A state District Court judge on Wednesday ordered the impounding of all voting machines used in the Hidalgo County Democratic primary this year. Voting machines and other materials used in the primary during early voting in late February and Election Day on March 4 were impounded Wednesday afternoon following an application the District Attorney’s Office filed in the morning in the 398th state District Court alleging possible criminal vote tampering. “Upon review of information received by the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, regarding the forenamed election, criminal conduct may have occurred in connection with said election, therefore requiring impoundment of all the election returns, voted ballots, signature roster and other election records and equipment for an investigation and ultimately a determination of whether or not criminal conduct occurred,” the application states.
Aida Salinas Flores, the judge of the 398th, signed off on the application shortly before the end of county business Wednesday.
The move comes on the heels of Hidalgo County Commissioners Court also looking into a potential investigation. The court on Tuesday called a special meeting for Friday, where the lone agenda item is to consider appointing a forensic analyst to inspect the county’s 811 electronic voting machines for potential tampering.
On Monday, commissioners received a copy of a letter from San Antonio attorney Martin Golando, who claimed to represent failed candidate for a county court at law judgeship Marla Cuellar. In that letter — addressed to Commissioners Court Executive Officer Valde Guerra and copied to the entire Commissioners Court — Golando said he was readying a lawsuit to challenge the results of the election.