Fredericksburg Fluoridation Vote Results Called into Question
Fredericksburg was the most recent central Texas town to call on its voting residents to decide the fate of the city’s fluoridated water supply. After a year-long petition effort led by a locally formed activist group, a charter amendment was recognized by the City of Fredericksburg and the issue was allowed on the ballot for the November 2019 local and state constitution election. The elections results came in initially at 741 votes against adding fluoride to the water, with 1259 votes to maintain current fluoridation practices. When the election results were announced, the founding members of the anti-fluoridation activist group asked for a recount, and that request was granted. On November 22, an official recount was performed, with the results coming in…drumroll…742 against fluoride, 1261 for fluoride. The founding member of the activist group was present during the recount and, according to the local newspaper, said she “felt fortunate to be involved in the recount process. She believes everything was done fairly and the recount followed all of the correct steps of the Texas Election Code.”
Congratulations to the people of Fredericksburg on making a sound decision despite the best efforts of another misinformed activist group. Although the leader of the anti-fluoridation movement initially said she believed everything was done fairly, she obviously changed her mind. On December 31, 2019, she filed an election contest lawsuit against the mayor of Fredericksburg, in her official capacity, alleging that illegal votes were counted, legal votes were not counted, election officials made mistakes and potentially committed illegalities and fraud, and Constitutional rights to free speech were violated because county and city restricted electioneering on the fluoridation election issues.
According to the written lawsuit, “Ballot handling and tampering may have occurred illegally and outside the purview of watchers causing the recount results to not be entirely accurate. Watchers report the recount was a hostile environment with additional obstructions such as the recount supervisor, Mayor Langerhans, not allowing watchers to sit or stand conveniently near the recount members while the recount commenced. These actions appear to be violations of Tex. Elec. Code §§ 213.013(h) and 33.056(b). These obstruction issues were resolved after intervention, via a phone call, by the Texas Secretary of State’s Election Division 12 Director.”
“Contestants request that the Court ascertain the true outcome of the contested election and declare the outcome void, or in the alternative, declare the contested election results cannot be ascertained and thus declare the Fredericksburg Charter Amendment election void and order Gillespie County Elections Department to conduct and administer a new election adhering to all Texas election laws.”
At this time, no dates have been set for hearings, etc.
By Jonathon R. Kimes, DDS