The Texas Legislature Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bill that would potentially allow them to redo elections in Harris County if they believe there is “good cause.”
If enacted, this legislation would give the secretary of state the power to decide to redo elections if it is determined that more than 2 percent of polling places did not have enough ballots or had run out during voting hours. This is particularly significant as the legislation is created with restrictions that effectively allow it to specifically target Harris County, where Democrats had a good performance in the 2022 midterm. This is because according to the legislation this would only be enforced in counties with more than 2.7 million.
Following the 2022 midterm elections, the Harris County Republican Party sued the county and Clifford Tatum, its election administrator after the Republicans suffered a number of losses. According to reports, there were also many polling stations across the state which suffered from ballot paper shortages or opened late which could have inhibited certain people’s ability to vote.
However, the Harris County Election Administration Office preliminarily determined that there was no way of knowing whether the paper shortage had in fact resulted in people being turned away from polling centers.
State Sen. Borris Miles, a Democrat in Harris County, admitted that the county has had issues with its elections, but claims that those stem from mismanagement and they are not a part of a conspiracy. State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, also a Democrat, slammed the GOP’s bill noting that running another election could cost millions of dollars.