Hidalgo County Democratic Party quietly shuts down Election Day polling sites in the west

EDINBURG — The Hidalgo County Democratic Party has shut down several polling locations that were supposed to be open on Election Day, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez confirmed Tuesday.

(Read the latest on this story here.)

Cortez, who is a candidate in the election and has no control over the polling locations on Election Day, was upset at the closures Tuesday afternoon.

“I mean, it’s really ridiculous,” he said when reached by phone.

Hidalgo County Democratic Chairman Patrick Eronini, who as head of the county’s political party is in charge of selecting the polling sites on Election Day and making sure they are staffed, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Phone calls to him went straight to a full voicemail and messages could not be recorded.

Cortez said most of the polling locations that the Hidalgo County Democratic Party closed were on the western side of the county, including the only polling locations in Palmview, La Joya and Peñitas.

“The only voting location in the west would be Sullivan City, or they can come to Mission to vote,” he said with an exasperated laugh. “It’s really very disappointing.”

Cortez also noted that manpower did not seem to be an issue for voters in McAllen or Edinburg.

“And if you have 12 (polling locations) in Edinburg and 12 in McAllen, and none in the west … you can’t tell me that it’s a lack of people,” he said. “You chose to put them where you put them, and if the people on the west are outraged at what happened, they should be.”

Check back later for updates on this developing story.

Monitor staff writer Valerie Gonzalez contributed to this report.