The Republican Party's high-profile campaign to regain power in the largest county in Texas has had a significant effect on local communities. In response, the Democrats have increased their presence in Harris County. The mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, has expressed his disapproval of two bills that would only affect elections in Harris County. According to voting statistics from the Harris County Elections Administrator's Office, all voting centers received at least 600 paper ballots, and the plan was to replenish them throughout the day as needed.
Arman, a native of Houston, returned to Texas after studying politics, journalism, and Spanish at Princeton University. He has been writing and reporting on his home state with a focus on politics, law, and their intersection. On Monday night, Harris County Republican Party President Cindy Siegel praised the passage of the bills. These measures are part of the Republicans' efforts to control Harris County and other large blue counties in the future. Harris County has been in the spotlight for months due to its electoral issues.
The Harris County Republican Party is suing election administrator Clifford Tatum and the county. Twenty-one unsuccessful Republican candidates from Harris County have also filed lawsuits demanding new elections. Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston, has stated that last year's Harris County election problems were the “genesis” of the proposals. Natalia Contreras covers election administration and voting access for Votebeat in partnership with The Texas Tribune. Governor Greg Abbott has argued that Harris County's “bail policy” allows dangerous criminals to return to the streets.
The property tax reduction, which must be approved by voters in November, would be the largest in Texas history. At the time, Harris County judges followed a rigid schedule for assigning bail and required that nearly all defendants pay bail or remain behind bars awaiting trial. Rather than compounding the problem, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez believes that bail reform has helped alleviate the chronic overcrowding of the county's jails. Political campaigns in Harris County have had a major impact on local communities and will continue to do so as long as Republicans are in power.