Harris County GOP is asking the judge for independent oversight of the May election

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — The Harris County Republican Party is calling for independent oversight of the upcoming May election after Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria resigned on Tuesday.

Longoria’s resignation came after more than 10,000 mail-in ballots were missed in the unofficial count on election night, missed deadlines for counting votes and reports of malfunctioning voting machines.

ALSO SEE: Harris County Elections Commissioner Resigns After Mislabeling 10,000 Mail-In Ballots

The Harris County GOP said Longoria’s resignation was a good move, but it wasn’t enough and that it wanted independent oversight of the May 7 municipal election and the May 24 runoff.

“We’re with her for two more elections,” said Harris County Republican Party Chairwoman Cindy Siegel.

SEE ALSO: Harris County GOP Files Lawsuit Against Election Administrator Over Mismarked Ballots

Republican Senator Paul Bettencourt said Wednesday he believes May’s election is in jeopardy without independent oversight.

“We have an election administrator who has already proven himself inexperienced, incompetent and dishonest, and yet this person will be in charge of two major elections for both political parties in the state of Texas and that cannot be tolerated. ‘ said Bettencourt.

The party said that if a judge grants their request, independent oversight would come from the court itself.

Meanwhile, Harris County Democratic Party leader Odus Evbagharu said the oversight was unnecessary and was what he calls “hype” to fuel fears about the election process.

“In terms of an independent oversight committee, we have a Harris County Elections Commission. It’s a cross-party commission. We should use this commission to implement oversight,” Evbagharu said.

Evbagharu said he believes SB1 played a role in the elections.

SEE ALSO: How SB1 Impacted Texans’ Voting in the 2022 Primary

“(Longoria) had the job, human error happened, partly caused – big time by SB1, there are new machines and new offices. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves, get to work, stop pointing fingers and make sure we get this thing right for the next upcoming election,” said Evbagharu.

Ultimately, a motion was brought before the Commissioners Court on Tuesday to bring in an outside consultant to review the electoral process and make suggestions for improvement.

There is currently no precise timetable for when this consultant will be consulted. However, Judge Lina Hidalgo hopes they can get feedback over the next few months.

As for finding a replacement for Longoria, Hidalgo hopes the Electoral Commission can find a replacement before July 1 when Longoria leaves, so there’s some overlap.

For more updates, follow Courtney Carpenter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Harris County GOP is asking the judge for independent oversight of the May election

Dais Johnston

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