In addition, SOS will send inspectors and trainers to monitor and assist county procedures and perform randomized checks of election records from early voting to ballot counting. The Attorney General’s Office will also send task forces to the county to immediately respond to legal issues identified by her SOS staff, pollsters, or voters during the 2022 general election.
The state’s plan was outlined in a letter to the county on Tuesday from Chad Ennis, Director of the Forensic Audit Division, describing both the state and federal election codes that govern chain of custody and recordkeeping in election administration. Describes violations.
The issues found by the auditor are primarily related to county extrajurisdictions.drive thruA ballot initiated by then Interim County Clerk Chris Hollins.
Auditors found that in at least 14 polling places, the county did not demonstrate chain of control for mobile ballot boxes (MBBs), and some polling places had multiple MBBs created. Auditors say her MBB from the polling place “was not her MBB that was finally tallied.” They also mention that the missing he was able to find some MBBs, but the original he was never given an explanation as to why the MBBs were not listed.
Another issue the auditors found was that the county-provided ballot and provisional ballot data did not match the number of ballot records on some devices.
SOS spokesperson explained The Texan At each election, the Bureau sends inspectors to Harris County and many other counties.
“Our inspectors are former county elections officials, so they have the ability to catch mistakes before they happen and ensure compliance with property management protocols and Texas election law.”
Last year, Secretary of State Forensic audit Results of the 2020 elections in the state’s two largest Democratic and two largest Republican counties. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called the move “airresponsible dirty tricks’ and tried to legally block a state investigation.
Hollins oversaw the 2020 general election, but that year the commissioner voted to remove electoral responsibility from elected county clerk and voter registration offices and instead appoint an elections administrator. . The county election experienced multiple problems under its first election administrator, Isabel Longoria. 10,000 uncounted votes In totals reported after the March 2022 primary. Longoria resigned in July and was replaced by Clifford Tatum.
Hidalgo was unsuccessful in legally blocking the audit, but Ennis’ letter to Tatum notes that the county was uncooperative under Longoria.
“While we have benefited from working with three other counties to be audited, we cannot say the same about our experience working with our predecessor,” Ennis wrote.
“The former Harris County Elections Official was unable to respond to initial requests for basic information in a December 10, 2021 letter, so the team will take special steps to obtain a response record. In the absence of a response, our team had to make at least seven trips to Harris County to check paper records in the Election Technology Center warehouse. No inventory of records was provided, nor was I given the opportunity to speak with Harris County election staff.”
While thanking Tatum for his better cooperation, Ennis said the recently provided Tatum staff record “still leaves many questions unanswered.”
In lieu of a third-party audit requested by Commissioner Tom Ramsey (Republican-Pct. 3), the Commissioner Court decided to hire marketing firm Fors Marsh Group to conduct an analysis of the 2022 primary. Did. Fors Marsh is report to the county last July.
In a random draw earlier this year, the Secretary of State Select Harris County again For a full forensic audit of not only the 2020 General Election, but all elections after the 2022 General Election. The state legislature has approved a new audit. Senate Bill 1among other measures, clarified provisions banning drive-through voting and sending unsolicited ballot applications.
In response, the Harris County Commissioner voted again to file a legal challenge to the audit with the county attorney.
State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), former Harris County registrar of voters, said: The Texan“I hope this audit reveals just how frivolous that stupid lawsuit was.”
In response to a request for comment, Harris County Elections emailed a statement that the administrator was “working with the Harris County Attorney’s Office to review the letter.”
“As you know, we are five days away from early voting for the November 8th election, and our primary focus is on making sure this election runs smoothly.”
The issue spilled over into this year’s election Harris County Judge Hidalgo called Republican Alexandra del Moral Miller “aelection denier‘ due to Miller’s expressed support for the audit of the election.
A copy of the Secretary of State’s letter to Tatum is below.
https://thetexan.news/texas-secretary-of-state-finds-serious-breaches-in-harris-county-2020-election-audit/ Texas Secretary of State Finds ‘Serious Violations’ in Harris County 2020 Election Audit