Houston furniture magnate Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has launched a website in hopes of gathering evidence of voter disenfranchisement in Harris County’s November 2022 election.
The initiative follows the Gallery Furniture owner’s lawsuit filed last week accusing the Harris County Elections Administrator’s Office of refusing to turn over public records related to the election.
GOP lawmakers including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have called for Harris County to redo its November election based on claims of ballot paper shortages, though they have not provided any evidence or estimate of disenfranchised voters. McIngvale, who was a major donor supporting Republican candidates, including County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s opponent Alexandra del Moral Mealer, now appears to be searching for just that.
The website, called Hard to Vote, leads with a recorded message from McIngvale: “Do you believe you were denied the opportunity to vote in the November 2022 election? I’ve heard reports of machines that didn’t work, ballot shortages, voting locations suddenly closing. If you experienced difficulties or felt unjustly treated, we want to hear your story.”
Voters can fill out a form to share their voting experiences, upload evidence and agree to be filmed for “upcoming social media or commercial purposes.”
McIngvale said Tuesday he believes Harris County voters were disenfranchised based on reports of paper shortages, machine malfunctions and polling locations that did not open or close on time. He has spoken with plenty of those disenfranchised voters himself, he said.
“Customers come in and tell me that all the time,” McIngvale said. “They were turned away at one polling place and they gave up. A lot of them just went to another polling place. But a lot of them were disenfranchised by not having the first place open and ready to go like it should have been. It’s not that hard.”
I’m sure they all have tears in their eyes and call him “sir”, too. Not to be needlessly pedantic here – believe me, this is extremely needed pedanticism – but if they went to another location then by definition their vote wasn’t suppressed because they did in fact vote. This is why we have so many voting locations on Election Day, precisely because stuff sometimes happens. I’m sure all the lawyers for those whiny crybaby loser candidates will be thrilled to hear all this, as well as whatever other fanciful stories people contribute to your new fanfic site. You can see here for some background and here for Judge Hidalgo’s latest response to “the mattress guy” if you want. But really, a good horse laugh is all you need.
(Is it possible there are a few people who actually didn’t vote because of the paper-outage delays? Sure, maybe a couple. Anything is possible. It would be a shame if that happened, though I’d still want to know how long they waited before they gave up and why they didn’t or couldn’t go to one of the 750 other locations to vote, but it could have happened and it would be unfortunate and we would need to do better next time. It would also be nowhere close to “voter suppression”, especially on a scale that could have affected even the closest race. And the fact that the furniture dealer is openly looking for any such example, especially those that include people who did actually vote, shows just how desperate and ridiculous and baseless these Republican charges have been all along.)