What’s an election night without some controversy?
For several weeks now, we’ve been following the Dallas County Elections Department’s investigation into complaints of mail-in ballot irregularities.
Saturday night, memos out of city hall reveal the probe strongly impacts two of the county’s city council districts.
The Dallas County Elections Department and the district attorney’s office began looking into complaints about possible voter fraud last month.
Some residents, mostly seniors, in West Dallas began complaining about receiving mail-in ballots for Saturday’s election. They were forms those residents claimed they never requested.
Similar complaints have continued coming in from across the city over the past few weeks. Early Saturday morning, the Dallas County elections administrator sent out an alert, advising all voters that each mail-in ballot application would have to be authenticated for this election.
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Later, in a City of Dallas memo obtained by WFAA, City Secretary Rosa Rios uncovered more details about the investigation.
In the memo, she warned council members that a court order was issued to the county to sequester mail-in ballots for District 2, where councilman Adam Medrano is the incumbent, and in District 6, where Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo is fighting to keep her council seat.
The city secretary said the court order involved 245 mail-in ballots for District 2, and 426 for District 6.
Mayor Pro Tem Alonzo had a 224-vote margin over Omar Narvaez just before 10 p.m. Saturday. WFAA’s Jason Whitely reported earlier Saturday evening that she was likely headed for a run-off against Narvaez or Alex Dickey.
Dallas Councilwoman Monica Alonzo likely heading for runoff against Alex Dickey or Omar Navarez. Alonzo has 38% of early vote.— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) May 7, 2017
Medrano had 91 percent of the vote in District 2 just before 10 p.m.
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WFAA spoke with Mayor Pro Tem Alonzo at her election night watch party. She said she doesn’t mind waiting a little longer for official numbers.
Everyone’s vote should count, she said.
”I think it’s important to note, that these individuals that have been harassed or approached are my mom and dad, my grandma and grandpa, you and I know they have fought for that opportunity,” Alonzo said. “I don’t think that’s right, I think that everyone, including them, should have that right and have that opportunity.”
County staff will be busy working to compare signatures on the affected ballots over a period of days.
Illegal voting is a felony and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.