Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Article Image Alt Text

Several Hays County resident raised concerns about ballot counting and recording practices of Hays County heading into election season during Tuesday's Hays County Commissioners Court meeting. Elections Administrator Jennifer Doinoff said that her office is "confident" it will be able to provide information that has drawn concerns. Above, Hays County voters wait to cast their ballots in the 2020 election at the Hays County Government Center.  Daily Record file photo by Lance Winter

County residents raise election administration concerns

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Several residents cast doubt on the ballot counting and recording practices of Hays County heading into election season. 

For the fourth consecutive Hays County Commissioners Court meeting, residents voiced their concerns during public comment regarding  Cast Vote Records (CVRs) from the November 2020 General Election.

“Today, Hays County has given two different explanations for why the CVRs and several reports from the 2020 election cannot be examined,” Laura Nunn said. “The first explanation was that a few months ago, we were told that the Windows upgrade approved by the Commission in May of 2021 caused all data to be overwritten and unrecoverable. But then last week, we were told that it was because the settings in Hart’s software prevented the November 2020 election from even being electronically recorded.”

Nunn added that her past work experience has allowed her to “understand the importance of backing up data, and I'm not an IT expert.”

“I humbly ask that you return to secure voting practices without electronic devices,” she said. “There should be no machine between me and my vote.”

In response to questions from the Daily Record, Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Doinoff responded that “the machines do provide CVRs and did in 2020.”

“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,” Doinoff said. “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.”

Mary Mitchell reiterated Nunn’s concerns and alleged that Hart InnerCivic, the voting machine vendor for Hays County, instructed elections officials not to record CVRs.

”I have come to understand that the vendor had advised election administrators to leave the feature turned off that would have recorded the cast vote records for the November 2020 election,” Mitchell said.

She also brought up the lack of sequentially numbered ballots as justification for the county to reexamine its contract with Hart.

“Hart InnerCivic cannot be relied upon for transparency and honesty to protect our votes,” she said.

Other public commenters focused on the voter rolls themselves.

“There is an inventory of 6,000 to 10,000 suspense voters on the rolls at any given time,” Joe Chrome said. “However, as of Aug. 5, 2022, there are 23,016 suspense voters, an increase of plus 123%.”

“In March 2020, Texas joined the Electronic Registration Information System, also known as ERIC,” according to Chrome. “It is, in my opinion, the only reasonable explanation for the aforementioned anomalies.”

Doinoff defined suspense voters as “voters for which, we have received mail 'undelivered' back to our office,” and informed the Daily Record that removing suspense voters from the rolls is a statutory process that can take up to two years to remedy.

Doinoff also offered the following explanation for the number of suspense voters in Hays County.

“Hays County tends to have a high number of suspense voters due to Texas State University students that tend to move frequently and don’t update their voter registration address,” she said.

Lisa Chrome left the courtroom with a message and a warning.

“We are counting on you to be of great courage,” she said. “Take action. Speak up for what is right and true. If you are silent, you all are complicit.”

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra concluded public comments with a promise to contact the Elections Administrator about hosting an evening workshop to answer constituents’ questions.

The Hays County General Election is Nov. 8, 2022.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, the Hays County Elections Office published its FAQs on voter registration.

For more information on the upcoming General Election, visit

This story has been edited since its first publication.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666