Austin, TX – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) passed SB 1750 out of the Texas Senate on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. SB 1750 will restore voter trust, accountability, and transparency in Harris County elections by returning the management of elections back to elected officials. “Voters should have confidence in their elections, and when they see Harris County Elections Administrators botch election after election in 2022 that confidence is shaken. Let’s return Harris County Elections to the way it used to work with the County Clerk and Tax Assessor Collector!” Said Senator Bettencourt. “It passed with Bipartisan support 20-11,” he added.
SB 1750 will return power and duties of the Harris County Elections Administrator to the County Tax Assessor-Collector and County Clerk. Under SB 1750 the County Tax Assessor-Collector will serve as the voter registrar and the election administration duties will revert to the County Clerk. With elections under two different elected officials, the cost of an independent department will go away and the broad support from the rest of the office will provide professionalism, consistency, and stability to the election staff. Senator Bettencourt served as the Tax Assessor-Collector with County Clerk Kaufman for 10 years.
On November 8, 2022, Harris County’s EA failed to deliver enough paper ballots to over 120 voting centers, as reported by KHOU 11 (https://www.khou.com/video/news/investigations/khou-11-analysis-election-ballot-paper-shortage-bigger-than-estimated/285-3806ba23-a4f5-4ed2-8b41-cc0ad4c18861), despite having millions of paper ballots available for distribution in an EA office warehouse. Now, the Harris County EA and the County Judge who appointed him are suing the Attorney General’s Office to block the release of the election records that will shed light on why the November 8 election in Harris County turned into a fiasco. Currently, there are a record 21 election challenges filed in Harris County. County Officials refuse to answer media questions on the matter.
“In 2022 the former Harris County Election Administrator ‘found’ 10,000 votes and released a statement at 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night that led to her resignation. Then the current Elections Administrator either wouldn’t or couldn’t get millions of paper ballots out of the warehouse and to the polls with thousands of voters being turned away for lack of ballots. The Nation’s third largest county cannot have third world elections anymore! Bring back accountability with elected officials running elections.” Concluded Senator Bettencourt.
Senator Bettencourt has passed 10 election and voter integrity bills out of the Texas Senate so far, and expects to pass more out in the next couple of weeks.