May 19, 2022

Harris County GOP Addresses Elections Administrator’s Latest Blunder, Violating Texas Election Code

Isabel Longoria Continues to Show Harris County Voters Why She is Unfit to be Running One of the Largest County’s Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2022
Media Contact: [email protected]

HOUSTON – Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria recently notified the Harris County Republican Party that her office will be sending out “deputized” county employees to pick up the ballots and voting equipment from each poll at the close of voting on the May 24 Primary Runoff Election Day. The Harris County GOP released the following statement regarding the Elections Administrator’s clear, blatant and direct violation of the Texas Election Code.

“We do not want any of our election judges to violate the Election Code resulting in a situation where the performance of their duties is questioned,” said Harris County GOP Chairman Cindy Siegel.

“There are several highly contested races on the Republican Party ballot,” Siegel continued. “We do not want any of the election results in a close race to be challenged by a candidate due to ballot chain of custody problems. It’s imperative that the Harris County Elections Administrator’s Office provide a fully staffed and fully trained team to receive ballots in a secure, orderly, professional and transparent fashion. 

“Ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the election process is the Harris County Republican Party’s top priority.” Siegel concluded.

After consulting with legal counsel and the Secretary of State Election Division, the Harris County GOP has instructed their Republican election judges to deliver all ballots and equipment to the Harris County Central Counting Station in person. This is opposed to multiple incidents that occurred in the May 7 Election where Harris County employees were sent illegally to pick up ballots at numerous polling locations. 

“This blatant disregard of the law that Isabel Longoria has displayed is cause for serious concern,” said Harris County GOP Legal Counsel Steve Mitby. “The lack of security and chain of custody of ballots and voting equipment showcased by the Elections Administrator further proves why she is not fit to be running one of the largest county elections. The Elections Administrator appears to be punishing the Republican election judges for following the Election Code rather than satisfactorily staffing the Central Counting Station in a professional and organized manner.” 

Background

  • The Texas Election Code states that Election Day judges have the legal responsibility for delivering the ballots to the Central Counting Station.
  • Legal counsel communicated the Harris County GOP’s position on the chain of custody regarding ballots to Harris County officials on May 11.
  • The Harris County GOP’s position was cemented by Keith Ingram, Director of the Texas Secretary of State Election Division, who testified [1:33] on this subject before the Texas House Committee on Elections last week, when he said, “The law requires that the presiding judge of the polling place deliver the results to the county election official.” 
    • The Elections Administrator was in clear violation of this law the night of the May 7 Election. 
  • On the night of the May 7 Election, 13 ballot bags went missing and were not delivered by Harris County employees until the following morning, violating the Election Code. 
    • The Elections Administrator’s office — once again — displayed a serious lack of fundamental knowledge through their usurpation of election judges’ responsibilities. 
    • This resulted in a 15-hour delayed final count of the May 7 election votes after the closing of the polls, which is just the tip of the iceberg regarding another botched election run by the Elections Administrator’s office. 
  • Multiple Republican election judges reported on May 7 chain of custody issues that occurred where “deputized” Harris County employees never showed up at their poll to pick up the ballots after the polls closed. 
    • One election judge was instructed by the Elections Administrator’s office to take the ballots home when no one showed up to pick them up from the county and to “just bring them in the next morning.” 
    • This is in direct violation of the the Texas Election Code, which states in section 66.053, “The precinct election records shall be delivered to the appropriate authorities immediately after the precinct returns are completed.” 

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