Harris County clerk provides update on election preparations

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins speaks during a news conference in Houston on Sept. 10, 2020. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins gave an update Thursday on preparations underway for the Nov. 3 election.

Hollins spoke at NRG Arena after giving the media a tour of the county’s election headquarters. According to Hollins, the top priority for him and the Harris County Clerk’s Office is to make sure every eligible voter can cast their vote safely and efficiently.

“Despite any differences that we may have, we must come together as neighbors and as a nation,” Hollins said. “Protecting the right to vote, the most fundamental aspect of our democracy requires us all to place our nation’s democratic values above partisan sentiment.”

According to Hollins, protecting the right to vote is not easy, and doing so in today’s climate in Texas' largest county is unprecedented. Hollins said no one should have to choose between voting or health, and in Harris County, no one will have to.

“The 2020 election is too important, and the stakes are simply too high,” Hollins said. “We know it. Stakeholders across Harris County know it, and we are working together to accommodate the record turnout that we expect in Harris County.”

Voting locations in Harris County

To ensure Harris County voters are able to cast a ballot, Hollins said the county has tripled the number of early voting centers, and for the first time, voters can choose to go to any polling location in Harris County.

According to Hollins, each location will meet high health standards and people will have more time to vote as early voting will open on Oct. 13.

The Harris County Clerk’s Office also has several partners such as the Rockets and Texans, Houston Independent School District, the Houston Food Bank and others to ensure there are large, spacious locations for voting.

During the last week of early voting, there will be three days where all voting centers will be open until 10 p.m., and a handful of locations, including NRG and the Texas Medical Center, will be open 24 hours, according to Hollins.

There will also be 10 voting locations, including NRG and the Toyota Center, that will offer drive-through voting, Hollins said.

Hollins said his office is waiting for a judge to make a decision on the mail-in ballot lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General to resume sending applications to eligible voters. The decision is expected to come down Friday, Hollins said.

“We encourage every registered voter to apply to vote by mail if you are eligible,” Hollins said. “It’s safer and more convenient for you. You can vote from the safety and comfort of your dinner table or your sofa and you can take the time you need to make your choices.”

Early voting starts on Oct. 13. Election Day is on Nov. 3.

Watch the full news conference below:

Harris County clerk provides update on election preps

The Harris County clerk provides an update on election preparations.

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, September 10, 2020