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Abbott Wants Investigation Into Harris County Voting Problems

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, fresh off his defeat of Beto O'Rourke in the gubernatorial contest, is calling for an investigation into irregularities in voting that took place on November 8 when voters attempted to cast their ballots for the midterm elections. The issue was reported by Harris County, which experienced delays in openings, paper shortages (seriously?) keys that were missing, and staffing shortages, which caused some voters to wait long periods of time.

Abbott stated that the problems could be caused by unsavory actions:

“Abbott has urged the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General's Office along with the Texas Rangers to investigate what occurred. This isn't the only occasion that the county has been affected by irregularities. In March, nearly 10,000 ballots were tampered with during the primary elections. (They were later found.)”

The issues also led to an escalating legal battle, with progressive groups convincing a judge in the local court to grant an additional time for voting. The issue isn't entirely settled, as the attorney general appealed and as according to the Houston Chronicle reports, “the Texas Supreme Court ordered the county to segregate votes cast during the extension while it reviews the judge's action.”

Apart from that, things were smooth. Secretary of State John Scott will be looking into the issue, stating via email that:

“We'll be gathering more information in order to provide the public with more insight into the root causes behind the challenges that were seen during the election in Harris County on Election Day.”

Houston Republican Senator Paul Bettencourt is too, stating in a press release that the issues were due to “voter suppression”:

“This isn't about being an anti-election skeptic. It's about real reports of irregularities in the voting process. It's about voter suppression since it's a bit unbelievable that 21st century people show up to vote but are unable to cast their votes … and the reason for this has to be discovered.”

He also posted on Twitter to declare that the 8th of November is “the WORST Election Day ever by a major county elections department that I've seen in my LIFE!”

It is yet to be determined how criminal activities will be discovered or if it is just a case of incompetence.

Bettencourt is correct, though, you don't need to be an official denier of elections to argue that casting an election this way is not acceptable.

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