EL PASO, Texas - New documents from the Canutillo Independent School District reveal former Superintendent Damon Murphy may have bused students to Central Office to vote in the 2011 bond elections.
Canutillo ISD Internal Auditor Hector Rodriguez wrote the board this January, notifying them of a district-sponsored field trip that appears inappropriate.
In May 2011, when Cauntillo's $44 million bond was up for election, over 55 high school seniors were pulled out of class and transported to Central Office in order to vote on it, according to Rodriguez, who writes this activity was inappropriate. His investigation revealed 95% of these seniors just so happened to be 18 years old. The report found former Superintendent Damon Murphy told his staff he wanted to educate seniors about voting and give them registration cards, but an assistant principal told Rodriguez, this was a guise to get them to vote.
Murphy and the seniors met for about 15 minutes to discuss an unknown subject, then were encouraged to vote, the report reads.
Murphy was asked about this incident and he replied, "the school board attorney new about all actions at the time and we did nothing inappropriate." He then pointed out this is a common activity among high schools, specifically in Socorro ISD who had voting booth on premise of their high schools right around the time of their bond election in 2011.
Socorro said yes, they did, but that's because their 18 of high schools are official voting sites. Not only that, but they educate their students on voting during elections and hold get out the vote campaigns. Some would argue, making voting as fast and easy as possible is a civic service, not a corrupt technique to influence votes.
Interim Superintendent Annette Brigham responded:
Auditors found no clear instances of irregularities in regard to the transporting of Canutillo High School during early voting for the 2011 bond election. This audit has not resulted in any disciplinary action.