Daily Record file photo
Commissioners to receive official response to election integrity concerns
The Hays County Elections Department has officially responded to citizen concerns over election integrity.
Hays County commissioners will receive Elections Administrator Jennifer Doinoff’s responses to citizen comments regarding the November 2020 election at Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting.
Concerns over Hays County elections procedures date back to a meeting in August, in which two citizens expressed their concerns about Hart InnerCivic, the county’s voting machine vendor.
One public commenter, Mary Mitchell, said Hart InnerCivic instructed elections administrators to leave the record function on its voting machines turned off.
Another commenter, Laura Nunn, said Doinoff informed her that the department does not have cast vote records (CVRs) from the November 2020 election.
The Daily Record asked Doinoff whether she had records responsive to Nunn’s request. Doinoff previously responded, “We do have access to our back files of that election and are in the process of retrieving the CVR files from our system archives. This is a newly requested item that is taking some time to produce. We feel confident that we will have this information available to the public in the coming weeks.”
Also on Tuesday, the court will discuss and take possible action to authorize the County Judge to execute the Hays County American Rescue Plan (ARP) Recovery Grant Agreement between Hays County and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Central Texas Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children, for recovery assistance.
At their last meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11, commissioners heard a presentation from Ardurra regarding a proposal to award CASA a $50,000 grant to recover decreased revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant would not exceed $100,000 in funds received from Hays County’s allocation of ARP State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) and would require a budget amendment, according to the agreement.
Issues related to the Hays County Jail and public safety needs are also on the docket.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, Hays County commissioners approved a $3.65 million contract with Haskell County to house overflow inmates.
Haskell County has 96 inmates being held on Hays County charges, according to a Sept. 20 report from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.
Hays County Commissioners will also issue an update on the proposed Hays County Public Defender’s Office.
Mano Amiga and the Public Defenders Alliance were behind the initiative to establish a Hays County Public Defender’s Office in 2019, according to a Mano Amiga press release.
On Aug. 24, 2021, Hays County commissioners voted unanimously to allocate $5 million in ARP funding towards the office and on May 24, 2022, selected Neighborhood Defender Services (NDS) as a vendor, according to the release. NDS, with county and district-level judges, have since been working on the contract and are finally poised to provide a public update about the contract this Tuesday.
The commissioners court meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Hays County Historic Courthouse located at 111 E. San Antonio St.
Those looking to participate in public comments can submit a public participation/witness form to the county clerk before 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
For those not attending the meeting but still wishing to submit public comments to be read during commissioners court, visit the Hays County website to fill out and submit a PDF form
to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 p.m. the evening prior to a commissioners court meeting.
To view the full meeting agenda or watch the commissioner court livestream, visit https://hayscountytx.com/commissioners-court/court-video.