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2022 primary results: Harris County

There were some issues, as there always are. Honestly, that’s one of the reasons I vote early – less time pressure in case something happens. There was also an issue with reporting the early ballots.

The Harris County Elections Administration has requested an extension on the 24-hour deadline to report the results of Tuesday’s primary elections, according to Texas Secretary of State John Scott.

State law requires that counties report results from both early voting and Election Day within 24 hours of the polls closing. Just after polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Scott’s office said that they were informed by Harris County election officials that the county would not be able to count and report the results.

“Harris County election officials have indicated to our office that the delay in ballot tabulation is due only to damaged ballot sheets that must be duplicated before they can be scanned by ballot tabulators at the central count location,” Scott said in a statement.

Failing to meet the deadline is a Class B misdemeanor, Scott’s office said.

“Our office stands ready to assist Harris County election officials, and all county election officials throughout the state, in complying with Texas Election Code requirements for accurately tabulating and reporting Primary Election results,” Scott said.

Don’t know what happened there, but I get a PDF of the results in my inbox every time they get posted to the web, and the first one arrived at 7:25, so whatever the delay was it didn’t take that long to fix it. Other places had their issues as well, often because of missing election judges. And I can’t wait to see how long it takes Potter County to finish its count.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo was headed for an easy win in her primary; she was at almost 70% of the vote in early voting. Erica Davis was just shy of 15%. Alexandra Mealer and Vidal Martinez were the two top Republicans. Marilyn Burgess was winning for District Clerk, but Carla Wyatt had a nearly identical lead for Treasurer over incumbent Dylan Osborne. You just can’t tell with these things sometimes.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia was also on the way to an easy win in Precinct 2, while Lesley Briones and Ben Chou were leading in Precinct 4. Jack Morman and Jerry Mouton were the top two for Precinct 2 on the Republican side.

Multiple District Court judges were losing their primaries. The ones who were leading included Hilary Unger, Chris Morton, Dedra Davis, Natalia Oakes, Leah Shapiro, and Frank Aguilar, the latter two by smaller margins that could vanish overnight. Amy Martin was trailing Melissa Morris by a small margin as well. Jason Luong was in second place and headed to a runoff against Andrea Beall, Chip Wells was in a similar position against Teresa Waldrop, while Greg Glass and Scott Dollinger were out of the running, with Glass’ opponents in a runoff and Tami Craft leading the field in Dollinger’s race. Veronica Nelson was above 50% in the three-way race for the new 482nd Criminal District Court.

The County Court judges were doing a bit better, with four out of seven leading their races. For the open benches, Juanita Jackson won in Criminal Court #10, Porscha Brown was above 50% for Criminal Court #3, and Monica Singh was leading for Civil Court #4, with second place too close to call between David Patronella and Treasea Treviño.

For the JP races, Sonia Lopez was leading in Precinct 1, with Steve Duble slightly ahead of Chris Watson for second place. Dolores Lozano won in Precinct 2, incumbent Lucia Bates was over 50% in Precinct 3. Roderick Rogers was winning in Precinct 5 and Angela Rodriguez was winning in Precinct 6.

That’s all I’ve got, with results trickling in. I’ll follow up tomorrow.

UPDATE: We’re going to be waiting for results for the rest of the day due to issues with the paper receipts and the printers.

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11 Comments

  1. N.M. Horwitz says:

    How very shameful of the local Democratic Party to not protect its own, and of the Chronicle for being too lazy to cover and endorse in all but a handful of judicial races.

  2. Mainstream says:

    There was a lot more than “a few issues”. I understand that as of 4 a.m. there were still 150 ballot boxes which had not been returned, and as of noon today there may still be 20 or 30 left to come in. The large number of spoiled and damaged ballots will undermine confidence in the integrity of the system. Yes, it’s new. Yes, there is a learning curve, but my personal experience is that the administration was chaotic and the new system just has too many moving parts to work smoothly.

  3. Noah, with rare exceptions the HCDP does not get involved in contested primaries. The precinct chairs and the clubs don’t want them to. I tend to agree with that, even if it does mean some unfortunate results.

  4. Karen says:

    I was an election day clerk and our poll had malfunctioning duos and a scanner that didn’t work. We were told to unlock the ballot box and deposit the ballots in there to rescan later with a different scanner (which was never delivered). Several hours into the election we realized that the reason our machines weren’t working was because the county issued us letter-sized instead of legal-sized ballots. The machines were all calibrated for legal size. We only realized this after noticing that the Democrat clerks were handing their voters legal size ballots. Once the county delivered the correct size, the machines worked. Unfortunately, 70 people had already voted and because their ballot paper was too short, 17 races did NOT print! No way to correct that. Fortunately, those were uncontested races in our precinct, but I am going to guess there were other polls issued the wrong size where it may have made a difference. These new machines are awful and the Election Administrator totally incompetent.

