Harris County Election Commission officials voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm Clifford Tatum to serve as the county’s new elections administrator.
Tatum served as General Counsel for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and is the former executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections, according to his biography by the EAC.
He also served as an interim director of the Georgia State Elections Division and assistant director of legal affairs for the Georgia Secretary of State.
Tatum is expected to start in mid-August, four months before the midterm and state ballot elections.
Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu released a statement Tuesday night in support of Tatum.
“Mr. Tatum has an impressive background in leading elections — currently with the DC Board of Elections and before that as general counsel for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission,” Evbagharu wrote. “We are excited to bring him on board.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also said she supports the board selection.
“I’m hopeful and have confidence in Mr. Tatum, and I think he understands as well in this hyper-politicized climate,” Hidalgo said in an interview with KHOU, “When folks have learned that it serves them politically to make false claims of election fraud, it’s more important than ever to make sure there are just no questions raised about the election.”
According to Judge Hidalgo, once Tatum passes a background check, becomes a state resident, and registers as a Texas voter, he is eligible for the position.
This vote comes after former Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria’s resignation went into effect on July 1.
Harris County’s Director of Voting Beth Stevens is currently serving as temporary Elections Administrator until Tatum becomes eligible.
Early voting in Harris County starts on Oct. 24.
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.