Someday the 2022 election will end

Today is not that day. Tomorrow doesn’t look so good either.

It’s an Election Day mishap that will sound familiar to Harris County residents. Voters in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County temporarily were unable to cast ballots in the 2022 midterm election when they experienced a ballot paper shortage at over a dozen of the county’s 143 polling locations.

After election officials were accused of intentionally plotting the shortage, Luzerne County’s district attorney opened an investigation and concluded in a public report released six months ago that the problem was a result of high staff turnover and inexperienced supervisors, not criminal misconduct.

In Harris County, in contrast, over a year after state Republicans called for an investigation into similar circumstances, the Texas Rangers have yet to release any findings, leaving some in the state’s most populous county with lingering doubts about the integrity of their electoral system.

Around 20 out of 782 Harris County polling locations ran out of ballot paper on Election Day in November 2022 — some for just 15 minutes, others for up to three hours.

A week after the election, Gov. Greg Abbott asked the Secretary of State, the Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Rangers to investigate.

“The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct. Voters in Harris County deserve to know what happened,” Abbott said in a statement at the time.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg sent a letter the same day to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw asking for the Texas Rangers’ assistance in investigating alleged irregularities in the election.


A spokesperson with Ogg’s office referred questions about the investigation to the law enforcement agency conducting the investigation.

In response to multiple queries about the Rangers’ November 2022 election investigation, a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Public Safety, which includes the Texas Rangers, did not provide any additional details.


While the Secretary of State audit and the court rulings shed light on what occurred during the election, questions about criminal intent would only be answered by the Rangers investigation.

“There’s every reason to believe the state is stalling on this because they have no evidence to produce,” said Jeremi Suri, a professor of public affairs and history at the University of Texas at Austin.”

The decision to keep the investigation open could also be a strategic one, Suri added.

“What this does by not concluding an investigation that should easily have been concluded by now,” Suri said, “it opens the door for continued fear mongering, conspiracy theories, lies and false rumors.”

I was going to write a long discourse about this, but honestly I can’t sum it up any better than Professor Suri did. The only other thing I will add is that maybe the Texas Rangers just aren’t all that good at their job. You can draw your own conclusions.

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