Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman to resign due to personal health issue, COVID-19 pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Clerk Diana Trautman said she's resigning from her position due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trautman said her age, underlying health conditions and COVID-19 were her main reasons for resigning.

During her short 16-month term in office, she made election equality her mission, which allowed citizens to vote at any polling place on Election Day regardless of where they are registered.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Trautman's last day on the job will be May 31.

Commissioners Court will appoint her replacement.

Commissioner Rodney Ellis released the following statement in regards to Trautman's resignation:

"Dr. Diane Trautman has been a dedicated public servant who has been committed to engaging voters and increasing their ability to have their voices heard. While I regret to see her step away from the County Clerk's office, I respect her decision to protect her health during this pandemic."

Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lillie Schechter issued the following statement:

"We thank Dr. Diane Trautman for her record of service to Harris County. From the beginning of her term, Dr. Trautman has been committed to protecting and expanding the fundamental right to vote for all Harris County residents by making it easier for citizens to participate in elections. At the first Commissioners Court meeting as Harris County Clerk, she led the charge to allow voters for the first time ever to cast a ballot at any polling location on Election Day. She expanded voting locations to include colleges and universities and expanded early voting days and hours. These achievements removed impediments to voting rights and will have an enduring impact in protecting our democracy. Most recently, Dr. Trautman pushed for mail ballot voting, securing up to $12 million from Commissioners Court to ensure residents can vote safely, by mail if necessary, or at the polling location.
Commissioners Court will appoint an interim clerk to serve until November 2020, when a new clerk will be elected. The Democratic and Republican parties will each put forth a nominee that will be decided by a vote of their County Executive Committees for the November 2020 Election. We wish Dr. Trautman and her family well and hope for positive news to come."
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