Election Audit Reveals Continued, Alarming Failures in Harris County

Preliminary findings from an audit of Harris County’s November 2022 election underscore the grave concerns of many election advocates. Secretary of State Jane Nelson’s report out of Harris County reveals shocking failures in the election process that have raised significant questions about the integrity of the electoral system.

Harris County has been plagued with election integrity issues since 2020 when County Clerk Diane Trautman resigned. Appointed County Clerk Chris Hollins’s Election Department descended into anarchy with drive through voting, 24 hour voting, concerts at the polls, and turnout efforts funded by Zuckbucks.

Before the newly elected County Clerk could take over elections in Harris County, they were given to a newly created Elections Administrator. The County Election Commission appointed partisan community organizer Isabel Longoria who resigned in disgrace the following July after she failed to count 10,000 ballots in the 2022 Primary Election.

Longoria’s replacement, another inexperienced, partisan appointee oversaw the 2022 General Election that resulted in more discrepancies, disenfranchised voters, and numerous election contests. The lack of trust in Harris County elections grew exponentially, prompting Advancing Integrity to send a letter to Secretary of State Nelson calling for “an immediate comprehensive, transparent audit of the November 2022 Harris county election.

Secretary Nelson highlighted the severe issues discovered in the report. She stated,“Harris County clearly had multiple failures conducting the election and violated election law for estimating needed ballot paper. Mistakes like these led to a poorly executed election which left many Harris County residents frustrated and may have prevented them from voting.” said Secretary Nelson. “It is important to talk about these issues now in order to address them before the 2024 election cycle.”

We couldn’t agree more, Texans deserve to know that their vote was counted accurately, and without any interference.

The preliminary report released by the Secretary of State’s office has exposed alarming problems, further cementing the argument for stricter election safeguards. These problems include:

1. Harris County’s voter registration system listed over 9,000 more voters than were reported to the statewide voter registration system and additional discrepancies were found in the reported voted history.

2. An astounding 3,600 mail ballots were sent to voters but not reported to the state. The audit revealed “this inconsistency in reporting across the multiple vendor systems used by Harris County occurs in every phase of the mail ballot process, including ballots mailed, received, accepted, or rejected, that was reviewed in conjunction with the audit.”

3. The method used to allocate ballot paper blatantly disregarded state law, and even the purported methodology of the county, causing disruptions in the voting process and supply shortages at polling locations.

4. Equipment issues ranging from power and connectivity issues to improper setup led to polling locations with check-in gaps over an hour long, which may have been prevented with proper training.

4. Inadequate training of election judges and clerks in Harris County resulted in incomplete paperwork, undermining the integrity of the election. Chain of custody paperwork was incomplete, unsigned, or not generated in many cases. Reconciliation paperwork was incomplete in almost 20% of polling locations on election day.

Well before the audit, the legislature acted swiftly to rectify the situation, eliminating the county’s Elections Administrator and transferring responsibility back to the county clerk and tax assessor-collector. These more experienced elected officials will hopefully ensure that such problems do not recur in future Harris County elections.

In light of these discoveries, it is evident that the citizens’ concerns regarding the integrity of our electoral system were well-founded. Transparency, accountability, and adherence to election laws must be the cornerstones of our democracy, and these findings serve as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding the electoral process.

In order to save Texas elections, we must demand that our election officials are held to the highest standards. The problems in Harris County exist all over the state, that’s why we need election advocates in every corner of the state to stand up and fight for fair, free, and secure elections!