County Commissioner finds missing box of ballots

"We want to go back figure out what we can and answer what questions we can."
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 6:34 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita County Commissioner Court is working to address an issue brought to their attention by a group of concerned citizens.

These citizens made a public record request for the local 2020 election, and found what appeared to be a case of duplicated votes.

County Commissioner Mickey Fincannon went to the election warehouse to see what he could find, and discovered a box with 1,310 ballots inside.

“We had the ballots that were voted on, the duplicated ballots, they already had those in the courthouse here, we just didn’t have the original ballots to match up to the duplicated ballots,” said Commissioner Fincannon. “So, if you were looking at that, it could look like they were... you know, you had more votes than you had voters because you didn’t have those original documents.”

These missing ballots account for most of what the county was missing in the citizens’ public record request, however, due to negligence in storing the ballots, some are still missing.

“There is data missing, there’s pieces of it that are missing, and we’re never going to be able to resolve it 100%,” said Commissioner Fincannon. “What we have done is show the citizens that we care enough, we want to go back figure out what we can and answer what questions we can. We do care what the citizens think, we’re here working for them, so we want to do the best job we can.”

Commissioner Fincannon claims that even if a case for election fraud is found, at this point it is too late to change anything; Texas state law requires and election to be overturned within 60 days of its resolution.

The County has a plan to work with the Secretary of State and have an audit performed during one of the upcoming local elections.

“Record retention practices, how we’re going to program machines, voter registration roles, , just kind of top to bottom of how we do our elections to find out what we’re doing well, but also how we can get better. And so they’re going to be sending up trainers to do that before this next election in May,” Wichita County Judge Jim Johnson said.

County Judge Johnson says he believes the group of citizen’s helped improve Wichita County, and hopes others will follow their lead to make change.