‘It is a very difficult job’: Support and criticism continue amid fallout from Harris County primary election issues

Harris County Republican leadership said the primary election problems were due to a variety of issues related to voting machines, training, and incorrect ballots. KPRC 2's Mario Diaz has more.

When the polls closed and election results were delayed Tuesday night, Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria stood on the floor of the Elections Technology Center and claimed members of her team had been hit with a variety of physical challenges -- “Asthma attacks, exhaustion, peeing blood, breaking down daily.”

Three days later, former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins did not say he had seen the same physical challenges under his watch but did state the following in regards to the job of Elections Administrator: “I can tell you this first hand, it is a very difficult job.”

Hollins ran the 2020 elections in Harris County. It was the last time the responsibility was under the office.

On Thursday, Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt called for a return to that practice.

“The Commissioners Court could decide to return the election to the existing Democrat office holders that it was taken from. Because I know the current Democrat County Clerk would have to be more competent than the current Election Administrator,” said Bettencourt.

Harris County Democratic Chair Odus Evbagharu had a different perspective Friday morning.

“I’m here to tell you the Elections Administrator’s Office it’s not going anywhere. We’re going to keep it,” said Evbagharu.

Harris County Republican leadership said the primary election problems were due to a variety of issues related to voting machines, training, and incorrect ballots.

Evbagharu admitted he was far from satisfied with the all the issues surrounding vote count and reporting results.

“It’s very frustrating. We’ve had calls since September, I believe Rob with the Republican Party with the elections administrator’s office. Look we are going to get better at this,” said Evbagharu. “It’s not about Republican or Democrat, it’s about making sure that we allow people’s voices to be heard.”

On Wednesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told KPRC 2 Investigates she was eagerly awaiting a full account from Longoria’s office following the issues that impacted Tuesday’s delayed primary vote count.

A spokesperson for Judge Hidalgo says the office still had not received anything from the Election’s Office.


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