FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2024
Media Contact: Sam Somogye
HOUSTON — Today at Harris County Commissioners Court, statements were made that misrepresent the Harris County Republican Party’s position on the upcoming primary election. Having a joint primary would mean Democrats would be running a Republican primary election, something the Harris County GOP does not plan on letting happen anytime soon.
In the 2022 primary elections, nearly 400,000 Harris County residents voted in the Democrat and Republican primary elections. For the 2022 general election, over 1.1 million voters cast their ballots. How is it possible the county had enough voting equipment and more polls for the general election only two years ago but is now claiming they don’t have enough for a primary election, which requires significantly less equipment and polling locations?
On Friday, December 22, Chairman Cindy Siegel sent a letter to Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth thanking her for her leadership in the last election. She also outlined the following suggestions on how to run the shared primary:
- Have the voting machines programmed to handle the Democratic and the Republican primary ballot styles. If the duos go down for one primary, the other primary duos could be used as a triage measure. Handling it this way may also allow the county budget to pay a higher rate for election workers.
- Reducing the number of early voting locations used in the 2022 elections, having a number of locations similar to the November 2023 election. This will significantly save on election equipment and staffing needs during early voting.
- Contacting the requested judges as soon as possible. Under Democrat administration, judges were contacted days before the election, causing a fallout of judges and a lack of staff to cover elections.
- Allowing bi-lingual clerks to assist voters in both elections.
“The Democrats said it themselves in today’s commissioner’s court meeting — Harris County has a long history of non-joint primaries; in fact, we have never had a joint primary,” said Harris County GOP Chairman Cindy Siegel.
“The main argument made by proponents of having a joint primary is that the county doesn’t have enough equipment — in fact, the Democrats repeatedly made remarks alluding to the fact that we will have issues with equipment shortages that we have every year. Am I the only one who sees the irony in this? If we have this issue every year, why have there been no effective measures to remedy equipment shortages?
“While I commend Clerk Huspeth for running a significantly better election last fall than her predecessors, my loyalties are not with her — they are with Harris County Republican voters.
“As long as I’m Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, I will not bend to the Democrats crying wolf at the cost of our voters because they can’t get their act together.”