Texas couple votes early, votes often, votes in as many places as possible
Talk about hackles getting up in Marble, and it all has to do with Tuesday’s election.
Martha Roberts, a part-time resident, said if a town council member hadn’t told her four years ago that she had no voice in town affairs, she and her husband, J.D., probably wouldn’t have registered to vote there.
The Robertses registered to vote in Marble more than a year ago, even though they are admittedly also registered in Tarrant County, Texas. They cast absentee ballots in Marble’s municipal election Tuesday, even though they voted in a Texas election in March, according to Marble town clerk Karen Mulhall.
“We wanted to make some changes,” Roberts said of the Marble election.
Enter Vince Savage, a Marble trustee whose term ended this month. Savage, who served as a poll watcher in Tuesday’s election, said he recently caught wind of the Robertses’ dual registration.
He protested their votes after Tuesday’s election. That prompted Mulhall to file documents with the Gunnison County district attorney’s office. An investigation could lead to vote fraud charges, she said.
When Roberts was contacted Thursday at her primary residence in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and asked whether she voted in both places, she said, “Yes, but no.”
Explaining things a bit, Roberts said she and her husband never cast ballots in the same election in two different states.
“Like, we never voted for Bush or Clinton in two different places,” Roberts said. “We voted in local things here.”
Roberts said she had “no clue” it was illegal to register in two different places. But none of this would have happened, she said, had Gunnison County election officials told the Robertses to relinquish their Texas voting cards when they registered to vote in Marble.
“That’s what a Texas election official told us,” Roberts said.
There are only 123 registered voters in Marble, according to Mulhall. A few votes can go a long way in determining the outcome of elections.
In Tuesday’s mayoral race, incumbent Bob Leone defeated Mike Evans 35-12.
The question of whether to sell the sagging old house that serves as Town Hall passed 32 to 16. The closest vote was whether to eliminate term limits, and it was approved 28 to 19.
Mulhall said the Robertses’ votes weren’t counted Tuesday.
Roberts said she voted to keep term limits. “People stay in office too long,” she said.
She declined to say who she and her husband supported in the mayoral face, and seemed offended at the question.
But Leone, she said, “has no control over the town council. … He lets people run over him.”
Roberts said the district attorney hasn’t contacted her about possible vote fraud charges. The district attorney was not available for comment.
But to fix things up, Roberts said the couple will split their votes.
J.D. plans to stay registered in Texas, and Martha will register in Marble.
Town clerk Karen Mulhall indicated it’s possible for the Robertses to pull off their registration plan.
“People have to choose a primary residence,” Mulhall said. “You can live there one day a year, or 365 days a year, but you can only vote in one county. It’s federal law.”
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