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Caucus chair uncovers discrepancies
The Daily Texan. March 07, 2008. By: Adrienne Lee

Volunteers who worked the Jester Center caucus on Tuesday are suspicious of at least one of the caucus lists, the precinct chairman said late Thursday night. At least three students who signed the list verified that the candidates attached to their names were not the candidates they voted for.

Government senior Ray Skidmore, precinct chair for the voting precinct that includes all UT dorms, said one of the caucus volunteers on Thursday noticed almost identical handwriting on one of the caucus sheets. Volunteers were recounting the caucus numbers Wednesday and Thursday, Skidmore said, just to double-check before turning them in today. Information from all caucuses - forms and the official delegate counts - are due to the Travis County clerk's office today by 6 p.m.

When recounting, the volunteer noticed a whole list had Sen. Hillary Clinton written in similar handwriting in the presidential preference column for each of the six voters on that list. Skidmore started calling each of the voters on the list when he reached finance senior Ronesha Holmes, who told him she did not write Clinton as her preference; Holmes said she was instructed to leave that line blank.

Even one discrepancy threw up a flag of suspicion, Skidmore said.

As he continued calling people on the list Thursday, he found that two other students, history and pre-med sophomore Abigail Cheney and government sophomore Adam Aldrete, said they did not fill in a presidential preference and that Clinton was not who they would have listed.

"I think it's pretty disappointing," Skidmore said. "It might not affect the [number of] delegates, but it's the integrity of the process that may turn people off." He added that he was sorry for the inconveniences or problems the situation may cause.

Both Cheney and Aldrete said those in their caucus line were given a sheet of paper and told to fill out as much information as possible and that the last person in line would take the list to the appropriate caucus official.

"It sounded sketch, but the whole situation was sketch," Cheney said.

Cheney, Aldrete and Holmes said the caucus was unorganized and that caucus lists passed down the lines were not properly monitored by caucus officials.

"I mean, who's to say sheets didn't get put in people's backpacks?" Holmes said. "I just want it all to be fixed and fair."

Skidmore said he will be contacting the county clerk's office first thing this morning.

There were at least 550 people at the Jester Center caucus, Skidmore said, who signed 80 caucus lists. He said the other 79 sheets "looked very legit, but I'm going to check through them."

Skidmore is asking for all students who voted in Precinct 148 at the Jester Center caucus to send him an e-mail verifying their name, presidential preference and, if possible, voter ID number. He asks that those students e-mail him from the e-mail address they listed on the caucus sheet. Students can e-mail Skidmore at rfskidmore@gmail.com.

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