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County election processes to be dissected Tuesday

Frank Phillips, Denton County elections administrator, will present findings Tuesday to the Denton County Commissioners Court from two assessments of the county's November 2016 election processes.

Phillips will present findings from a Texas secretary of state review conducted in February that concluded that an understaffed elections administration department with inexperienced employees led to multiple errors during last November's general election. He will also present findings from a separate assessment of processes he conducted.

Commissioners are slated to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St. in Denton.

In December, commissioners requested the secretary of state's office to conduct a formal review of the county's election processes after a general election plagued with equipment glitches, inaccurate signage at polling places relating to voter identification information and incorrect ballot stocks being sent to several polling locations on Election Day. Counted paper ballots were bundled with untabulated ballots and resulted in a court-ordered recalculation of returns followed by other vote retabulations.

Frank Phillips, Denton County Elections AdministratorCourtesy photo
Frank Phillips, Denton County Elections Administrator
Courtesy photo

A message to Phillips for comment was not returned by press time. Earlier this month, when the state released findings from its review of county election processes, Phillips said there was nothing complicated about what transpired last November.

"We had some basic processes that weren't followed, things that weren't double and triple checked, and people that didn't do their jobs," he said. "That's what it boils down to. You've got to do your job."

In other action, commissioners will consider an interlocal agreement with Fort Worth to furnish construction, turn-lane striping and traffic signal improvements at State Highway 114 and Interstate 35W. The agreement also includes installing new traffic signals near the site of the Tanger Outlets shopping center now under construction at the intersection of SH 114 and I-35W. If approved, the $1 million project will be funded by the county with bond funds. The 350,000-square-foot shopping center is slated to open in October.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876.