HOUSTON - The Harris County Republican Party has asked Commissioners Court to exercise oversight of the County Clerk’s handling of the Primary Election—claiming some voters in Harris County are illegally casting more than one ballot during early voting.
The Ballot Security Committee for the Republicans analyzed voter data from the “election roster” on the County Clerk’s website, and after sorting they found that as of Tuesday morning, 92 people had voted twice, according to Genevieve Carter, communications director for the Harris County Republican Party.
“The County Clerk’s data shows that they received a mail ballot from ‘Mr. A’ on February 3, another mail ballot from ‘Mr. A’ on February 5,” Alan Vera, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party Ballot Security Committee, told Commissioners Court on Tuesday.
Vera provided Commissioners Court with a copy of the spreadsheet of voters whose names, addresses and voter ID showed up twice on the County Clerk’s roster of early voters.
“Apparently we had individuals that voted by mail twice,” said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle for Harris County Precinct Four, holding up the spreadsheet. “We had someone that voted by mail and then voted in person again. That’s a pretty scary thing to look at when it comes up, and I’ve got the names that are right here, and I’ll hand that to the clerk.”
The data on the spreadsheet shows that those who appeared twice on the roster included people who had voted in the Republican Primary and in the Democratic Primary. Forty-one of the alleged double-voters voted in the Democratic Primary, 50 of them voted in the Republican Primary, and one voter voted in both the Republican and Democratic Primaries, according to the early voter roster data.
The Office of County Clerk Diane Trautman declined a TV interview with FOX 26 but sent this statement:
“Double voting is a non-issue thus far in this election and continuing to talk about it is intimidating and confusing to voters."
“It’s sad if a County Clerk thinks that the facts coming out is intimidating to voters and the lack of transparency in her office is really a bigger concern overall of how that office is being run,” said Paul Simpson, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party. “So in a primary, we can force them to get the facts out, and we will get to the bottom of the facts. We’re worried about the November election, and we may need court supervision of her office to make sure things are run properly as the law requires.”
The Harris County Democratic Party declined to comment on the double-voter allegations.
When asked how a voter’s name could show up twice on the early voter roster, an official with the County Clerk’s Office told FOX 26 there is no way to know at this time; each ballot must still be verified, and the votes must still be certified. The data on the County Clerk’s website is unofficial.
“If the County Clerk is still using the VoteSafe Software, hopefully the duplicates will be taken care of, but here’s the question you should be asking: How did these voters get two mail ballots in the first place?” said Vera.