After losing her bid for a seat on the Port Arthur school board, Julia Samuels is charging foul and plans to contest election results. Samuels told The News on Tuesday that she believes the Saturday’s election was riddled with irregularities, or even corruption.
“I would use the word “corruption” with ease,” Samuels said. “This has to stop.” Samuels cited several problems with the election process that she believes may have cost her votes, beginning with the accuracy of the electronic machines used to cast ballots. [Jefferson County uses ES&S iVotronic touchscreen voting machines]
“I never did trust the electronic machines,” she said.
About two weeks before early voting started, Samuels said she attended an accuracy testing session. During that time, the voting machine technician experienced problems programming election information into the machine.
“He was having difficulty getting all the precincts in,” she said. “Some of the precincts he did not put in, some of those he split two ways.”
Samuels also cited the degree of difficulty some of the voter machines, especially those operated with a wheel, posed to elderly voters. There were also reports that some people had to use paper ballots during the early voting period when voting machines malfunctioned, she said.
“I wonder who safeguarded those paper ballots,” Samuels said. “I think some of those votes might have got lost in the shuffle.”