The votes for the race of Cameron County Judge were canvassed with just the approval of three of the five commissioners Monday. Commissioners Sofia Benavides and John Wood who did not vote on the canvassing, said that over 400 votes from precinct 54 were not included in the canvassing. The recount for precinct 54 is scheduled for Tuesday at the Cameron County Elections Office.
As the votes were canvassed, incumbent Judge Carlos Cascos is the winner. However, not all were happy with the results, particularly Democratic challenger John Wood, who did not cast a vote at the canvassing. But said, "I certainly wouldn't have voted on it because it's inaccurate." Commissioner Wood requested the recount following the general election in which he trailed Cascos by 80 votes.
During the recount the number shrunk to a 50 vote lead.
But a discrepancy with an uncounted tally sheet in precinct 54 changed those results once again and when the tally sheet was included in the totals, the result showed Wood leading by 5 votes.
"Four-hundred and thirteen people's votes, that were legally cast ballots, were not included in the canvass - so actually the canvass is not correct, Wood said. It's not correct based on that, it's not correct based on what the elections administrator says." After the recount of precinct 54 Tuesday, commissioners will be presented with new information which means the race is still up for grabs.
"My understanding is that (Monday TMs) canvass would be voided, Wood said, And we would get to vote on a new canvass after precinct 54 votes are included in the new report. Commissioner Sofia Benavides, who said she did not get to cast her vote because the agenda was rushed, said if she had the chance she would be against the process.
"We had a Vietnam Veteran in the public comments section, Benavides said, he went out and he defended the very freedom that allows us to vote and for us to look the other way - what does it tell our people? The very rights that this nation is founded on."