10,000 ballots left uncounted after unofficial results posted on election night, Harris County elections administrator says

HARRIS COUNTY – The office of Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria announced an oversight of approximately 10,000 mail-in ballots not added into March 1′s election count.

Around 6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican ballots were identified early Saturday.

According to a statement from Longoria’s office, the oversight occurred between the hours of 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. as political party members of the Central Count Committee scanned the ballots into a computer but were not transferred and counted.

The office says they are coordinating with the Secretary of State’s office to investigate the steps that took place.

All 10,000 ballots will be added to the final count on Tuesday.

Republican State Senator, Paul Bettencourt, District 7, Sunday, told KPRC 2 the fault with the fouled-up primaries in Harris County is the fault of Longoria who came into the job with very little experience.

“We have an election admininstrator who has shown gross incompetence, or worse,” Senator Bettencourt said.

On the contrary, Diana Martinez Alexander, a candidate for U.S. Representative who is leading the Democrat primary in the TX-38 spot, said the problem should not be pinned on Longoria.

Instead, Alexander said, a combination of factors including recent state legislation, a Republican led lawsuit that has slowed the counting process, and equipment problems.

“That lawsuit stopping the progress, adding pressure to already stressed out election workers, it just adds to the perfect storm of what could go wrong in an election,” Alexander said.

Here’s the full statement from the office of Harris County Elections Administrator:

“As we continue to run through the numerous checks and balances of the tallying process, we identified approximately 10,000 mail-in ballots (6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican) that were not added into the original Election Night count. The oversight occurred between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m. as the political parties that make up the Central Count Committee were reviewing ballots. While the votes were scanned into our tabulation computer, they were not transferred and counted as a part of the unofficial final results as they should have been. These votes will be added to the final count when the Central Count Committee next convenes on Tuesday.

We have reached out to and are working in coordination with the Secretary of State’s Office as we investigate the missteps that took place in this process. We are committed to full transparency and will continue to provide updates as they are available.

While we understand the seriousness of this error, the ability to identify and correct this issue is a result of a lengthy, rigorous process and is a positive example of the process ultimately working as it should.”

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.