State Senator Expecting Criminal Charges in Harris County Election Investigation

Larry Lease

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Harris County has launched an investigation into issues that plagued polling locations on Election Day.Ernie Journeys/Unsplash

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has opened an investigation into the Nov. 8 election in Harris County. WFAA reports that the main question is, whether she will find anything criminal. According to State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, she will. Sen. Bettencourt told Inside Texas Politics and WFAA:

“You’ve got 23 polls that seemed to have run out of paper, or weren’t given enough to start with and they weren’t followed up with to get more ballots to those polls on a timely manner."

Governor Greg Abbott first called for an investigation into these Election Day problems that plagued Harris County's elections. The Governor claimed these delays were caused by staffing problems and a shortage of paper ballots. Governor Abbott initially released a statement saying:

“The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct.”

The Harris County Republican Party has filed a suit claiming Harris County and the Election Administrator have violated the Texas Elections Code. According to WFAA, the HCRP's allegations include the improper handling of damaged ballots. However, the investigation is more focused on the paper shortages at 23 different polling locations. Bettencourt alleges this caused some voters to not be able to cast a ballot.

However, Harris County voters have the ability to cast their vote at any polling location through the county. On Nov. 8th, there were 782 polling locations to choose from. Dallas News says Ogg opened the investigation after receiving a referral from the Secretary of State's Office. The Harris County Elections Administration have remained silent about the ongoing investigation.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX
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