Harris County Narrows in on a New Elections Administrator

by | Jun 16, 2022 | News

Harris County officials have narrowed the field of candidates down to two candidates for the position of county elections administrator.

This comes after the former Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria resigned from her position in March after a jumbled counting system in the Tuesday Primary Election. 

According to reports by Jen Rice at the Houston Chronicle, both candidates are from out of state and have previously run elections before. 

The new hire is also expected to start on August 1, just months before the 2022 midterm elections. Harris County’s Director of Voting Beth Stevens will become the temporary administrator on July 1 when Longoria steps down.

Longoria decided to step down from her position after criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle after multiple difficult election cycles.

Missing and damaged ballots, delayed counting, voter registration mishaps, mail-in ballot rejections, and faulty voting machines left the county scrambling to finish the vote count  after the March Primary Election, which had a lower voter turnout than is expected in the November midterms.

The November midterms will feature congressional and statewide races including the governor of Texas, attorney general, lieutenant governor and more.

For context, this was the first election under Texas’ new voting legislation, Senate Bill 1, where all votes are counted 24 hours after the polls close in a county with 2.5 million voters.

The bill also requires counties to transition from electronic voting machines to paper ballots — a detail all counties will have to follow by 2026. 

Concerns were also raised after reports showed that larger counties were experiencing record-high rejection rates of mail-in voting applications. 

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a warning in February after reports showed the county held a 37 percent rejection rate.

“Voters are under assault in Texas,” Hidalgo tweeted. “We have the receipts.” 

This is a developing story.

Photo: Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

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Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.

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