Election Problems in Angelina County

by Jessica Cervantez

Jeff Clopp ran for constable precinct two, and he says he's more than exhausted Wednesday, after staying until 4:30 Wednesday morning to get those final numbers.

Clopp said, "They were bringing out summaries, we would get a few precincts back, and they would bring out summaries, it was just total confusion."

The new Tax Assessor Midget Sherman blames the problems on the way one of the ballot machines was programmed, having to hand count ballots, and then having printer problems later, without having support to help that late in the night.

Sherman said, "One of the M100 that was programmed for one of the machines was actually only programmed for one precinct and it should've been programmed for precinct 10 to 16 so none of those ballots would go through, except for precinct 14.  That left quite a few ballots to be hand counted and tallied, and then they had to be hand entered into the software."

After speaking to one of the candidates, and to Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter, both say people who were waiting for the numbers, may have felt better, had someone informed them that there was a problem.

Sherman said, "My main concern to get the stuff done and I had to be up there to do that.  I couldn't stay downstairs.  There were a lot of people in the room, and they could've heard and they could've passed it along, yeah, I know it wasn't their place to put that word out, and you just have to do what you have to do at that moment and that's what I had to do."

Judge Suiter says he will talk to Sherman to see what the problem was and to see if there is anything they can do on their side to make it better.

"I've never been through one like this, we've always had a few glitches, but we've always been able to get it done in a timely matter, but for everyone involved this was unacceptable."

The East Texas News asked Sherman if she thinks people will question her ability to handle elections because of Tuesday night. She says she hopes not, because the situation was beyond her control and only did what she thought was best.  But communication is on her list of improvements.