Yesterday Democratic voters across Harris County experienced unprecedented wait times to cast their votes in the Texas Primary.
Because of the increase in registered voters and the enthusiasm to participate in the primary process, we expected higher than usual turnout but did not anticipate a break down of the process on the level we experienced last night.
The countywide voting program was designed to give voters increased access to voting locations and simplify the process by not requiring voters to have only one place to choose from on election day. The Texas election code is written by the Republicans in Austin and requires both parties to agree on ALL locations in order to have countywide voting in a primary election. The Harris County Republican Party used the threat of walking away from the countywide program to pick locations that were convenient to their base voters, allowing for fewer locations in heavily Democratic areas, even going so far as to place a supplemental item on the Harris County Commissioners court agenda to question placing a poll in the Pleasantville neighborhood
Additionally, HCRP chose to not participate in a joint primary that would have allowed for the sharing of resources such as voting machines and staff at all locations.
We are so grateful and proud of our election judges and workers who did a fantastic job under incredibly difficult conditions.
To everyone who waited in line for multiple hours: Thank you so much for your patience and grace and commitment to Democracy in Harris County.
We will be working with the Harris County Clerk on all possible ways to fix the issues voters experienced yesterday and continue to expand access to voting throughout Harris County and particularly in the areas that experienced that longest lines and wait times.
The ability to vote is fundamental to our Democracy, and the intentional hindrance of voting is an affront to all our shared values. The Harris County Democratic Party is committed to working hard to elect Democrats who believe the right to vote is sacred and will fight for your right to cast your ballot with a reasonable amount of effort.