Clifton school says they did everything right in bond election - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

CLIFTON

Clifton school says they did everything right in bond election

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CLIFTON - A lawsuit claims Clifton did not count votes correctly in it May election that passed $23 million bond, but the school says they did everything right. 

The election contest lawsuit says the outcome of the election is not the true outcome. The bond would build a new elementary school and high school auditorium in the Bosque County town.

Clifton resident Jerry Golden says his wife's vote was not counted. That's because it was one of six provisional ballots that were used after the election date. The May 10 election was originally a tie at 380 votes for and 380 votes against. These six provisional votes were postponed because the voters' names were not on the list of residents inside the district and they were set aside to determine their validity at a later date.

"It's a mistake, what we want is the true outcome of the election," Golden's attorney John Cullar said. "We believe the true outcome is at best that it was a tie, at worst the bond was defeated."

Cullar says those provisional ballots are usually put into specific envelopes. He says, though, three of the ballots were not put in those ballots and were not counted. This is even though, at least in Golden's wife's case, they were legal voters. Cullar went on to say two of the provisional votes were from voters outside the district so they did not count and one vote was inside the envelope so it counted. That was a yes vote that passed the bond.

Cullar says they don't believe this was done on purpose but it was an accident.

"I think there were mistakes made. There were some things that took place that probably just not enough training," Cullar said.

The School Board, though, denies these allegations. Clifton ISD's attorney Christine Badillo says while they did not administer the May 10 election, the city of Clifton followed all appropriate procedures and legal requirements.

"The District does not believe that any “illegal votes” were counted as alleged by Mr. Golden, nor that any provisional ballots were improperly rejected.  The District looks forward to seeing this matter resolved," Badillo said in a statement.

The lawsuit asks for a judge to determine the true outcome of the election. Cullar said they will have to get a judge from outside of Bosque County to oversee the ruling. The election asks that if the true outcome cannot be determined, to void the election and order a new election.

To learn more about the bond election and what it proposes click here.
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