Voting problems prompt county to look for solution

Harris County considers new election oversight

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HOUSTON - As controversy continues to build over July's Texas primary runoff, Harris County officials are working to prevent the problems in the future.

Every urban county in Texas -- except Harris -- has an elections administrator. Harris County Judge Ed Emmet first brought up the idea two years ago.

Incorrect totals were initially reported in the Harris County Precinct 2 constable's race and results were late coming in, officials said.

The Harris County Clerk's Office and the Tax Assessor-Collector's Office handle voter registration and elections. Emmett said an elections administrator would streamline the process and assure the voting public that their votes would be properly recorded and reported.

Officials said that under state law, the elections administrator would be appointed and overseen by a committee of five members, including the county judge, county clerk, the county tax assessor-collector and county chairpersons of the Republican and Democratic parties.

The county's budget director will figure out if the idea makes good financial sense before making a recommendation to county commissioners.

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