After nine months, secretary of state announces Harris County election audit



(The Center Square) – After nine months of Harris County residents and candidates calling on Secretary of State Jane Nelson to audit the county’s November 2022 election, she announced Monday that her office was doing so.

“As allegations of voting irregularities surface in Harris Co., our office is investigating those allegations along with our active review of all relevant 2022 election materials,” Nelson posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “We will ensure that all relevant information is turned over and thoroughly reviewed.”

Nelson made the announcement after the Republican candidate for Harris County judge, Alexandra del Moral Mealer, repeatedly called on her to do so. Others had as well, including U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, and Jim McIngvale Gallery Furniture owner “Mattress Mack,” who also sued over the election results.

By July 31, Nelson still hadn’t begun an audit and was on vacation in Europe. In response, Mealer posted on X, “Texas Republican Secretary of State Secretary Jane Nelson doesn’t have the time to audit the November 2022 Harris County election – but she has time to travel to Europe on YOUR DIME. Tell our Chief Election Officer Jane Nelson to do her job!”

Mealer’s is among 21 judge-related lawsuits filed over the election, whose complaints allege, “Systematic and widespread violations of the Texas Election Code make the November 2022 election results unknowable.”

Her most recently amended complaint alleges there were over “32,000 likely illegal ballots” cast in her election alone.

This is the second Texas Secretary of State audit of Harris County. A 2021 audit found that Harris County had an improper chain of custody of nearly 185,000 vote records from the November 2020 election and reported many other problems.

After Nelson made the announcement, Mealer posted on X, “Thank you. Texans need answers. Please complete the audit before Nov. ‘23, and restore our faith in Texas elections.”

She’s also posted information about discrepancies in data, most recently showing, “Same document (the official vote count for the November ‘22 election), yet two different numbers for mail ballots. I will stop asking questions when Harris County starts answering some basic questions.”

Same document (the official vote count for the November ‘22 election), yet two different numbers for mail ballots. I will stop asking questions when Harris County starts answering some basic questions.— Alexandra del Moral Mealer (@alexmealer) August 13, 2023

Judge Hidalgo, who recently took a leave of absence citing clinical depression, has maintained there were no widespread problems or voter fraud that occurred on election day. As previously reported by The Center Square, on Nov. 8, 2022, polling locations in specific areas had delayed openings, equipment malfunctioned, there wasn’t enough ballot paper, among other problems, forcing voters to wait for hours or be turned away, and a judge agreed to extend voting hours to enable people to vote.

Last December, the Harris County Elections Administration published a report acknowledging problems existed and partially blamed them on the U.S. Postal Service and Houston’s Major League Baseball team, the Astros, ABC 13 News Houston reported.

Part of the report claimed: “Election Day voting did not proceed according to plan for 170 voting centers because of the celebratory World Series Parade. Several ISD’s gave their staff the Monday off to participate in the parade. As a result, the presiding judges at those locations had to reschedule set up for Monday evening/night as opposed to Monday morning and for some locations set up occurred on Tuesday morning. This resulted in reports from several election judges that they were delayed in opening at 7:00am due to limited time to setup on Election Day.”

Over 20 election related lawsuits are ongoing. The first of 21 judicial race lawsuits concluded this month. Several are expected to be scheduled in September.



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