Harris County Republican Commissioner votes against certification of 2021 election results – Houston Public Media


Harris County District 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey

Harris County leaders voted on Monday to confirm the results of the last election, with the exception of one Republican.

Harris County District 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey was the only one to vote “no” on a measure to certify the results of the November 2 election.

Citing “serious concerns” which included delays in election night results and a lack of familiarity with the equipment, Ramsey said he wanted an independent audit of the process.

“It was a very low (turnout) election,” Ramsey said. “We have big elections coming up next year. We probably have the primary in March, and we have, of course, November 2022, and we just have to make sure that everything goes as it should. “

Republican Commissioner Jack Cagle of Precinct 4 joined the three Democrats on the commissioner tribunal to vote “yes” on the confirmation of the results.

The state has already announced that it will review the results of this year’s early polls in Harris County, which Election Administrator Isabel Longoria said were delayed due to a power outage instead of central counting. The Texas Secretary of State’s office said it would “work to ensure that all ballots are processed appropriately and counted properly.”

The 2021 election was an off-year cycle, with no major candidates on the ballot. Voters approved eight constitutional amendments, including one that would prohibit local governments from suspending religious services in an emergency.

But Ramsey’s vote against certification of results comes amid increased polarization among political parties over the validity of elections, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Former President Donald Trump has publicly called for an audit of Texas election results in 2021, insisting for months without evidence that widespread voter fraud cost him the election. Hours after Trump’s statements, the Texas Secretary of State’s office opened an audit of Harris and three other counties – Dallas, Tarrant and Collin. All except Collin County voted for Joe Biden.

In September, Ramsey and Cagle voted against a resolution condemning the audit. The resolution was passed 3-2 nonetheless according to parties, with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo calling it “yet another argument to fuel a conspiracy theory” that the 2020 election was stolen.

A number of Texas Republicans have come under fire for refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Biden defeated Trump with 306 electoral college votes to 232 for Trump. Biden also won 51.3% of the popular vote.

More than a dozen Texas Republicans and US Senator Ted Cruz all voted to reject the presidential election results in January. On the same day, violent pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol to stop the process of vote counting and certification of elections.

Some Republican state lawmakers who echoed the stolen false election narrative have subsequently championed sweeping new election laws that critics say amount to voter suppression. Houston-area state representative Briscoe Cain, who traveled to Pennsylvania to try to help Trump overturn the election, was chairman of the House Elections Committee.

Abbott also later named John Scott, who briefly represented Trump in his attempts to overturn the election, as Texas secretary of state.

Ramsey’s tenure on the Commission of Commissioners was not without controversy. At a meeting two weeks ago, he was criticized for appearing on a Tory talk show and accusing Democratic City 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis of bribery without evidence.

Ramsey also said Ellis, who is black, may have “anger issues.” Police Station 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, also a Democrat, introduced a resolution condemning Ramsey’s comments, saying they promoted a stereotypical image of an “angry black person”.

A resolution condemning Ramsey for his comments was passed 3-2 along party lines.

Additional reporting by Andrew Schneider.

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