La Joya's own county commissioner, Joe Flores, requested to close the early voting site in the city and add one in Peitas. However, the decision left city officials and residents of La Joya livid because they said they were not consulted about the decision. "We are disappointed on Joe Flores who we elected to speak for us, to be our voice," La Joya resident Frances De Leon said. "Who we took time here in La Joya to vote for him in our location." Sunday, city officials invited residents from cities in Hidalgo County to discuss and ask questions regarding the decision. The mayor of La Joya, Fito Salinas, sympathizes with the people TMs disappointment. "I don TMt mind Peitas getting a voting site, and I think they should have one, but we should also get one ourselves, Mayor Salinas said. Mayor Salinas said he found out about the decision last week while he was at the hospital. However, Hidalgo County documents show the decision to close the early voting site was made in December. "We are talking about the decision they made December 20th, and they were still denying us the yes or no," Mayor Salinas said. Mayor Salinas said he has tried contacting Commissioner Flores, but he has not returned his calls. We spoke with city officials and residents who believe the reason behind this decision is politically motivated. "I do feel it's a political reason. It doesn't make any sense to us to why after 30 years," De Leon said. "We've always had a polling location, and like I said before, we house the third largest school district in Texas." Right now, the current District Attorney Rene Guerra, is running against Ricardo Rodriguez. "I think that Mr. Flores caught wind of the reaction, and the fire that we started in La Joya with wanting a new D.A., with wanting a new system, and I feel it was done to suppress and to not vote for the candidate they wanted," De Leon said. The previous early voting location at La Joya Youth Center will no longer serve as an early voting site during the primary or general election. The closest early voting locations for those living in La Joya are located in Peitas or Sullivan. The polling site in La Joya will only be open on election day during the primary and the general election, not during days designated for early voting.
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