His response came a full three days after elections observers and bystanders were reporting that politiqueros such as Norma Hernandez, wife of Ernie Hernandez Jr., Cameron County Pct. 2 commissioner Ernie Hernandez, and mother of JP 2-2 candidate Erin H. Garcia were taking some elderly against their will and coercing them to vote for their slate of candidates.
The manager of the retirement complex later told police she had told Norma Hernandez and her workers that the premises were privately owned and that they could not pick up the elderly there and take them to vote.
A report filed with the City of Brownsville Police indicate that politiquero Amadeo Rodriguez Jr., and Hernandez herself, had attempted to herd unwilling elderly residents of the same retirement apartment complex and were handing them marked sample ballots with their candidates' names already filled in for them to vote.
And still more incriminating complaints about their behavior continued to pour in, this time, not only to Ortiz, who lent a deaf ear to the chorus, but also to the local daily from unimpeachable credible sources who said they witnessed the blatant abuse of the elderly and mentally impaired at the polls, notably the Cristo Rey Catholic Church and Cameron Park Centro Comunitario sites.
:One witness, retired federal law enforcement officer Robert Gracia, and a lifelong Southmost resident, said the scope of the cheating was "embarrassing to see."
He said that when he went to vote at Cristo Rey on Wednesday, he saw a man (politiquero) "dropping licenses and voter registration cards in front of the three election clerks. These belonged to the people who were in the van. He said he saw the man cast ballots on behalf of seven people and was merely told to place his name and initials in order to document his participation.
"He was doing everything. That's illegal...This was ridiculous and it was embarrassing too see," he said. "It was gross."
Gracia, as have others before him, reported that it was obvious to see that some of the people in the van were mentally incapacitated and had no idea for whom their votes were cast.
Ortiz, when called by the clerks at the site, said he had taken care of the problem (three full days into the voting) by talking to the elections clerks "in regards to procedures and make sure everything was being conducted the way it should."
A local blogger said that Ortiz seemed more preoccupied that someone was present to observe the procedures at the Cameron Park site and that he told him an his wife that he had gotten a report that they had been reported "loitering" at a park bench next to the Centro.
As we have reported before on this blog, the marked sample ballots that Norma Hernandez and politiqueros like Rodriguez handed to the elderly they wanted to take to vote from the retirement apartment complex had the ovals and large arrows pointing to the names of Erin Hernandez Garcia, Carlos Masso and Abel Gomez highlighted. All three appear to be running as a bona fide ticket against Yolanda Begum, Luis Saenz and Pete Avila.