Texas Governor Calls for Investigation into Harris County Election ‘Improprieties’

Texas governor Greg Abbott on Monday called for an investigation into alleged election “improprieties” in Harris County after a number of polling places opened late and ran out of ballots on Election Day.

“The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct,” Abbott said in a statement

“Voters in Harris County deserve to know what happened. Integrity in the election process is essential,” he added. “To achieve that standard, a thorough investigation is warranted.”

Abbott called on the Texas secretary of state, the state Attorney General and the Texas Rangers to review the situation.

The Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas ACLU filed an emergency lawsuit on Election Day after several polling locations in Harris county failed to open at 7 a.m. In response to the lawsuit, the county’s 782 polling places were ordered to remain open for an extra hour on Election Day. However, the Texas Supreme Court later ruled that voting should occur only as permitted by the Texas Election Code. The court said votes cast after the normal 7 p.m. deadline should be set aside. 

Additionally, the county Republican Party said several polling locations ran out of paper and had issues with understaffing.

Harris County elections administrator Clifford Tatum said in a statement Monday that his office is “fully committee to transparency” around the election.

“The office is currently reviewing issues and claims made about Election Day and will include these findings in a post-elections report to be shared promptly with the Harris County Elections Commission and the County Commissioner Court,” he said.

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