Texas Bill Grants Secretary Of State The Power To Overturn Elections
Thursday, May 04, 2023
This week, Texas lawmakers advanced a bill that would grant the secretary of state the power to overturn election results--targeting the largest county in the state, Harris County, which has a population totaling 4.7 million.
Harris County, home of Houston, has faced controversy surrounding numerous "botched" election cycles. In an attempt to rectify this issue, lawmakers issued a bill that would allow the secretary of state, appointed by Governor Greg Abbott, to hold a new election if a county runs out of paper at more than 2 percent of its polling locations for more than an hour.
The bill would apply to counties whose population exceeds 2.7 million. Harris County is the only county in the state that meets that requirement.
"There is no reason, there is no excuse why we can't competently run our elections and have adequate ballot paper," said one of the bill's co-authors, State Senator Mayes Middleton.
Democrats are wary of the bill, believing it to hold bias because of the county's historic pattern of leaning Democratic in every presidential election since 2008.
With the second largest county in the state having a population of 2.6 million, just short of the population requirement, it is apparent that Harris County is being singled out. Nonetheless, Middleton notes that this is in response to the county's inability to provide enough ballot paper during the November 2022 election. Middleton does not see why this should ever happen again.
"You've got to supply enough ballot paper," said Middleton. "There's not reason that should happen again. It's a simple thing. You just deliver enough paper."
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