FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2022
Houston, TX – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) makes further comments on Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria's resignation effective July 1, 2022. Senator Bettencourt was the first elected official to call for Election Administrator Longoria's firing the night of the Primary Elections, then again with Harris County Republican Party Chair Cindy Siegel and State Representative Briscoe Cain at a Thursday press conference last week.
"The resignation of County Judge Lina Hidalgo's handpicked Election Administrator is just the first step in the process to restore the public's trust in elections in the nations third-largest county. The finding of 10,000 plus missing Absentee Ballots after initial counting is just the capstone to all of the multiple problems, equipment malfunctions, ballot misuse, and coding errors that occurred in Tuesday's Primary Election for both parties," stated Senator Bettencourt.
The passage of SB1 was instrumental in finding the missing 10,000 ballots because of its requirement for a reconciliation form showing the omission. In addition, SB1 provided civil penalties for the termination of election officials which at this point is redundant.
"With the resigned Election Administrator staying in place until July 1st, Harris County Republican Party Chair Cindy Siegel is correct that the office will require independent oversight during this time," said Senator Bettencourt.
The Harris County Commissioners Court agenda item by Commissioner Ramsey was instrumental in listening to the public's "horror stories" of what happened in the primaries of both parties. Former Lone Star College Trustee, Kyle Scott, testified that the cost of elections in 2018 was $1.48 per registered voter is now up to $5.48 in 2022 in the new Election Administrator's department.
"This 270% increase in election cost is intolerable to taxpayers. This is another reason why the Harris County Commissioners Court should abolish the Election Administrator position and return elections to the Democrat elected officials, the county clerk and tax assessor collector. I am not sure the voters can handle another County Judge Hidalgo "tested and ready" nominee for Election Administrator!" concluded Senator Bettencourt.