Former Democratic Congressional hopefuls John Carrillo, Norma Chavez and Enrique Garcia petitioned the State of Texas in March to inspect the election records of the Democratic Party of Texas and El Paso County, alleging fraud and claiming the results of the Democratic Congressional primary did not reflect “the true outcome.”
The lawsuit filed against Democratic Congressional nominee Veronica Escobar and El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa Wise was dropped, last week, at the request of the former candidates who filed it.
On Thursday, the three plaintiffs appeared in court after Wise’s attorney and Escobar’s attorney filed a motion for sanctions, which would force the three contestants to pay the $14,000 in court and attorneys fees.
The three former candidates told the court they dropped the case because they could not get the forensic analysis of the computer hard drives for the electronic voting stations. Today, they admitted that they never asked for it or brought up their concerns with the elections office.
When asked why, former state Rep. Norma Chavez said, “Do you go into the wolf’s den?”
She added that without the har drives there was no lawsuit.
“We want the people of El Paso to know that elections should be taken seriously, regardless of who the winner is,” Garcia said. “The only reason we brought this up were because of discrepancies that were discovered. People told us that there were discrepancies out in the field.”
However, the three candidates could not provide any evidence. Chavez testified that the voting machines are susceptible to hacking. The plaintiffs also said that several voters told them that where they voted didn’t match the official records. Adding that several people listed as dead, cast ballots.
The three said that due to time constraints, they weren’t able to get the hard drives, which meant they had no solid evidence to back their claims.
“In order for us to get to the bottom of this we needed to get the forensic evidence on these hard drives, that is the reason we brought this suit, but we needed access,” Garcia said.
However, through testimony it was revealed the three contestants admitted they never asked for the hard drives, or brought up their concerns to the elections office. When asked why, Chavez replied, “Do you call the wolf in the den?”
Wise told ABC-7 that if they had asked for the hard drives she would have given it to them. She said she preserved them until April 4, when they were cleaned out in preparation for the runoff election.
“The judge made the statement that there was no fraud of evidence tampering,” Wise said.
“I am disappointed that I had to spend my resources to fight this frivolous, baseless, offensive lawsuit,” Escobar said. “I am really disappointed that today they did not apologize to Lisa Wise and her staff.”
The attorney denied the motion for sanctions, which means the three contestants will not have to pay the attorney and court fees.