Electoral Administrator Isabel Longoria outside the Court of Commissioners
Isabel Longoria told Harris County commissioners on Tuesday afternoon that she wanted to step down on July 1.
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — More than a week after a series of growing issues and complaints about the 2022 primary election, Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria verbally tendered her resignation to commissioners on Tuesday.
Longoria spoke to the commissioners by phone at their regular meeting and said she intended to step down on July 1.
“Today I submit my resignation, effective July 1,” Longoria said. “I think this date ensures that there will be a president in the May and June elections and gives the electoral commission the time it needs to find a replacement. I remain committed to the office and its mission and I hopes to help defeat harmful rhetoric to ensure successful elections in the future.”
Watch the full announcement here.
The announcement comes after election officials over the weekend revealed that around 10,000 mail-in ballots had not been entered in the election night tally. As of Tuesday, shortly before 5:30 p.m., all these ballots were counted and added to the unofficial results.
Click here to see the results.
The primary also experienced longer than usual count times, staffing issues and equipment problems.
“The responsibility is on me to resolve voter issues and I failed to live up to my own standard or the standard set by the commissioners,” Longoria said.
Ahead of Longoria’s appearance, Judge Lina Hidalgo addressed the election last week, saying she had spoken with Longoria and expressed a desire for a “change in leadership.”
According to journalist Adam Bennett, who oversees the commissioners’ court, Hidalgo said three things needed to happen.
- Protect continuity with three upcoming elections (May 7 Special, May 24 Runoff, November 8 General)
- Working with election commission to find new leaders after ‘extensive research’
- Identifying Primary Problems and Finding Solutions
Harris County commissioners are seeking answers to what went wrong in the Texas primary election.
On Monday, the Harris County GOP held a press conference to announce a new lawsuit against Longoria for what they called the “worst election fiasco in Texas history.”
The Harris County GOP has been calling for Longoria’s resignation since last week and after she made the announcement, the party released the following statement:
“Harris County is the third largest county in the nation with the longest ballot nationally – it is critical that we run our election properly. The widespread problems with the primary election are inexcusable and due to the incompetence of Democratic leader Lina Hidalgo and her unelected, unqualified election administrator Isabel Longoria, which is why the Harris County GOP took action by filing a lawsuit, calling for the firing or resignation of Longoria and calling for the appointment of an independent election monitor. While Longoria’s resignation today is a good first step, it is not the only step the Harris County voter needs to see happen before the elections are held. upcoming elections Longoria cannot stay in place for the May 7 local elections or the May 24 run-off primaries without independent oversight from the court or the Secretary of State. what she resigned on the spot, independent oversight is needed immediately, independent of Harris County and Harris County elections. this.”
Longoria spoke out against allegations of voting delays, saying the counting process was normal for an election. For uncaptured ballots, the administrator’s office said it would be transparent and provide updates when available.
Longoria’s full resignation message can be read below:
“Today I am tendering my resignation effective July 1. This date guarantees the presence of a presiding officer during the May and June elections and gives the electoral commission the time it needs to find a replacement. I remain committed to the office and its mission and hope to help defeat harmful rhetoric to ensure successful elections in the future.
Ultimately, the onus is on me to address these issues and conduct elections on behalf of the voters. I did not meet my own standard or the standard set by the Court of Commissioners. But thanks to this transition, we now have a real opportunity to have difficult but necessary conversations in order to solve the problems of future elections and to further strengthen the electoral administration.
But I also feel compelled to add context to the moments that have brought us to today.
Since the 2020 presidential election, bad faith actors across the country have worked to undermine the integrity of our elections and sow distrust in our civic institutions.
Across the country, we have witnessed repeated attempts to cast doubt on election results if votes were not counted within 24 hours. This rhetoric continues here locally: the arbitrary 24-hour rule in Texas has been weaponized and threatens the principle of precision over speed. I am deeply concerned that these attacks on our civic processes and institutions maximize short-term political gains but sacrifice long-term confidence in the foundation of our democracy.
The checks and balances of the solicitation process are designed to shed light on any issues in the unofficial election night results.
That’s the whole point of the process.
Declaring a failure before the process is complete does a disservice to voters. He assumes that anything after election night doesn’t matter, although the solicitation period is the most critical part of our election process.
Additionally – SB1’s restrictive election laws are a direct result of Harris County – the largest and most diverse in the state – expanding voter access through innovative practices such as drive-thru voting, voting 24 hours a day and expanding access to mail. ballot papers.
And the issues our county faced in this election are not unique – counties across the state faced similar issues with staffing and implementing new SB1 requirements.
However – attacks on Harris County continue past SB1 Pass. These lawsuits and talking points we see now were drafted when this office was created and serve today as a distraction from conversations about how to improve the process, invest resources and improve our elections. .
Instead of working together to solve problems, these actions only further divide and eliminate opportunities for improvement. This does not excuse the mistakes that have been made, but to ignore the culture of fear and lies that leads to political violence and an attack on our democracy is to miss a crucial variable in this problem .”