FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2020
Houston, TX – Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) is joining the call for the appointment of the Harris County Elections Administrator to be rescinded. A recent letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R-Texas) office to County Attorney Vince Ryan (D-Harris County) stated, “...Ms. Longoria assumed the role and responsibilities of Election Administrator in violation of the Texas Election Code. As a result, her appointment is a nullity and should be rescinded.”
This process was started when a letter from the Texas Secretary of State highlighted multiple “deficiencies” surrounding the process in which Harris County created this office and appointed Isabel Longoria as their first Elections Administrator. (See attached letters)
“Harris County voters deserve an open and transparent process and unfortunately these letters from the Secretary of State and the Attorney General show that the Election Code was violated,” said Senator Bettencourt. “Therefore, I am calling for the appointment of the Harris County Elections Administrator to be rescinded.”
Some of the “deficiencies” noted by the Texas Secretary of State in their November 20th letter:
- Harris County did not send notice to the Texas Secretary of State in accordance with Section 31.031(d) of the Texas Election Code regarding their actions on August 11th.
- Harris County did not provide a notice of appointment to the Texas Secretary of State as required by Section 31.032(c) when Isabel Longoria was appointed as Elections Administrator.
In their November 25th letter, the Attorney General’s office notes, “In neglecting its obligations under Section 31.031(d) and 31.032(c), Harris County failed to meet the requisites stipulated in the Election Code. As a result, neither the Commissioner’s Court July 14, 2020 order nor the Election Commission’s October 30, 2020 appointment of Ms. Longoria to the position holds any legal weight. In short, the Harris County Office of Elections Administrator does not exist.”
“Appointing an administrator of elections in the nation’s third largest county should have been made by following the prescribed legal process to the letter,” continued Senator Bettencourt. “The Attorney General’s letter is specific that the duties of that office should be returned to the elected County Clerk and Tax Assessor-Collector,” he added.