Election judges prepare for voting process for midterm elections amid changes

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Monday, November 6, 2023
Midterm Elections 2023: 6,000 employees involved in preparation and execution for Election Day
With Election Day right around the corner, election judges in Harris County started the process of picking up equipment to run their respective polling centers.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The countdown to Election Day is on.

Saturday was supply pick up for election judges who are critical in making sure the voting process goes smoothly.

Officials say 6,000 employees in total are involved in the preparation and execution of Nov. 7.

The biggest shake-up in 2023 is the change in leadership. The state legislature passed a bill nixing the election administrator position.

The responsibility for elections and voter registration now falls on the county clerk and the county tax assessor-collector.

"This is not my first rodeo...right," Teneisha Hudspeth, Harris County Clerk, said.

In fact, Hudpseth has a lot more on her plates these days.

As the country clerk, she now runs the show on Election Day.

"The first thing we did is make sure we have as many people on this team that's been doing the job as possible for continuity for less disruption including bringing experts that have not been involved for a while to come back into this operation," Hudspeth said.

This weekend, election judges began the process of picking up equipment to run their respective polling centers.

Russel Rush, a Harris County Election Judge, has reported for duty going on three decades.

"I've seen sometimes when it wasn't run very efficiently. It seems like it is running a lot better now and hopefully, we won't run out of paper. I almost ran out of ballots the last time," Rush said.

Last month, an audit released by the Texas Secretary of State revealed problems from last year's election.

One of the problems included a lack paper.

It also found issues with mail in ballots and training.

"We went from a very paper-oriented system to very much digital machines. They are much more complicated and involved to set up, but it is much easier on the count side," Rush said.

Hudspeth says they've worked out those kinks.

In total, Harris County will have 701 polling locations.

"Voters should know the wheels of democracy are not going to stop turning because there has been a major change, but in fact, we will make sure that we are putting every measure in place to prepare for now and next year, which is going to be a presidential year," Hudspeth said.

More importantly, there are 14 state constitutional amendments and the Harris County Hospital District proposition on the ballot.

In addition, you have the open mayoral seat there, which is the race for city controller and city council races.