For years, the GOP has criticized Harris County, Texas elections for policies that undermine confidence in the system and promote incompetence. This week, their criticism was proven justified. After calls for her resignation, Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria announced that she would leave her post in July after massive failures during a recent election led to thousands of ballots not being counted properly:
Late Saturday, election officials in Harris County said that an "oversight" led to 10,000 ballots not being counted. Those votes — 6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican — would be added to the final tallies on Tuesday. Longoria was also criticized for a slow count that took 30 hours to complete.
In addition to the uncounted ballots, issues with voting machines and a lack of poll workers were also reported.
Additionally, paper ballots delivered to voting sites were delivered on paper that was the wrong size which caused candidates to be left off the ballot.
“The elections administrator in Texas’s most populous county has resigned following voting mishaps including 10,000 mail-in ballots not being tallied on election day.” https://t.co/I9sDKonbIY— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) March 10, 2022
Prior to Longoria's announcement, the Harris County GOP filed lawsuit pending to remove Longoria from the position.
Harris County GOP Chair Cindy Siegel explained:
Harris County is the third largest county in the country with the longest ballot nationwide – it’s critical that we get our elections right. The widespread problems in the Primary Election are inexcusable and due to the incompetence of Democrat leader Lina Hidalgo and her unelected, unqualified Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria. That’s why the Harris County GOP took action by filing a lawsuit, calling for Longoria to be fired or resign, and requesting the appointment of an independent elections overseer. While Longoria’s resignation today is a good first step, it is not the only step that the Harris County voter needs to see take place before the next election is held. Longoria cannot remain in place for the May 7 local elections or the May 24 primary runoff without independent oversight from either the court or the Secretary of State. Because she has resigned in place, independent oversight is needed immediately, independent of Harris County and the Harris County elections office.
Harris County is no stranger to controversies surrounding its elections. During the 2020 election cycle, the county ignored Texas statutes and allowed drive-through voting.
The county was also the recipient of $9.6 million in Zuckerbucks for the 2020 election.
Harris County is the prime example of why having competent election administrators and strong voter integrity safeguards are so important. Every voter should feel confident that their voice will be heard when they head to the ballot box.