Hidalgo special election to be decided Saturday

HIDALGO — After more than a year’s worth of delays, voters here will finally decide who is the rightful winner of last year’s election.

The city is holding a special election for council member Place 5 Saturday after a judge found evidence of voter fraud during a runoff election last year between Oziel Treviño and Gilbert Perez.

Treviño reportedly beat Perez by six votes during the June runoff, but a judge later ruled there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Treviño received votes in violation of the Texas Election Code and ordered a new election.

Hidalgo voters will now have to return to the polls once more to choose between Perez and Treviño — and they’ll have to move quickly.

The city’s special election will close Saturday — unlike the other six ongoing local elections, which will be decided on Nov. 7.

Early voting for all races began Monday and the turnout is breaking records, Hidalgo County Administrator Yvonne Ramon told county commissioners Monday morning. More than 2,800 people voted at polling places across the county during the first day of early voting, putting Hidalgo County at the lead statewide.

According to numbers from the Texas Secretary of State’s office, about .73 percent of registered voters in Hidalgo County cast a ballot Monday. Harris and Bexar counties came in second, with .36 percent of their registered voters casting ballots that same day.

Votes from the city of Hidalgo were also included in the county and state’s figures despite its designation as a special election.

nlopez@themonitor.com