Election Conduct Probe Opened In Texas

Texas District Attorney Kim Ogg of Harris County, Texas has called for help from the Texas Rangers with a probe into claims of criminal activity concerning how the county ran its midterm election.

At least some polling places ran out of paper ballots, stayed open late, and had other issues, reported Newsmax.

“Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy,” Ogg, a Democrat, said this week, according to Houston Public Media. “When we get credible complaints of election irregularities, we are statutorily required to investigate. That’s why we’ve called for the assistance of the Texas Rangers.”

This request by Ogg comes after Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation into the matter. He directed the Secretary of State, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas Rangers to look into allegations of issues in the county which “may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct.”

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

Ogg claimed her office received a referral for an investigation from the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.

Harris is Texas’ largest county, with a reported population of about 4.1 million people.

The Harris County Republican Party sued Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum and the county Monday, alleging that Tatum illegally released early voting results on election night before he was allowed to do so, breaking Texas election laws.

Allegations against the integrity of the Texas county’s system of elections have been made before. In one public testimony made about the county in April of 2022, an attendee of a Harris County Elections Commission meeting argued, “On March 1st of this year, Harris County, Texas replaced Broward County, Florida as the election laughing stock of the country.”

Harris County Democrat Party Chair Odus Evbagharu lambasted Ogg for the investigation, arguing she just wants to score political points, not identify and solve issues pertaining to election integrity.

He additionally said she is “following in the footsteps of Gov. Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the Harris County Republican Party” and “enabling election deniers and QAnon conspiracy theorists.”