MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — Early voting for local elections is happening in the city of McAllen and one candidate is concerned about the process city officials are using.
The video below was taken at the lark polling place in McAllen. The video shows Tim Wilkins, a candidate for district one commissioner, clicking between two voting districts before selecting one. It is illegal to film in a polling location but Wilkins said it is worth it.
“Yes, I broke the law, if I need to be punished for that, fine, so be it. But this is for a greater public good,” said Wilkins.
The greater public good he referenced was showing how easy it would be to choose a different district from the one you were supposed to vote in.
“Anybody in a district that didn’t have a contested race could have voted for district one, six, any of the contested races if they just selected the box. There’s no oversight,” said Wilkins.
In Texas, city elections are administered by the city secretary. For McAllen, the city secretary is Perla Lara.
Lara told KVEO that there are in fact oversights during the voting process.
Poll workers have to confirm the district with the person voting, “then, ultimately, the voter will reaffirm that that’s their correct district, and once that they affirm that’s the correct district they continue with the process. But ultimately they’re the ones that affirm ‘yes, that’s my district’,” said Lara.
According to Wilkins, that’s leaving open too many variables and could lead to someone voting in the incorrect district, either accidentally or on purpose.
“You can’t do that. It’s a flaw. It would be analogous to you being able to vote for a Senator in Florida if we could just select our territorial locations on our own,” he said.
Lara told KVEO that this procedure is only used during early voting, and on the May 1 election day the ballot will be locked to the voter’s district.
But there’s still two weeks of early voting using the current procedure. Wilkins wants it changed.
“What I’d rather see is the situation or scenario whereby when you check-in, your log-in code automatically tells the machine that this candidate or this person can only vote in district one or this precinct and it populates that information only,” said Wilkins.