Texas SoS Announces Plans to Send ‘Contingent of Inspectors’ to ‘Observe’ Upcoming Election Processes
Republican Leaders Are ‘Working Overtime to Destroy Voter Confidence,’ Says HCDP Chair
Houston – The chair of the Harris County Democratic Party on Thursday called out efforts by State Republican leaders to intimidate county election workers and sow chaos in the election process, after learning the Texas Secretary of State will send a “contingent of inspectors” to oversee work of local officials during the upcoming election.
In its ongoing 2020 election audit, the Texas Secretary of State alerted Harris County officials late Tuesday night that teams of state-level representatives will be arriving next week — as Early Voting begins — in order to “observe Central Count” during the November 2022 election.”
In response to a letter from the Office of the Secretary of State, HCDP Chair Odus Evbagharu issued the following statement:
“Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton are working overtime to destroy voter confidence with a pressure campaign designed to intimidate our hardworking election workers and sow chaos and doubt in the election process.
“The first phase of their 2020 audit found few issues and nothing that would not have been flagged in existing review processes. Now, Republican state leaders are trying a different approach to make people think our elections are not safe and secure.
“Our governor and attorney general continue to hemorrhage taxpayer money in order to undermine voter confidence and further suppress the vote.
“Once again, Abbott and Paxton are trying to usurp local authority and take away from the good work that was done in 2020. Ironically, their effort comes after the 2020 election was called ‘smooth and secure’ by the then-Texas secretary of state as she praised the ‘hard work and creativity shown by local county elections officials.’”
“Tuesday’s letter from the current secretary of state’s office reads like an attack on drive-through voting, which expanded voting access during the COVID pandemic. Although Harris County’s voting programs in 2020 were lauded by voting rights advocates, GOP state leaders have worked to shut down many of them.
“Harris County has been targeted by the Texas governor and attorney general for a while. It’s already been selected — supposedly at random — for an audit of the 2022 election.
“We are working with the Texas Democratic Party and have reached out to the U.S. Department of Justice to express our concerns about what appears to be a calculated assault by Republican leaders on Harris County elections.
“If Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton want our county’s elections to be run more efficiently, then they can actually help by getting their friends Harris County Commissioners Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsy to show up so we can increase the funding for the Election Administrator's Office.
“Abbott and Paxton are taking over now because they see a close election — and they are trying to appease Donald Trump.
“I want to remind voters that you have a say in this election to pick new leaders starting with Early Voting on Oct. 24 and on Election Day Nov. 8. Don’t let Abbott and Paxton’s transparent attempt to intimidate you keep you from voting. Casting a ballot is more important now than ever.”
For Immediate Release
Oct 20, 2022
Contact: Elisa Rochford