FORNEY, Texas — Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) today announced a lawsuit against the Dallas County Elections Department for "repeated violations of ballot counting procedures," and continually blocking Republican poll watchers from the mail-in ballot counting process — violations of the Texas Election Code.
As recently as Saturday, Gooden's campaign says his poll watchers and those from the Dallas County Republican Party were kicked out of a building and denied entry to the location where the Dallas County Ballot Board had convened.
"Voters deserve to see how their ballots are counted," read a statement from Gooden. "Democrat-run governments on every level will do anything to tip the scales in their favor. We're not going to let them get away with it."
"Unfortunately, those who question the process are often immediately labeled as 'sore losers," he continued. "This is not about winning or losing - this is about speaking out for what is right. I'm grateful to my constituents for re-electing me to serve another term in Congress, and I feel an even greater responsibility to fight voter fraud."
Gooden's suit presents three issues: May a judge refuse to accept an eligible poll watcher for service contrary to Texas Election Code § 33.051, and otherwise prevent watchers from entering a location where election activity is occurring in violation of § 33.056 of the Texas Election Code; Is an election judge who prevents a poll watcher from observing election activity obstructing a watcher as referenced in § 33.061 of the Texas Election Code; May a civil action for enforcement of election duties lie with § 273.061 of the Texas Election Code concurrently with the existence of a criminal penalty in § 33.061?
"Today, on November 7, 2020, one poll watcher appointed by each of the Relators - DCRP and Gooden - were denied entry to the Dallas County Ballot Board to observe the actions of the signature verification committee and ballot board while they convened. Specifically, they were told that no poll watchers would be permitted entry at all, and then law enforcement was called to force them to leave the premises. This behavior is obstruction of a poll watcher in violation of the Texas Election Code. The watchers have on multiple occasions over the course of the past 3 weeks attempted to notice the Respondent Coleman of violations of the Texas Election Code as required by the Code and did so again today. The watchers made a demand to be permitted entry, and noted their right under the Election Code to be granted entry, and this demand was ignored. This being the final straw in a long line of repetitive behavior that represents a willful disregard for the law, the Relators filed this original proceeding to seek a writ of mandamus to compel the Respondent to allow duly appointed poll watchers into the Ballot Board room to observe election activity conducted at that location as required by the Texas Election Code," reads the suit's statement of cause in requesting a writ of mandamus.