LUBBOCK, TX -- City Council District 1 candidate Frank Gutierrez filed his petition for a recount concerning the May 10 election on Wednesday. The results secured re-election for Victor Hernandez. Hernandez had a comfortable lead over his two opponents – Gutierrez and Lana Bear Moore. However, his margin to avoid a runoff election with Gutierrez was only 8 votes.
A written statement from the city said, “The Office of the City Secretary will have 48 hours to review and determine the petition’s validity.”
It also said, “No information regarding the City Secretary’s findings will be made available until the review process is completed and the petitioner has been notified of the results.”
Gutierrez’s attorney Bill Dehaas says with a margin so slim and the chance for error that comes with any voting system, Gutierrez wanted to be sure.
“A recount is nothing more than a recount, and Frank Gutierrez supporters were urging him that its so close you want to satisfy yourself that you've done everything possible. That is what a recount is. Its a bit expensive, but we are going to be the best we can be satisfied under the present circumstances,” said Dehaas.
Meanwhile, Moore is explaining her apparent switch in support. Right after the election results Moore said she would back Frank Gutierrez 100% if there were a runoff.
“I’ve seen what Victor [Hernandez] has done to this district. It’s not nice. It’s not pretty,” she said Saturday.
Then, on Wednesday morning, Moore was quoted by the Avalanche Journal as saying she endorsed Hernandez.
Moore explained to EverythingLubbock.com that, yes, she was prepared to endorse Gutierrez in a runoff election – but not a recount.
“That ended it,” Moore said of the election results. “It was a legal race.”
“I trust our voting system,” Moore said. “It’s over-reach by Frank [Gutierrez].”
One of Gutierrez’ concerns on Sunday was the use of St. Joseph Catholic Church as a voting center location. It just happens to be the same church where Hernandez is a member.
So, EverythingLubbock.com did a little checking. Yes, the voting location was in the church, but 10 churches were on the list of voting locations. EverythingLubbock.com asked if any of the election workers at St. Joseph were members of that same church.
“It is not part of the criteria to be an election worker,” said Kim Davis, a spokeswoman for the Lubbock County Elections Office.
“We assign people based upon their abilities,” Davis said.
As for the church membership of any election worker, Davis said, “I cannot answer. It’s not something we ask as a criteria to be an election worker. They just have to be a registered voter and interested in the process.”
Davis added, “They are trained how to work the polls in an honest manner.”
Grocery stores and schools are also used as voting locations.
Davis said, “It would be the same for someone who shops at United and then works the election polls at United.”
The election volunteers are simply not asked for information about work, school, or church.