Hidalgo County commissioners will have no more official involvement with an investigation into irregularities in voting machines, they decided Tuesday morning. Instead, they’ll leave the investigation in the hands of state District Court judges and the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office. DA Rene Guerra will continue a criminal investigation into possible tampering with electronic voting machines, starting with asking a grand jury to hire an expert to analyze the machines’ logs.“We’re going to present to a grand jury asking them to assume the jurisdiction of the machines through a proper court order so that they, the grand jurors, with the court’s assistance and disposition with proper orders, will be able to look into the allegations as to the election machines and help us hire an expert or two to investigate,” Guerra told reporters at the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.
By unanimous vote, commissioners decided to drop their pursuit of an investigation, which would have required 30 to 45 days to even receive bids from potential forensic analysts.
“I am a believer that because we have a judicial system — and it is in our district court and it is in our District Attorney’s Office — that we don’t hinder their moving forward with an investigation, that we allow our judicial system to do what it’s meant to do,” said Yvonne Ramón, the county’s elections administrator.
The DA’s Office will pay the analyst through a special fund from seized illegal gambling proceeds, Guerra said. A visiting state District Court judge will hear the six election challenges that losing candidates filed in the past few days.