TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Frustrated and upset Smith County voters gathered Monday night, and Grassroots America We the People explained in detail the 2020 election audit irregularities that led to the discovery of 584 absentee ballots that they say were not counted.

“I was angry, horrified. One thing that’s sacred in this country is our vote and it’s not sacred anymore. It’s scary,” said MaryAnn Aiken, Smith County voter.

Analysts emphasized that a straightforward and trustworthy voting process is a cornerstone of democracy in our country.

“That is precious to people and we need to make sure that we don’t take a casual approach to that. Even if one vote isn’t counted, that means an American citizen was disenfranchised and we want to do everything we can to make sure that in Smith County we get election results we can count on to be accurate a verifiable,” said JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director of Grassroots.

The process started in October 2020, when the local Political Action Committee found many record management problems. Missing ballots to absentee record boxes that were missing altogether.

“This is about helping Smith County have auditable, verifiable election results,” said Fleming.

Fleming has reached out to other counties, worried they may face similar issues.

She said they have not been cooperative in doing their own audits.

“As long as they will work with us and let us have access to records that we are lawfully entitled to review, then we are happy to work with them cooperatively and it was a very good productive process for both us and for the county,” said Fleming.

To find clear solutions, the group is now working with State Senators Bryan Hughes and Bob Hall on getting standardized election reform to reduce the margin of error.

“To make sure our election processes are more transparent and that every legal vote counts,” said Fleming.

Grassroots is also hoping to look into the 2022 general election, to make sure the same mistakes are not being made.