Sen. Bettencourt lauds Office of Attorney General Writ to SCOT on Harris Co provisional ballots

Harris County’s November 9th district hearing excluded the AG’s office & Harris County Republican Party

Senator Paul Bettencourt (R- Houston) supports the Writ of Mandamus filed by the Attorney General’s Office in the Texas Supreme Court against “The ongoing disregard of the State’s election laws…” Specifically, the writ asks if Harris County is violating their nondiscretionary duties under the Election Code by including votes in the canvas that were not lawfully cast.

“The law is clear, the stay issued by the Supreme Court is clear, and I’m thankful that the Attorney General’s office has filed a writ before the county canvass occurs later today,” stated Senator Bettencourt.

This issue came to the forefront when Harris County, after the Election Administrator had announced all ballots had been counted the morning after Election Day, Wednesday November 9th. Then in a contradictory move, Harris County officials asked for a hearing later that evening to extend the counting of ballots past the state mandated deadline of 7:00 p.m. This hearing followed a previous hearing on election night where the county argued for extending the polls’ closing time until 8:00 p.m. The district judge ruled in favor, but was stayed on a Supreme Court ruling by the AG despite the fact that the county never informed the State of either hearing.

“The second hearing to extend the counting deadline was done without the Republican Party attorney being on the Zoom meeting at all as the judge reportedly turned off the Zoom link. By the time the attorney was notified of the missing Zoom link, the hearing was over! Really, this is as one sided as an election hearing can get in Harris County without the ‘Minority’ party or the Office of the Attorney General.” He added. “This was preposterous, but to ignore a Supreme Court Stay which says follow the Texas Election Code and segregate any provisional ballots received after 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night is appalling!”

The Supreme Court of Texas set noon today for response.