  5. Manny says:

    Time to replace Longoria, if Chou does not win his run-off with Briones he should be considered.

  6. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    DOLLI, OH GOLLY!

    If the media can’t even get the incumbent judges right, how will the voters?

    ABC 13’s report makes it sound like Scot Dollinger (nickname “dolli”) is sitting as a misdemeanor judge:

    To wit:

    “Tristan Longino and Barbara Stalder, who serve in family court, and civil district court judges Scot Dollinger, Franklin Bynum, and David Singer, who serve in misdemeanor criminal court, were all unseated.”

    Not so.

    https://www.justex.net/Courts/Civil/CivilCourts.aspx

    District courts are state courts of general jurisdiction, but in Harris County they are specialized. Judge dolli’s is the 189th in the Civil Division.

    In the broad sense, Family and Juvenile are civil courts too (both hear and adjudicate cases under the Texas Family Code), but they are separate divisions in Harris County and also housed in separate court buildings: Family Law Center 1115 Congress St. and Juvenile Justice Center at 1200 Congress St., respectively.

    The Harris County Civil Courthouse (modern highrise) is at 201 Caroline and houses the courts that hear pretty much all other civil disputes, including personal injury and other torts, business and employment disputes, tax suits, and debt-collection cases (not much hearing and trial activity in those, though). The latter mostly in the four civil county courts at law (CCCL1 through CCCL4), which also hear eviction appeals from the JP courts de novo (“de novo” meaning retrial instead of appellate review in the ordinary sense of the term).

    And Stadler’s district court (280th) is in the Family Division, but should more particularly be described as “Family Protective Order Court”. Unlike the regular family courts that hear divorces and SAPCRs, this one is a more specialized family court and is located in the Juvenile Justice Center.

    DO YOU REALLY WANT A REVENGE-AGENDA JUDGE ?

    Barbara Stadler also provides are good illustration why the media shouldn’t lump individual incumbents into a single pot, stir the pot, and then paint the local judicial panorama in broad strokes. Stadler had her own issues unique to her person and her court that played a role in the campaign and may have affected the outcome.

    From a Fox26 story:

    During a recusal hearing to get 280th District Court Judge Barbara Stalder removed from a case, four attorneys testified she’s biased against people who are accused of domestic violence.

    “Absolutely,” said attorney Lori Laird. “She campaigned as being a victim of family violence.”

    According to testimony in the hearing, Stalder is “the abused becoming the abuser.”

    “It is very concerning,” said attorney Karleana Farias. “It should be concerning to every resident in Harris County that we have this situation in the 280th.”

    Don’t believe the source? Check out a Houston Cougar story from 2020:
    Nancy Truong, “Professor runs for judgeship”, DAILY COUGAR (Mar 3, 2014)

  7. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    SOURCE CORRECTION: the Cougar story is from 2014, not 2020, but still online.

    See here: http://thedailycougar.com/2014/03/03/professor-runs-for-judgeship/

    Lede:

    A UH professor and attorney at the Civil Practice Clinic, who was once a victim of domestic violence, has taken her experience to give back to the Houston community.

    Barbara J. Stalder grew up in a family in which she experienced domestic violence. Because of her personal experience, she developed a desire to become judge of the 280th District Court, which was created to help streamline the process of victims against violence.

  8. Frederick says:

    Karen,

    Can you state which polling location the issue occured that you are describing?

    I am assuming you made a complaint with full and salient details to the Elections Administrator’s office. I’ll follow up with them and verify your complaint and post back here to verify to these readers.

  9. Karen says:

    Frederick, look for a complaint from PJ Erich Wolz, prct 255 to Isabelle Longoria and Rachelle. He also emailed (separately) the complaint to all the Commissioners, as well as our party chair He will be filing an official complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office as well. Adding to the debacle, his election supply kit that he picked up on Saturday (after a 2 hour wait in line) did not include the ballot paper and he had to return on Sunday to get the paper after the EA office notified him of their mistake. He wasn’t the only judge who had to return because of an incomplete election kit. Because he insisted on a signed chain of custody form for the ballot paper he picked up, he actually has the signature of the person who gave him the wrong size ballot paper. All easily verified.

  10. Frederick says:

    Karen,

    Thanks for the information. Can you indicate the specific polling location?

    I’ve already been attempting to contact the Elections Administrator on other potential issues and needed improvements in the new process.

  11. Mainstream says:

    I also had to return to the supply pickup for ballot paper, and then a second time for bar code scanners and a ballot box. but I was given the correct size of paper.