Early voting

A coding error at an early voting site in Aledo Tuesday left one resident angry after she discovered the Aledo mayoral race was left off her ballot.

Tuesday was the first day of early voting for the Nov. 3 election.

Robin Bagley, who lives in the Parks of Aledo Point Vista, said she went to vote at the Aledo ISD Administration building around 4 p.m. after seeing that the line to vote had dwindled from earlier in the day.

"We had already voted there once for the Senate election," Bagley said. "I presented my license, presented my voter registration card, went through the process and the man gave me the access code. I gave it to the lady and she gave me the blank ballot to put into the machine."

After getting up to a vacant machine, Bagley said she began voting and realized the mayoral race was not on the ballot.

"I thought that was weird because a lot of people in my neighborhood have been talking about [the race]," she said. "I even scrolled back through it twice after I did my electronic vote to see if I had missed it and I couldn't find it."

Bagley said she printed the ballot out and took it to the poll workers, and asked why the race wasn't on her ballot. She said she was told that the race wasn't on her ballot because she did not live in city limits.

"He pointed to the precinct number and said I had to be in city limits to vote in that race," she said. "I just kind of stood there dumbfounded. I thought, 'Well, you're making me question myself. I know I live in the city limits,' but they took my ballot and scanned it in, and I went to the car and called my husband and verified that we do in fact live in city limits."

Parker County Elections Administrator Crickett Miller said there was a street inside the city of Aledo that they had not been notified was in city limits.

"That street address was not coded for the city of Aledo," Miller said. "As soon as the election judge called this in, we fixed the issue immediately. If this person had spoken up prior to casting their ballot, we could have looked into the issue and if needed, fixed the problem. We are always willing to investigate to make sure the voter is getting the correct ballot.

"Once a voter has cast their ballot, there is nothing that any of the election workers or myself can do — you have voted."

Miller said her office looked at the Poll Pads and determined that street was the only one affected, and that Bagley was the only resident from that street to vote before the fix.

"Another voter came in after this voter and the election judge called in and we had already had the issue correct in the Polls Pads, so he was able to vote," she said.

On Tuesday, 4,280 county residents voted, and on Wednesday, 4,230 voted.

The Aledo mayoral race features incumbent Mayor Kit Marshall running against challenger Shane Davis.

Marshall said she was stunned when she heard of the incident.

"It never entered my mind that something like that could happen and I appreciate [Miller] calling me to let me know what had happened," Marshall said. "We had a discussion about the 'how' and that's still a mystery, but they took care of at least getting that street in their system, which should have already been there."

Davis called the situation a travesty.

"If there was a mistake made that there is no way to correct, these people are technically going to have taxation without representation — the only way they’re allowed to vote is if one of the candidates contests the election and then we go to a special election," he said. "That’s the sad statement about this — that with all the modern technology, there was not a way to fix it.”

Marshall said she had reached out to the county judge's office and that staff was taking a look at ensuring the issue won't happen again.

"The information has been at the county for years, so that's why I was really surprised. I would be angry myself if this had happened to me, and so I hate that it happened to [Bagley]," she said. "I think this pointed out some potential gaps in processes that will be reviewed and shored up for sure."

Bagley said she just wants to be able to vote for Aledo mayor.

"I live in the city of Aledo, I pay city taxes," she said. "I did what I was supposed to do and I deserve the right to be able to vote in this election."

Bagley said she has reached out to the Secretary of State's office and plans to file a formal complaint. 

Reporter Autumn Owens contributed to this report.

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