By Elsa Maxey
At least one inspector from the state’s Elections Division will be in Fort Bend County on election day this Saturday, advises Randall Dillard, Director of Communications with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State.
“We have received a request for an election inspector for the Fort Bend ISD election on May 14, and will send at least one inspector to observe activities at district polling locations on election day,” Dillard told the “Fort Bend Star”. The request was timely filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and will not be available for public inspection until after the election. This means that the reason for the request cannot be known until after Saturday nor will those requesting it be known until after the election.
A rumor was circulating about the request to the Secretary of State’s Office, which is no longer just a rumor since plans for monitoring by the state office have been confirmed. The rumblings were also about the monitoring request for the 40 plus polling stations in Fort Bend County, specifically for Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land and Missouri City, believed to have been made by school board and city council candidates running for office, and others in support of the monitoring.
In accordance with the Election Code, a state inspectors appointment takes place if the secretary receives a written request for the appointment from 15 or more registered voters 1) of the county for which the inspector is requested for an election ordered by the governor or a county authority or for a primary election or 2) of the political subdivision in which the election specified by the request is held for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county.
Dillard also said inspectors observe and report on functions at polling places. The duties and privileges of a state inspector entitle the inspector to also be present at and observe any function or activity at a central counting station, place of canvass, or other places at which official election or voter registration functions or activities take place. “If they observe any violations of the law, the inspector may bring the irregularity to the attention of the polling place’s presiding judge, or may call our office for guidance,” said Dillard.