HOUSTON – Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria announced she is submitting her resignation. She made the announcement during Commissioners Court on Tuesday.
During a video conference, Longoria said she “didn’t meet her own standards.”
Her resignation is effective July 1, which ensures there’s a presiding officer during the May and June elections. It also provides time for the county election committee to find a replacement officer to oversee the November election.
“It is not acceptable the way that these elections took place, in particularly, the criticisms and the lack of support that the election judges felt,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who called the resignation “appropriate.”
“During this transition, now the real opportunity has come to have a conversation to solve the problems in future elections, and further bolster the elections administration,” Longoria said.
The resignation comes after 10,000 uncounted mail-in ballots were found over the weekend.
Longoria placed some of the blame on Senate Bill 1, claiming the bill was “a direct result” of Harris County’s innovative processes, such as 24-hour and drive-thru voting during the 2020 General Election.
“To declare failure before the process is completed is a disservice to voters, and it assumes that anything that occurs after Election night doesn’t matter. It is the most critical part of the Election process.”
Republicans in Harris County have also filed a lawsuit against Longoria as part of their demand for answers.
“So, what we hope to come out of this is where either Isabel Longoria and her management team resign, or they’re fired but more importantly the courts actually step in and provide independent oversight over the election process,” Harris County Republican Party Chair Cindy Siegel said.
Odus Evbagharu, Chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, wants Judge Lina Hidalgo to schedule a meeting of the County Elections Committee, which is made up of both party chairs, county judge, county clerk and tax assessor.
“We’re going to look at every measure possible. Take any action necessary to instill confidence that will go back into the voters, whether it’s looking into making a change at the election administrator’s role or changing the processes, we’re going to look at everything,” Evbagharu said.
Harris County Elections said they will continue to be transparent through updates.