Conexión San Ángelo/ Staff report

SAN ANGELO – Even though Saturday’s unofficial results from San Angelo ISD’s $149 million bond election barely passed by the slimmest of margins, still to come is the count of mailed-in ballots which will occur at SAISD’s school board meeting on May 14.

Meanwhile, Tom Green County Elections Administrator, Vona Hudson, released the following information from Saturday’s election as result of a number of questions that were asked. 

If a voter is listed as being mailed a ballot by mail, but comes in to vote and cannot return the ballot that was mailed to them, they are voted provisionally.  If the ballot by mail is received via mail by the deadline, that ballot is counted.  If the ballot by mail is not returned, the provisional ballot is counted. 1,793 ballots were mailed out for this election.   

After the last legislative session, there are 5 different deadlines for late (after election) ballots by mail to be received via mail.  The deadline depends on how the ballot was requested and where the ballot is returned from.  The deadlines are 5/7, 5/10, and 5/11.  

Provisional votes occur when the poll is unable to find the voter as a registered voter, when the voter does not present a qualifying form of ID, when a voter has been mailed a ballot by mail but either lost it, didn’t receive it, did not feel it would be returned in time to count, etc.  Additionally, poll workers offer a provisional vote when there is no other way to process a voter so that the ballot can be presented to the ballot board to determine if the vote should be counted or not.  If a voter is voted provisionally because they possess a qualifying form of ID but they do not have it with them when voting, they have up to 6 days after the election to come to the election office and present the ID.  If the ID is presented, that ballot will be counted. 

Below are the numbers of provisional and ballots by mail:

                       Return by 5/7                     Return by 5/10                  Return by 5/11                 Provisional

Christoval            8                                             0                                             0                        3

Grape Creek        56                                            0                                             2                       1

Veribest              4                                              0                                             0                       1

Wall                   23                                             0                                             1                       1

SAISD                 395                                          5                                             42                      37

By law, the ballot board reconvenes at an appointed time to process provisional votes and late ballots by mail.   They will meet on the 14th.  Once they have processed the provisional ballots and any mail ballots that have been received within the deadlines, the qualifying ballots will go to the Tally station to have the vote totals added to the existing totals.  No additional votes will be counted until the 14th.  After the votes are processed, the reports will be posted on the internet and sent to the school districts for them to canvass the vote.  Once the votes have been canvassed, the election will be made official.

It seems that there is confusion about what an undervote is.  This occurs when the voter gets their ballot but chooses not to vote on the issue.  When voters are voting, there are situations that arise that must be special handled.  One situation occurs when a voter chooses the wrong language on the eSlate and/or is given the wrong ballot style.  The first ballot is spoiled and the voter receive another ballot to vote.  If the voter leaves without casting their ballot, their ballot has to be thrown out and is not counted.

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