Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart is bad at his job.
Specifically, Stanart has performed poorly as chief election officer in his duty to responsibly and effectively administer elections for Harris County.
Stanart said that the delayed results were due to faulty phone lines that could not be tested until Election Day. This excuse, however, doesn’t explain why results were similarly late in the first round of runoffs back in May, including delayed processing of mail-in ballots. Nor does it explain why he published an inaccurate manual for election judges during the November 2011 election.
Going by this pattern, we’re not looking forward to Stanart’s handling of the presidential election.
But Stanart is not the only elected official in Harris County who has done a poor job running our elections. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners used outdated district boundary information when distributing election ballots for the May primaries. This mistake prevented some valid voters from participating in the Democratic Party primary for Harris County Board of Education, Position 6, while also allowing some people to vote in that race who shouldn’t have. Now Harris County, Sumners and Stanart face a lawsuit from the Harris County Department of Education.
At a time when people around the country support strict voter ID laws against the real or imagined specter of mass voter fraud, or oppose it to prevent threatened disenfranchisement, incompetence in our county government has brought the integrity of our local elections into question.
Stanart and Sumners are of course two of the bigger proponents of the “mass voter fraud” hallucination. The Chron doesn’t often call out officials this starkly, so it was quite bracing to read. Interestingly, they did not bring up the idea of an elections administrator as a potential solution to these problems. I’m still waiting to see if Judge Emmett will try to put it back on the table or not. I suspect we are unlikely to hear about this again until after November. Coby has more.