Security Task Force calls Harris Co. election 'safe, fair'

In Harris County, Texas, unprecedented voter turnout has been met with unprecedented election preparation and execution.

"This election is going to be safe, fair and efficient," said Terry O'Rourke who chairs the Harris County Election Security Task Force - an inter-agency aggregation assembled to protect the integrity of the Democratic process and the health of those taking part.

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Essentially, that means riding herd on thousands of poll workers, poll watchers, and well north of a million voters casting ballots at more than 120 locations.

"We are taking everything that comes in and making sure that nothing is swept under the rug and nothing falls through the cracks," said O'Rourke.

The mission comes as a deadly pandemic continues to wreak havoc on a community deeply divided along political lines.

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Meeting the challenge has required previously unseen collaboration between the District Attorney, County Attorney, Harris County Clerk, and Precinct 1 Constable.

Fox 26 asked O'Rourke if the task force has uncovered instances of fraud.

"Well, we have ongoing investigations, but there is no significant fraud. There are issues that do require attention from law enforcement. So far, this election is honest," said O'Rourke.

As for the risk of violent disruption O'Rourke says, both expert eyes and rapid reaction assets have been deployed to meet any potential threat.

"We have substantial resources to make this election safe and for obvious security reasons we are not advertising where they are and what they are doing," said O'Rourke.

That's not to say those in charge of this election won't get plenty of heat.

On Thursday, Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt issued a scathing rebuke to Harris County Clerk Chris Collins who Bettencourt said corrected a discrepancy of several thousand votes in the total count three days after it was first identified. 

"The discrepancies...were large enough to have been easily noticed by any competent review and are not caused by any reporting lag as he claimed," said Bettencourt.