Stanart Meets With Voter Groups to Discuss Recent Voting Problems
Following a wave of criticism over problems during the recent primary runoff election, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart held a meeting with leaders of several local and national voter engagement organizations to discuss his office’s role in the elections process.
The recent runoffs were marred by the release of incorrect vote totals and lengthy polling place delays in some precincts that kept voters in line as late as 10 p.m.
The runoff problems came on the heels of the revelation that incorrect district lines for the Harris County Department of Education had been used during the primary. The inaccurate lines also affected the runoff because a majority of mail ballots had been sent out prior to the error being discovered.
Last week, Stanart called the meeting with voter groups to discuss the problem-plagued primary.
“My office is open to support organizations that are providing eligible voters the timely and accurate information needed to vote. I take that job very seriously,” Stanart said.
Organizations present at the meeting included Project Vote, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund, Mi Familia Vota, NAACP, NALEO Education Fund, and Advancement Project.
Stanart, along with Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners, answered questions about voter registration and volunteer deputy voter registrar training. Stanart provided information on Harris County’s absentee, early voting, and election day voting.
The process of how elections are conducted in Harris County per Texas Election Code and Texas Secretary of State procedures were also reviewed.
In addition, Stanart reviewed the process of counting votes and many of the procedures that ensure every eligible voter’s vote is accurately counted as well as the procedures to safeguard the integrity of the election. He emphasized that, due to the 2010 Census and redistricting, that some voters would have to vote in a different location than they are accustomed to voting for the Nov. 6, 2012 general election.
“I encourage everyone for the presidential election to vote early and go to www.HarrisVotes.com for the latest information about voting in Harris County,” Stanart said.
The county clerk emphasized that his office follows state and federal laws while conducting elections in Harris County.
After the meeting, Stanart said he and Sumners were “able to answer all of their questions and then some.”
“I believe dialogue with voter advocates is important because it helps dispel the myths and exaggerations circulated by the uninformed,” Stanart said.
In an earlier statement, Stanart blamed the election problems on “human error” and pledged he would be “holding people responsible,” that election technicians would be retrained and “procedures will be faithfully and accurately followed in the future.”