Republicans, Democrats disagree on move forward after county elections administrator's resignation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As of Tuesday night, there were still no concrete answers to questions about what went wrong in Harris County's Primary Election, or how to fix the problems.

On Tuesday, Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria resigned over issues such as missed deadlines and mischaracterized ballots, and county commissioners promised to resolve them before the runoff elections in May. However, Democrats and Republicans disagree on the right way to move forward.

READ MORE: Harris County election administrator resigns after 10K mail-in ballots were mischaracterized

The election dominated discussion all day at commissioner's court. There was only consensus around the idea that the election administrator's office needed new leadership.

Almost 20 people aired their frustrations with the Primary Election in Harris County at the meeting Tuesday morning. Most of them were poll workers who called for Longoria to be fired.

The following were a few of their comments:
  • "It's obvious Ms. Longoria is in over her head."
  • "She has run the most corrupt elections I have ever seen."
  • "She has more excuses than a 16-year-old missing curfew, but isn't even as believable."


By that afternoon, Longoria tendered her resignation. She joined the court by video conference and said she failed to meet her own standards.

SEE ALSO: 10K mail-in ballots not added into Harris County's election night count, officials say

That evening, commissioners voted to hire a third-party consultant to nail down what exactly went wrong. The county missed the vote count deadline, and then it was discovered that more than 10,000 ballots were left out of the initial tally.

"What we are seeing is the system working, but it would be great, obviously, if all those votes were counted officially the first time around," said Chris Hollins, a Democratic mayoral candidate for the City of Houston, who also helped oversee the 2020 election.

Democrats praised the system of checks and balances that brought the problems to light, but some Republicans said the new office of election administration is a failure.

"Let's go back to what was working. The great experiment has failed. It may sound strange, but this Republican longs for the day when those two Democrats were in charge," Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle said.

It's unlikely that control over elections in Harris County will go back to the county clerk and tax assessor. Looking ahead, the bipartisan elections committee will start a search and then vote on who to appoint to replace Longoria. Her tenure officially ends after the May elections.

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