Redistricting Prompts Candidate's Concerns
A city council candidate is worried that residents are voting for candidates in the wrong districts and they want to inform the public so that residents are properly represented in the districts they belong to.
The problem was brought to our attention by a woman running for election in Webb County, but she says it's an issue that affects every Laredoan, candidates and all.
Sid Holden says at least 28 people that she knows of were given the wrong ballots at the polls and says potentially other candidates,as well as herself, are missing out on votes.
Sid Holden says, "it can hurt another candidate getting the votes they weren't supposed to receive or I'm losing the votes that I was going to receive but it hurts all the people I'm running against, we aren't getting those votes."
Changes in district lines earlier this year means those residents now belong to new districts. Elections Administrator Oscar Villarreal says,"because of the redistricting some of the voters were in one district last year and it changed this year, most of the voters have been correctly placed on their districts but we do have some issues."
Villarreal says many of the issues that they're experiencing stem from the cities promptness of giving them the new redistricting maps he says,"they provided us with their maps on the 19 of April, we had to send our certificates on the 25 of April giving us six days to work on the redistricting and print 100 thousand certificates that we have to mail out. A lot of changes that needed to be done in a very short amount of time and it wasn't enough time for us to accurately do it as we normally do."
Maria Elena Medina, who lives in a changed district says she went to vote and noticed the candidate she intended to vote for was not on the ballot; an error she believed she made so she cast her ballot and went home. but after she found out she voted for the wrong candidates she went back to ask why she was given the wrong ballot she says,"I asked him 'well I don't know this was your ballot and we only go by the number that is here,' but he didn't offer to say 'let me check heres a number that you can call to verify,' nothing didn't show any concern."
She says she feels like she never went to the polls in the first place.
"like my vote went into the trash can, its no good , its not the person I wanted to vote for."
Elections administrator Oscar Villarreal says it's important residents know which district a voter belongs to and which candidates they belong in and errors voters found were fixed.