting equipment used by the Dallas County Elections Department is certified and documentation exists of its certification starting from its purchase in 2019.”

Both Wernick and Meyer received notable endorsements leading into the primary election.

The challenger received endorsements from both Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, while Meyer has received endorsements from the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Medical Association.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article