On Monday (November 14), Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for an investigation to be conducted into the “widespread problems” faced in the Houston area during the midterm elections.
In a statement announcing the intention to launch an investigation, Abbott said the decision was warranted given allegations of “election improprieties” in the state’s largest county. He noted these improprieties could range from “malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct.”
Abbott, who defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke last week, called the state Attorney General, Secretary of State, and the Texas Rangers to start their investigation into the allegations regarding how Harris County conducted the elections.
On Election Day, several polling locations in Harris County didn’t open on time. The late start prompted the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project to file an emergency lawsuit requesting the county’s 782 polling locations remain open for an hour after their closing time.
In a separate statement, Abbott’s office relayed voters being “frustrated” by several mishaps on Election Day, which included “missing keys, insufficient paper ballots in Republican precincts, staffing problems,” among other issues.
Election Administrator for Harris County, Cliff Tatum, also released a statement on Monday.
In the statement, Tatum expressed that his office is “fully committed to transparency” and that they are “currently reviewing issues and claims made about Election Day.”
He added the review’s findings will be included in a report that will be handed over to “the Harris County Elections Commission and the County Commissioner Court.”