HOUSTON — Last night, the Harris County Republican Party held its quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, with over 200 precinct chairs in attendance. A resolution supporting the Orange County Republican Party Censuring Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan was presented to the body, which overwhelmingly passed.
HOUSTON — This morning, Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, and others held a press conference where they spread false narratives and highlighted a baseless lawsuit in an attempt to stop the will of Harris County voters.
While discussing whether or not to move a program to the District Attorney’s office, Lina blatantly disrespects her colleagues, the office she holds, and her constituents when she loses her mind talking about Democrat Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, saying, “I don’t know what the F**K she’s threatened you with” to the other commissioners.
We always knew that Lina was unfit for office, but this shocked even us. Behavior like this is unacceptable and disrespectful of the office she holds, her fellow commissioners, and Harris County voters. Harris County residents deserve a leader who won’t crumble under pressure!
In 2020 I was elected to serve as the Harris County Republican Party Chairman. Part of my responsibility is overseeing the Republican primary elections and recruiting Republican election workers for general elections. Additionally, I serve as the only Republican on the Harris County Elections Commission.
I am writing to ask that you pass SB 1750 and SB 1933 and present facts as to why the passage of these bills is important to Harris County and the entire state of Texas.
Harris County is the largest county in Texas and, for the last decade, has consistently had either the most or second most Republican voters out of every county in the nation. Unfortunately, since 2020, Harris County has been more infamously known as the poster child on how not to run an election.
I, along with many other Harris County Republican leaders, election workers, and subject matter experts have spent countless hours testifying in Austin this session. While giving testimony, I consistently heard members say, “I’m tired of hearing about the problems with how badly elections are run in Harris County.”
Let me assure you — no one is more tired of the problems that have plagued Harris County elections due to poor leadership and mismanagement than I and the Harris County GOP grassroots and primary voters are.
As the Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, I have been dismayed by what appears to be the lack of action by the Texas House of Representatives regarding passing critical election integrity legislation, including SB 1750, SB 1933, and several other election bills that have withered on the vine.
Why should you care about what happens in Harris County? I’m a CPA by training, so let me break it down with cold-hard numbers.
With over 2.5 million registered voters, almost 14% of the votes cast this past November in the state were from Harris County voters. Harris County has had multiple chances to get running our elections right since the Elections Administrators office was formed in 2020, and they simply can’t. Some examples include, but are in no way limited to, the suppression of the Republican vote by eliminating historical Republican polling locations, undersupplying multiple polls with ballot paper resulting in countless voters being turned away, nearly 10,000 ballots not being initially counted, polling locations opening hours late, and more.
For the sake of Harris County voters and confidence in elections for all Texans, it’s time for you all to step up and say “Enough” through decisive legislative action.
Harris County could be the deciding factor that leads to losing close Statewide, Congressional, and Senatorial elections because elections in Harris County are so problematic. If things get worse in Harris County (and they will without preemptive legislation), they will undoubtedly get worse for all of Texas. You all have an opportunity to correct many of these election issues, and if you neglect this, you will own the blame. Our primary voters and donors know this and are watching carefully.
Today there are 21 election challenges by Harris County Republican candidates related to the November 2022 election. We hope all or some of the 21 election challengers will get new elections. However, our primary voters and donors know that without robust election integrity laws passed this session, we will have the same group running the elections in Harris County who refuse to display any accountability or integrity, and Republican voters will continue to be disenfranchised. Additionally, it’s not a stretch to see what has happened in Harris County could be perpetuated in other counties across the state in future elections.
It’s time to take action and pass SB 1750 and other important election integrity bills like SB 1933. The passage of SB 1750 will eliminate the Harris County Elections Administrator’s position and give the voters their voice back by putting our elections back in the hands of the duly elected County Clerk and County Tax Assessor with oversight from the Secretary of State.
The Houston Chronicle released multiple articles finding that, according to their research, Harris County voters were not significantly disenfranchised on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. I couldn’t disagree more.
Whether it was systematic or due to incompetence, the fact remains the same: The actions (or rather inaction) of the Harris County elections administrator may have resulted in Harris County voters potentially not voting. An article in the Chronicle exclaims that one polling location was “one of about 20 polling locations that ran out of paper on Election Day” and then says, “That is a tiny fraction of the 782 polling places across the sprawling county that day.”
Let me offer an alternative point of view: Nearly three percent of polling locations ran out of ballot paper at some point, resulting in voters potentially not casting a ballot. That three percent is consequential when candidates lost by less than one-half of a percentage. “But there’s countywide voting, people turned away could go less than a mile away to vote at another location,” you might think. Tell that to the mom with a car full of kids, only a tiny window in which to vote and no time to hunt down another voting location. Or to the first-time voter who walks out feeling discouraged because they weren’t able to practice a fundamental American right.
If the elections administrator could get it right, we wouldn’t need bills in the state Legislature targeting Harris County elections. But, as we’ve seen repeatedly, they can’t. Someone eventually has to step up and say “enough,” and these bills do just that.
Cindy Siegel, chairman, Harris County Republican Party
HOUSTON — The Harris County GOP is devastated to hear of the passing of longtime activist and Ballot Security Chairman Alan Vera. He passed away this morning at the Texas Capitol building advocating for election integrity as he prepared to testify in support of multiple bills.
Alan served his country valiantly as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger from 1970-1974. He received multiple awards and unit citations for his service. He was appointed chair of the Harris County GOP Ballot Security Committee in 2014, was one the original founders of “True the Vote,” and has received many awards for his activism regarding election integrity, including the Lifetime Achievement Award he and his wife won at last year’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner.
Chairman Cindy Siegel issued the following statement.
“Today, we lost a titan.
“Alan’s life was dedicated to selfless service, as seen from his time in the military, to working tirelessly towards getting Republicans elected and doing everything in his power to ensure elections across the nation are safe and secure through education and advocacy. At the Texas Capitol, he was always the first in the building and the last to leave as he devoted countless hours to testifying before the House and Senate, meeting with legislators, and speaking with other activists to push for election integrity legislation.
“Alan was a fearless leader, and his passing leaves a hole in our Party that no one will ever fill. Most importantly, he was a husband, father, and grandfather to a family that adored him. We ask that you respect his family’s privacy during this tragic time and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
“Alan always said he gives all the credit for whatever good he’s accomplished to Almighty God. We will miss him and cherish his memory always.”
Yesterday, Harris County GOP Chair Cindy Siegel gave testimony to the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee in support of SB 1911. This bill, one of five election integrity bills introduced Monday by Senator Paul Bettencourt, would increase criminal penalties for certain election offenses, such as failing to distribute supplies like ballot paper or releasing election results before polls close.
We’re thankful to the many Harris County election judges and clerks who traveled to Austin yesterday to testify and share their experiences about the terribly mismanaged November 8, 2022, Election Day. Our grassroots and party leaders are working around the clock to get legislation passed that will make Harris County elections safe and secure.