Austin, TX – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), with ten co-authors, passed two more Election Integrity bills on Thursday, April 6, 2023, in response to the botched 2022 primary and general elections in Harris County.
There were over ten thousand voter irregularities in the Harris County 2022 primary and general elections, and the truth of what really happened has yet to be told publicly by either the Harris County Elections Administrator or the Harris County Judge. There are now 21 active election contests, and the visiting trial judge has told all the parties involved that some of these cases will go to trial. Senator Bettencourt’s bills that passed the Texas Senate on Thursday address two specific problems with Harris County Elections. “In the 2022 primary, the former Harris County Elections Administrator couldn’t find ten thousand primary ballots to be counted of both political parties but swore in a court case that she had counted all the ballots. Then she sent out a press release at 10:30 p.m. after the Saturday night newscast, saying she found ‘ten thousand primary ballots of both parties.’ She resigned four days later after a torrent of complaints by Presiding Judges of both political parties.” Said Senator Bettencourt.
The first bill, SB 1907, addresses Harris County’s pattern of failing to report election results no later than 24 hours after election polls close. The second bill, SB 1950 addresses the Harris County Signature Verification Committee being told by the Elections Administrator’s office that the committee was only supposed to compare the ID number on mail-in ballot envelopes to the ID on the mail-in ballot application during the November 8th election. They were also told not to compare and verify the signatures on the mail-in ballots as is required by law. “This is a textbook case of malevolent intent by the current Elections Administrator and his management team not to follow the election code that clearly states the steps to correctly verify absentee ballots by mail. This is why SB 1950 raises the criminal penalty for this behavior from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor.” Added Senator Bettencourt.
Senator Bettencourt plans on passing more election transparency and voter integrity bills out of the Texas Senate in the coming weeks. “Harris County is not too big to fail but too big to be ignored any longer.” He concluded.