Harris County vows to sue state over targeted election laws

Shannon Ryan Image
Thursday, May 25, 2023 11:42PM
Harris County vows to sue state over targeted election laws
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The Harris County Attorney has promised to sue the state of Texas over two bills that would give it greater control over our elections.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The Harris County Attorney has promised to sue the state when two bills that would give it a greater say in only the county's election process are signed into law by the governor.

"We don't want our lawmakers going to Austin taking their personal vendettas with them," County Attorney Christian Menefee said.

Senate Bill 1750 will eliminate the Harris County Elections Administrators and transfer power instead to two elected county officials. About half of Texas counties have an elections administrator, but the law would only eliminate Harris County.

Senate Bill 1933 makes it easier for the Secretary of State's office to remove those officials and gives them more oversight on the county's election process.

"The Texas Constitution is clear. The legislator can't pass laws that target one specific city or one specific county," Menefee said.

Dr. Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, says the statement is "disingenuous."

"Yes. Under the Texas constitution, you can't single out a specific county by name. But you can single it out by other specific attributes such as population," he explained.

The legislation singled out the county with population. Something Jones believes Democrats set themselves up for when they created the elections administrator post in what he says was a "hyper-partisan" fashion

"By pushing so hard and not getting some local Republican buy-in, democrats were setting themselves up for a partisan reaction out of Austin," he said.

Despite the polarized political climate, Jones told ABC13 the average voter, will see little difference with or without the legislation.

"Elections will be run the same way they've always been run," he said.

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