in Houston, Texas
Integrity questions mar Galveston city election
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 12:22PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
polling place

It looks like Toto got a muzzle full of voting booth curtain in Galveston.

Cheryl Johnson, the Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector, is asking for a hand count of city voting results Saturday after hearing from Galveston City Clerk Douglas Godinich and poll workers that bad electronic information might have been supplied to voters, according to a Houston Chronicle story Tuesday.

The extent of the problem could have an effect on least one Galveston City Council race, in District 1 where Cornelia Harris Banks beat Tarris Woods by just 19 votes, 318 to 299.

During early voting, officials had made Johnson aware that incorrect voting information had been loaded into voting machines. Johnson corrected the information in printed books that were to have been distributed to poll workers.

Godinich and several poll workers have acknowledged that the corrected books had not been used in several voting places Saturday. One voter told the Chronicle she had been given a ballot for a different council district and was given the correct ballot when she complained to voting officials.

Susan Williams, assistant coordinator of the elections division for the County Clerk, asked that no attention be paid to the person behind the curtain. "I do not feel that there is anything for the voters to worry about this election," Williams told the Chronicle, trying to shake the little Cairn Terrier from the cuff of her pant leg.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of polling place sign by flickr user tychay, used via a Creative Commons license.

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