Harris County Election Security Task Force bracing for Election Day

Jessica Willey Image
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Harris Co. Election Security Task Force bracing for Election Day
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The task force is first of its kind, triggered by the new voting opportunities due to the pandemic and current political climate.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With early voting now over in Harris County, concerns about election safety now turns to Election Day.

"We want to make sure everyone feels safe, secure and like they're able to exercise their right to vote, which is so important," said Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen.

Rosen's office is one of four that make up the Harris County Election Security Task Force. It's the first of its kind in Harris County, triggered by the new voting opportunities due to the pandemic and current political climate.

"This is an election like we've never had before for a variety of reasons. There is drive-thru voting, 120 locations where you can early vote and mail-in voting. So there's opportunity for friction at those places, and then you have the polarization of the population," explained Terrence O'Rourke, the task force chairman and special assistant to the Harris County Attorney.

RELATED: To avoid any issues at the polls, Harris County created first-ever security task force

ABC13 got an inside look at the command center where, ever since polls have been open, representatives from the Harris County District Attorney's Office, County Attorney's Office, Precinct One Constable's Office and County Clerk's office have been staffed while plainclothes officers have been embedded at polling locations around the county.

"It's kind of a one-stop shop that allows voters or election judges or anybody to call if there's a problem, and we send a team out very rapidly to make sure the problem gets resolved," said Rosen.

So far, out of almost 1.4 million votes cast, only 20 allegations of wrongdoing have risen to the level of investigation. The task force is bracing for Election Day.

"We are going to have assets everywhere. There's going to be a very large law enforcement presence that will not be seen by the public, and that's done on purpose," Rosen said.

Sisters Eloise and Valerie Davila are avoiding any possible problems. They voted early at the Moody Park Community Center Friday night.

"You see it now. People are already fighting about Donald Trump or Biden, and so, it's probably going to get aggressive in some areas," said Valerie.

Disruptions at polling locations that require law enforcement should be reported by calling 713-755-7628. Other election irregularities or violation can be reported to 713-755-6965.

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