Voting rights attorney: Democratic candidate can always run again

Rolando Rios offers advice to Gina Ortiz Jones

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Rolando Rios, a longtime voting rights attorney, said the 1,100-vote gap between Republican incumbent Rep. Will Hurd and Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones will be tough to overcome.

“She can always run again," Rios said.

A judge on Monday denied her campaign’s request that provisional voters get a 48-hour extension to provide the IDs they lacked on Election Day, in order for their votes to be counted.

Jacque Callanen, the Bexar County elections administrator, testified there were none of those type of provisional ballots in District 23.

Rios said he understands how it feels to lose, since he ran for the same seat in 1994.

"You’ve got to let the process go forward, and then let’s see what happens," he said.

He said he understands why Ortiz Jones wants to make sure every vote is counted, since she was one of many women veterans across the country who ran for office during the midterms.

“I think she was hoping to be part of the wave that went across the country,” Rios said. “A lot of women veterans got elected.”

But, Rios said, unlike President Trump who has raised allegations of voter fraud in other states, “We’ve got to stop demonizing and degrading our election system. This is the greatest democracy in the world.”

Rios said Ortiz Jones can request a recount 48 hours after Gov. Greg Abbott certifies the final election results on or before Dec. 5, or she can contest the election results in court within 30 days after that. But her campaign has not indicated what it plans to do next.

Link: Texas Secretary of State's Office website

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