Texas primaries: Harris County election administrator resigns amid ballot count chaos

Houston, Texas - Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria has resigned as ballots are still waiting to be counted for Texas' March 1 primaries.

Ballots are still waiting to be counted for Texas' March 1 primaries.
Ballots are still waiting to be counted for Texas' March 1 primaries.  © IMAGO / Xinhua

If you have been eagerly checking the Texas primary results each morning to see whether Bernie Sanders-endorsed Texas AG candidate Lee Merritt will advance to the Democratic runoff with frontrunner Rochelle Garza, today doesn't seem like it will bring any answers.

Full results are not yet in for the nation's earliest primaries of the year, leaving some candidates and voters in a frustrating limbo.

Part of the problem is due to delays in Harris County, which is home to a greater population than 26 US states.

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Harris County Election Administrator Isabel Longoria's office began facing increased scrutiny after Texas officials announced last weekend that 10,000 ballots – 6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican – had not been included in the tally up till that point, the Texas Tribune reported.

The news dealt another blow to Longoria's office after more than 1,000 ballot sheets were damaged as the county employed its new voting machines.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said on Tuesday she intended to replace Longoria, who announced her resignation shortly thereafter. The election administrator had faced pressure from both parties to step down.

"I want to thank Election Administrator Isabel Longoria for her service and commitment to ensuring a smooth transition in leadership. I'm relieved Election Administrator Longoria has come to this decision," said Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu.

Nevertheless, Democrats are urging Texans not to lose sight of the true enemy: SB1, the GOP-sponsored restrictive voting bill that left many local officials scrambling to deal with significant challenges with very little state-level support.

Longoria's resignation is effective on July 1. Meanwhile, Texans continue waiting for key election results.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Xinhua

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