Cameron County tackles election issues

Cameron County Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz said Thursday, he's aware voters have misperceptions about election procedures in Cameron County.

However, he adds some of that is based on the perception that poll workers are handpicked in order to favor certain candidates.

It's not like that, Ortiz said. I can TMt be changing or looking (at what candidate is) out there, so that I don TMt hire people who know them or who is their son, daughter boyfriend or girlfriend."

That was just one of the concerns on a lengthy list that the Cameron County Elections Commission addressed during a nearly three hour meeting Thursday.

They aim to get some of those issues resolved before the General Election in November.

Voters at the meeting voiced concerns about everything from who to call in case of an emergency at the polls to traffic safety at popular precincts.

One of issues brought up several times by voters and commissioners was about curb side voters that are requesting assistance in filling out their ballots.

Mary Helen Flores with the group Citizens Against Voter Abuse said neither Ortiz nor commissioners are interpreting voter laws correctly when it comes to this problem.

"There are only three reasons that a person can ask for assistance, Flores said. Those are: they don TMt understand the language in which the ballot is written; the person cannot read or write; or they physically are unable to fill out the ballot."

Ortiz denies any wrong doing when it comes to curb side voting.

He said there will be tweaks in training for poll workers and more accountability will be required.

One specific change is that poll workers will have to fill out a form that states whether or not they are related to any candidates.

Ortiz adds his office will continue to operate based on voter laws and Secretary of State guidance, not people TMs perception.