HOUSTON – The Harris County Democratic Party headquarters in the 4600 block of Lyons Ave was vandalized early Monday morning.
Staffers arrived for work to find the front door splashed with paint. It’s locks filled with superglue and slogans smeared on the front windows saying “Don’t Vote” and “Election No, Revolution Yes.”
The party’s executive director, D.J. Ybarra said it’s more than just an act of vandalism.
“It’s voter intimidation. That’s all it is, plain and simple,” Ybarra said. “We’ve seen it all over the country, seeing it everywhere. You know another part of it is we’re not going to discourage us. We’re still working, still getting stuff done, still contacting voters.”
The building’s security cameras recorded video of two people carrying bags that may have been filled with paint.
A neighbor across the street, who asked us not to reveal his name, said he saw four white men in all painting the slogans on the windows around 5:30 a.m. He said when he asked the men what they were doing, they ignored him.
“I take this very seriously,” the neighbor said. “Because those are white guys over here in a predominately Black area doing this. I don’t this over in River Oaks or Memorial ... Its called oppression,”
Four weeks ago, vandals defaced another building just three blocks away in the 4900 block of Lyons using similar paint and slogans.
Houston Police are currently investigating.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said both incidents were clearly meant to intimidate voters, but that the vandalism isn’t slowing the drive to get out the vote.
“When you vandalize, when you stop somebody from entering their property, you’re intimidating. And whoever did it knew full well that this was going to reach the news and that people would see it. That was the purpose of it. I’m here to say, vote with great courage," Lee said.
So far, incidents of voter fraud, intimidation, or harassment have been far and few between, according to the Harris County Election Security Task Force. With over 1.4 million votes already cast in Harris County, complaints of voter suppression, fraud and similar offenses have resulted in 20 open investigations, according to Precinct One Constable spokesman Kevin Quinn.