Texas Border Business
Peñitas, Texas – The City of Peñitas was awarded its application for a Temporary Restraining Order against Hidalgo County to prevent the County from holding its 2022 General Election. Judge Rogelio Valdez approved the order on Thursday, October 20, 2022, which orders Hidalgo County Interim Elections Administrator Hilda A. Salinas and Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner Everardo Villarreal, in both his official capacity as Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner and individual capacity to “immediately cease and desist from proceeding with the early voting elections starting on October 24, 2022, and the November 8, 2022, General Election without opening the Peñitas Public Library polling location, from the date of entry of this order until fourteen (14) days thereafter, or until further order of this court.” (View the Order at the end of the story)
Furthermore, the order decreed that Hidalgo County Interim Elections Administrator Hilda A. Salinas and Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner Everardo Villarreal, in both his official capacity as Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner and individual capacity are ordered to “immediately post a Notice of Election that include a list of Election Day and Early voting polling locations to the Hidalgo County Election Department’s website no later than Friday, October 21, 2022, at 7:00 am and that the list of polling locations shall include the Peñitas Public Library polling location.”
The judge ordered defendants to open the Peñitas Public Library polling location for the entire early voting period and General Election Day as ordered by La Joya ISD and Agua SUD. As of 3:30 pm on Friday, October 21, 2022, the Early Voting and Election Day schedules and locations did not list the Peñitas Public Library as a poll location, in direct violation of the Order. View the listed poll sites at https://www.hidalgocounty.us/3101/2022-General-Election-Local-Entities-Ele
“The City of Peñitas and our residents would like to extend our appreciation to Judge Valdez for upholding the law and working in fairness to abide by our constitutional and Voting Rights,” said Mayor Ramiro Loya. “Disenfranchising our citizens is unacceptable, inexcusable, and unjust,” he added. “We look forward to resolving this situation and trust in due process of the law,” added Loya.
A Temporary Injunction hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 pm at November 3, 2022, in the 92nd District Court. Hidalgo County Interim Elections Administrator Hilda A. Salinas and Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ever Villarreal, in both his official capacity as Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Commissioner and individual capacity are commanded to appear before the judge.
The TRO, which was filed October 20, 2022, claims that Agua SUD and La Joya ISD both specifically ordered and designated the Peñitas Public Library as a polling place in the November 2022 General Election and both forwarded their election order to the Hidalgo County, who was contracted to conduct the election for both entities.
The TRO further states that the Defendants ignored the election orders of both entities and “in blatant disregard for the wishes of the elected officials of these two entities,” the County decided to remove the Peñitas Library as a polling place.
The TRO further asserts that the Defendants’ removing of the Peñitas Public Library has left multiple voting precincts located in the City of Peñitas without a polling place, which will disenfranchise the citizens of Peñitas in their fundamental right to vote by closing their city’s poll location.
Read below, the restraining order:C 4049 22 A Order