GOP Senator supports Harris County Election Inquiry

Gov. Greg Abbott was the first to call for an investigation into what he called “widespread problems” in the Harris County election.

TEXAS, USA — After Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg launched an investigation into the Nov. 8 election in the state’s largest county, questions are whether she will find anything criminal.

State Senator Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston, believes it will.

“They have 23 polls that seem to have run out of paper or not enough given to begin with, and they have not been followed up to get more ballots in time for those polls,” Sen. Bettencourt said InsideTexas Politics.

Gov. Greg Abbott was the first to call for an investigation into what he called “widespread problems” in the Harris County election. Citing frustration and confusion, the governor said delays were caused by insufficient ballots, staffing issues and more.

“The allegations of improper elections in our state’s largest county may stem from anything from misconduct to manifest criminal conduct,” the governor said in a statement.

The Harris County Republican Party also filed a lawsuit, alleging that the county and Election Administrator Clifford Tatum violated Texas electoral law.

One allegation concerns the improper handling of damaged ballot papers. But the claim that’s getting the most attention relates to paper shortages at 23 polling stations.

Bettencourt claims this resulted in some voters being unable to vote.

“A district judge had to dismiss 150 people from the line. Think about it. You have a line that’s 150 deep and you’re out of paper and you have to fire her,” the Republican told us.

But Harris County voters, like voters in many other Texas counties, had an opportunity to cast a ballot any location in the district. And on election day, they had 782 polling stations to choose from.

Ogg, a Democrat, says she began her investigation after receiving the referral from the Texas Secretary of State’s office. She has also asked the Texas Rangers for help. This is the same investigation requested by the governor.

The Harris County Elections Administration communications director told us he had no comment due to the ongoing investigation.

We also asked Bettencourt if he supports Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid, but that investigation remained the forefront.

“Right now, that’s what I’m focusing on because I want to make sure everyone understands that this effort isn’t about being an election denier,” he said. “And that means we must act immediately. We need to conduct an investigation. So I will not engage in any other political activity until we get to the bottom of this Harris County mess.” GOP Senator supports Harris County Election Inquiry

Laura Coffey

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