Texas Gov. Abbott calls for investigation into Harris County’s Election Day problems

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation into Harris County’s elections after several polling places failed to open on time and ran out of paper ballots on Election Day last week. 

“The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct,” Abbott said in a statement. 

“Voters in Harris County deserve to know what happened. Integrity in the election process is essential. To achieve that standard, a thorough investigation is warranted.”

A voter sits on a bench outside of a polling location in Texas. 

A voter sits on a bench outside of a polling location in Texas. 
(Callaghan OHare/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Multiple polling places in Harris County failed to open at 7 a.m. on Election Day. The BakerRipley House in downtown Houston didn’t open for over four hours because officials misplaced a key that was needed to use the voting machines, according to Houston Public Media. 

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A judge ordered voting hours to be extended until 8 p.m. across Harris County’s 782 polling locations due to the delay in opening. The Texas Supreme Court later ruled that voting “should occur only as permitted by” the Texas Election Code and votes cast after the original deadline should be segregated. 

The Harris County Republican Party said several polling locations were understaffed and ran out of paper. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a press conference during which he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a press conference during which he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. 
(Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

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Abbott, who won re-election to a third term last week, is asking the Texas Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Texas Rangers to investigate the Election Day problems. 

The Harris County Election Administrator’s Office did not return a request for comment on Monday. 

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