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Sanford election woes

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Sanford, TX - It's been a rough election season so far in Sanford and some residents running for city council are encountering roadblocks.

Mayor Bernard Pacheco said the city secretary has not reported to work in almost a month. This is problematic because election packets are due Friday.

"She pretty much abandoned her position. She hasn't been there in a month I think," said Terrie Bechtel, one of the residents running for city council. "She told me I needed to turn the packet into the City of Fritch, which is incorrect because I'm not running for council in the City of Fritch."

By law, the city secretary is supposed to be at city hall Monday through Friday from January 29 to February 28 to collect election packets. She told the mayor she was on vacation, which is why she hasn't shown up for work.

Up until Thursday, the mayor said he couldn't even access her office because the door hinges were welded and he didn't have a key. In the meantime, the mayor asked another resident to step in.

"The mayor approached me and asked me if I would volunteer to sit here so that they would have somewhere to turn their packets in," said Sanford resident Pam Loera. "So I said sure, not a problem."

The city secretary in Fritch is also helping out Sanford by holding the packets for safe keeping.

"The city secretary there said she would hold them until we got someone in place to come over and sign them," said Bechtel. "And they notarized them over there for us, saying that we did turn them in."

Fritch city employees said the city has never collected election packets for Sanford before and that this is an unusual case. The city secretary is supposed to pick up all the packets from Fritch tomorrow.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10