The Harris County Attorney General is suing the state of Texas to repeal a law that would abolish the designated position of Harris County election administrator, because he believes its application will bring chaos to the 2024 election and it will harm the right to vote.
The new state law, signed two weeks ago, removes election administrator fee established by Harris County Commissioners Court in June 2021 and returns electoral duties to the two elected offices that previously held them, the county clerk and the tax collector, according to the Houston Chronicle.
County leaders fear that the law, if implemented on schedule, cause chaos in the voting of the elections of November 2024according to Houston Public Media.
Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee filed the suit in Travis County, naming Acting Attorney General John Scott and Secretary of State Jane Nelson as defendants in their official duties.
The county is asking a court to stay SB 1750 before it can take effect on September 1.
If the law is allowed to stand, Harris County will be forced to hand over control of elections to the County Clerk instead of your administrator, with less than two months to go before early voting begins in the November election.
The county’s lawsuit comes after months of speaking out by county leaders against SB 1750, because it has specific population requirements that only apply to Harris County’s 4 million residents.
“Our legislator here in the state of Texas should focus on passing laws that improve life for all of Texas, not target a county because its leaders look and think differently than the people of Austin,” Menefee said at a news conference on Thursday.
Per SB 1750, Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum would be removed from office and the responsibilities of the county elections administrator would pass to the county clerk and tax collector.
Tatum was appointed to the position in August 2022, just months before the November election. Nine of the ten largest counties in Texas have an election administrator. Harris County created the position in 2020.
Tatum has faced extensive scrutiny after some 20 polling places ran out of ballots on Election Day. last November, according to the Houston Chronicle. While the shortage was small, 20 Republican candidates who lost their races disputed the results.
Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said that SB 1750 is a voter suppression tactic to harm voters in the largest and most diverse county in the state. He also encouraged residents to contact Governor Abbott’s office to denounce the bill.
“It is very apparent that there is an effort beyond Harris County to do everything possible to try to stem the wave of Democrats winning elections in major Texas counties,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia.
– New figures show the record number of laws that restrict voting approved so far this year
– Latinos are now the majority of the Texas population, according to new census figures
– They ask the DOJ for help after the announcement of inspection of the elections in the most populous county in Texas
Source: La Opinion