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Judge Denies Ortiz Jones' Motion To Extend Ballot Deadline In CD23 Race

Ana Isabel
Gina Ortiz Jones Campaign

A Bexar County judge on Tuesday denied two requests from Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Will Hurd for Congressional District 23.

The deadline for county elections officials to receive any remaining military, overseas and provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 6 midterm election was Tuesday at 5 p.m. But the Jones campaign asked Bexar County District Judge Stephani Walsh, of the 45th Civil District Court, to extend that deadline by 48 hours to ensure all votes could be counted.

They also asked Walsh to have the Bexar County elections administrator Jacque Callanen release the list of all mail-in, military and provisional voters.

Both requests were denied.

Sam Taylor, with the Texas Secretary of State’s office, said, according to state law, that list isn’t available until counties have completed their final canvass of these ballots.

“That list isn’t public information yet. It isn’t public information until the early voting ballot board has reviewed all of these provisional ballots and then sent them back to the county elections administrator to be counted,” Taylor said.

But Jones’ attorney, Isabel de la Riva, told reporters outside of the courtroom the campaign can't wait for the county.

“If they wait until after the review, there’s no way to fix those ballots afterward, so if they wait after that, those provisional ballots will be thrown away. If there is a recount in this, (election) those provisional ballots will not be counted,” de la Riva said.

The secretary of state’s office said once counties have added all of their mail-in, military and provisional ballots to their total vote counts, it’s up to the governor’s office to certify the final results. The counties have until Nov. 20, and the governor has until Dec. 6.

The vote count taken on election night showed Hurd leading Jones by more than a thousand votes.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.