KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — Kaufman County 422nd District Court Judge B. Michael Chitty has ordered the Kaufman County Election Administrator to verify a provisional ballot in the race for Kaufman County Court at Law No. 1.
The race, between incumbent Dennis Jones and challenger Tracy Booker Gray, is currently contested by one vote – 5,473 to 5,472, respectively.
With election canvassing expected on Thursday, a temporary restraining order was granted which orders Brenda Samples, the election administrator for Kaufman County, to immediately run the voter information on a single provisional ballot through the Texas Department of Public Safety's portal to confirm the voter's registration – an action that has been refused by the office up to this point.
If the voter's registration is confirmed, the Kaufman County Republican Party, by and through William Bedrick and the Ballot Board, is ordered to count this single provisional ballot.
This single provisional ballot is one of 87 provisional ballots collected in the primary election. Only six were accepted.
This particular ballot was from a voter who recently moved to Kaufman County from Dallas County, according to Elizabeth D. Alvarez, an attorney representing Gray's campaign. She updated her identification cards and, with it, her voter registration. At the polls, she was instructed to fill out a provisional ballot.
From there, according to Alvarez, the election administrator's office refused to run the provisional ballot through DPS's portal before rejecting the ballot as required by the Texas Elections Code and the administrator's statutory duties.
If confirmed and counted, the race for Court at Law No. 1 would be tied a 5,473 votes each and would trigger an automatic recount, according to election code.
A hearing on the temporary restraining order is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.