Harris Co.’s election administrator announced her resignation during today’s (Tuesday’s) Commissioners Court meeting. Isabel Longoria’s announcement came a little over an hour after County Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) said Longoria would be replaced. It was a rough election for the county’s election officials.
The county, which historically has been among the last to report final unofficial results, was the only one in the state to miss the statutorily required 24-hour deadline. Results were not released until nearly 1 a.m. on Thursday. On Saturday, Longoria’s office reported that a normal post-election reconciliation process revealed 10K mail ballots were scanned but not included in those results. They were included in the canvassed results released today (Tuesday) and did not alter the outcomes of any election.
There were issues with supplies and equipment in multiple vote centers on Election Day. Election officials and poll workers were using new machines that produced a paper ballot, which sprawled across two pages, creating problems not experienced in other counties. Around 1,500 such ballots had to be replicated because they were damaged during the scanning process, and this contributed to the delays in releasing results.
Hidalgo said the issues were “unforced errors” that cannot be accepted. Democratic leaders called for a comprehensive review, while some Republicans demanded the responsibility for elections be returned to the County Clerk and Tax Assessor-Collector’s offices. At least two lawsuits have been filed against Longoria’s office.
Longoria’s resignation is effective July 1, which means she will oversee the May 7 local and special elections, including for HD147, the May 24 runoff elections and any local runoff elections held in June.
Turnout: The addition of nearly 10K Harris Co. votes pushed the combined total of Republican and Democratic voters statewide over the 3M mark. The total remains the fourth highest in state history – trailing 2020 (4.06M), 2008 (4.24M) and 2016 (4.27M) – and the most ever for a gubernatorial primary election.
Measured as the percent of registered voters casting ballots, combined turnout inched up to 17.5%, which remains the highest for a gubernatorial primary since 1994.
AG (Lean R): U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Richmond) endorsed Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) in the runoff over Land Comm. George P. Bush (R).
The State Bar of Texas has reportedly allowed a complaint filed against Paxton to go forward. The complaint was filed in July 2021 alleging Paxton committed professional misconduct when he filed suit at the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the lawful election results of other states. In a statement, Paxton said the complaint was politically motivated. “Everyone knows that the State Bar spends all their time and money on anti-conservative causes,” he said. “I’m not worried.”
CD30 open (Safe D): U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas) in the runoff over Jane Hope Hamilton (D).
©2022 Texas Election Source LLC