HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The Harris County Republican Party filed a lawsuit Monday against the county's elections administrator, Isabel Longoria, for what they call the "worst elections fiasco in Texas history."
The lawsuit was filed after Longoria's office confirmed over the weekend there were approximately 10,000 mail-in ballots that were not added to the unofficial Election Night count.
The Harris County GOP has consistently criticized Longoria and her team for what they said has been the most "egregious" and "mismanaged" election process to ever occur in the history of Harris County.
Some of the issues the GOP point out, according to their lawsuit, include:
- Issuing of incorrect ballots to certain polling locations, preventing voters from being able to vote
- Providing ballots on the wrong size paper
- Failing to complete the counting of the ballots within 24 hours of the polls closing
- Failing to deliver the required number of working voting machines and adequate supplies
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Harris County Republican Party Chairman Cindy Siegel said they want Longoria, along with her management team, to resign or be fired. The GOP also wants independent oversight of the next three upcoming elections.
“Our goal is to make sure this doesn’t happen again," Siega said Monday afternoon in regards to the lawsuit. "From equipment being broken to delivered to a place that wasn't even a poll to missing cables so they couldn't set up to the wrong ballot size to the wrong ballots for voters, I mean, nothing went right."
Sen. Paul Bettencourt and Republican County Commissioner Tom Ramsey are hoping change comes in Tuesday's commissioner court meeting where on the agenda is a vote for the election process duties to be returned to the tax assessor and county.
"So we need an accountable elected official to handle this, not an unelected, unaccountable person to handle," Ramsey said.
Democratic County Judge Lina Hidalgo is on the five-person commission that appointed Longoria.
Her spokesperson said Monday, "The judge is looking for a full account of what transpired during the election."
Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu is also on that commission. He released the following statement after learning about the recent GOP lawsuit:
“We share concern about the issues that occurred during the primary election. We expressed this concern when the initial problems were uncovered, and we’ve stayed consistent on our position. Press conferences will not change that.
"We called for a post-election review of all processes — there has not been any skirting of party responsibility, and we have been completely transparent in our desire to dig into the details of what went wrong and identify how to make corrections moving forward. We continue to believe a thorough review of election processes is required. The County Elections Committee — made up of both party chairs, the county judge, the county clerk, and the county tax assessor — should provide the necessary oversight for this undertaking.
“Our ultimate goal is to restore confidence in the voting process and to assure voters we are doing our due diligence to make sure every vote is counted. We will look at every measure and take any action possible to instill confidence in the voting process with our voters and election workers.
“Unlike our Republican counterparts, Democrats have fought long and hard in our preservation of voting rights, and as voter protection champions we will continue to work to ensure every vote is counted and every voice is heard."
Read the entire Harris County GOP lawsuit below: