Bird­well de­nies dou­ble vot­ing, sug­gests con­fu­sion with sib­ling

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE -

State Sen. Brian Bird­well told the Texas Tribune on Wed­nes­day that he didn’t vote twice in the 2004 elec­tions and dis­puted the Texas and Vir­ginia records that say he did.

Bird­well’s vot­ing records were the sub­ject of a re­port Wed­nes­day by the Texas Tribune that was reprinted by the Amer­i­can-States­man.

Bird­well, R-Gran­bury, said that er­rant record-keep­ing in Tar­rant County might ex­plain how Texas and Vir­ginia both listed him as hav­ing voted on Nov. 2, 2004.

“Let me be crys­tal clear: I have never, ever voted twice in the same elec­tion, and that charge is par­tic­u­larly of­fen­sive to a sol­dier who holds the vot­ing process as hon­ored and sa­cred,” Bird­well said in a state­ment to the Tribune. “Ba­si­cally, this news story would have peo­ple be­lieve that on Elec­tion Day in 2004, I voted in Vir­ginia, then got on a plane and flew to Texas so I could cast a sec­ond vote for Ge­orge W. Bush. I did not.”

Bird­well said he and his brother have sim­i­lar names: Brian Dou­glas Bird­well and Dou­glas Todd Bird­well.

“Be­cause of the sim­i­lar­ity of our names, I be­lieve there was an in­cor­rect cod­ing of which brother ac­tu­ally voted in per­son in Texas on Nov. 2, 2004,” Bird­well said. “My brother knows that he did vote in the gen­eral elec­tion in 2004 but the re­ports in­di­cate that he did not.”

Bird­well did not ad­dress res­i­dency ques­tions raised by the Tribune. By vot­ing in the Novem­ber 2006 elec­tion in Vir­ginia, he may have run afoul of a re­quire­ment that he live in Texas for five years to be el­i­gi­ble to be a state sen­a­tor.

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