Officials in Harris County, Texas said they found about 10,000 ballots that were not counted in last week’s primary election, leading to a delay in some results.
The Associated Press reported that officials in the county, which is home to Houston, said late Saturday that these ballots had not been counted toward the unofficial election results.
The Texas primary on March 1 was the first statewide election in the nation in this midterm election year. It came amid the state’s new, more restrictive voting laws.
Officials said about 6,000 Democratic votes and 4,000 Republicans votes were not counted and will be added to final tallies.
“While the votes were scanned into our tabulation computer, they were not transferred and counted as a part of the unofficial final results as they should have been,” the Harris County Elections Office said in a statement, according to the AP.
The office told KHOU in a statement: “We are focused on ensuring that every ballot cast is accounted for through this canvassing process. We will continue to be transparent in that process through our updates but as you can imagine it is most critical that everyone on our team stay focused and commit all of their time to the task at hand. We will be discussing at commissioners court and that will be an opportunity for broadcast to hear from our office.”
The Harris County Republican and Democratic party chairs told KHOU they expected the issue to be fixed and that voters ought to have confidence in elections.
“I have spoken to the Election Administrators office this morning to share we must rectify this mistake immediately, understanding the urgency of ensuring every vote is counted and voice is heard. Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu said in a statement. “We expect action to be taken quickly. Voters should know the Harris County Democratic Party is actively monitoring the situation.”
“Every voter regardless of party should be able to have confidence that their vote has been properly counted. Unfortunately, this is another example of the serious mismanagement of Lina Hidalgo’s unqualified Elections Administrator. Isabel Longoria owes all Harris County voters an explanation,” Harris County GOP Chair Cindy Siegel said.