There is no doubt that election integrity has been at the forefront in the news the past few election cycles, with both legitimate concerns over fairness in elections, to a few conspiracy theories on both sides of the political aisle. For Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush, this is an essential subject that he decided to take seriously and do something about.
One of the significant areas of focus nationally has been counting ballots and the attention to that as an area for possible impropriety, so Bush decided to take steps to show voters locally that that is not an issue in Liberty County. Legislation was passed requiring all larger counties in Texas to live stream the counting process, a process that at one time was thought to be needed for all Texas counties. That law ended up only requiring the larger areas of Texas, but Bush decided to utilize grant monies available to the county to pay for that expense.
“There is no better form of transparency than having a live video feed that is recording when they are actually counting the votes,” said Bush.
The county utilized that process for the first time during the most recent Nov. 2, 2021 elections, which included the statewide constitutional amendments and local elections like the Liberty County Hospital District No. 1 and the Cleveland ISD Bond issues.
“This election was even more difficult to administer than the Presidential election because the ballot was closer to home and pit neighbors against neighbors,” said Bush.
This was one of the reasons Bush found it important that local voters trusted the process. The feed was recorded and streamed to a live YouTube channel for anyone interested in the process to view.
“It doesn’t get clearer than that,” exclaimed Bush.
The elections office will keep that video for at least two years, and anyone can view that footage at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PytFEjZyOG0.
Bush also did due diligence this election cycle to make sure all ballots arrived in a trusted fashion. All ballot boxes must be sealed with a unique serial number during transport, and each voting box must be in contact with the central counting office when they are sealed.
Finally, Bush instituted a new position of Voter Integrity Judge and made sure more hotly contested races like those of the hospital district had poll watchers representing the count for both sides.
“When the election process is in question by the people, then democracy is truly lost. I truly hope that the people not only across this nation, but truly those here at home get off the keyboard and get involved in your government because your government is only going to be as good as you make it,” concluded Bush.