2022 Texas Primary Election: 10,000 mail-in ballots not added into Harris Co. original election night count

Days after the 2022 Texas Primary Election, Harris County officials shared a shocking, albeit disappointing report Saturday night about unaccounted votes.  

According to election officials, about 10,000 mail-in ballots from 6,000 Democratic voters and 4,000 Republican voters were discovered to be not added into the original Election Night count Wednesday evening. 


In a press release from the Harris Co. Elections Administrator, "the oversight occurred between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m. as the political parties that make up the Central Count Committee were reviewing ballots." 

"While the votes were scanned into our tabulation computer, they were not transferred and counted as a part of the unofficial final results as they should have been," the release adds. "These votes will be added to the final count when the Central Count Committee next convenes on Tuesday."

MORE: 'BY FAR THE WORST RUN PRIMARY I'VE EVER SEEN' Harris Co. seeks extension on counting votes

This comes just days after a back and forth between local and state officials on election night Tuesday, when voters from both political parties cited troubles at the polls. 

Before polls closed Tuesday at 7 p.m., election officials sent a request to the Texas Secretary of State for an extension to count the vote. Typically, under state law, all counties are required to report results for the Texas Primary Elections within 24 hours of the polls closing. However, Republicans and Democrats in Harris County faced several issues Tuesday when it came time to vote. 

According to Harris Co. GOP Chair Cindy Siegel, who spoke to FOX 26 Political Reporter Greg Groogan, the issues Tuesday stemmed from malfunctioning machines, supply issues, staffing problems, and "stick paper" ballots.

Additionally, Siegel expressed disappointment that Harris County had not yet received all election supplies as late as last Friday. She also said she reached out to County Election Administrator Isabelle Longoria to offer volunteers, but the offer was rejected.

Voters and state officials shared their frustration with FOX 26 arguing it was not a political issue, but a lack of resources. 

"When people tried to put them in the scanners, the second page jammed up," Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt said. "If it gets crumpled, they can’t put it in. They literally have to hand key the results in." 


As a result of the irregularities, a lawsuit was looked into. However, Beth Stevens with the Harris County Election Administrators Office said a meeting was held with representatives of the Harris County Republican Party, the Harris County Democratic Party, Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria, and a judge. Vote counting then resumed.

Stevens says the vote counts were done around 1 a.m. Thursday. At 9:30 a.m. the same day, another hearing was held. Stevens says an update was provided on the completion of the election day ballot count, and the parties "agreed to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit."

The lawsuit alleges, "The Republican Party experienced irregularities that affected votes legitimately cast by its voters. For example, some voters were able to successfully submit their votes for the first page of the ballot but were unable to submit their votes for the second page of their ballot."


The Harris Co. Elections Administrator's office acknowledged the gravity of the situation, saying it will be working to correct the error, and issued the following statement: 

"We have reached out to and are working in coordination with the Secretary of State's Office as we investigate the missteps that took place in this process. We are committed to full transparency and will continue to provide updates as they are available."

"While we understand the seriousness of this error, the ability to identify and correct this issue is a result of a lengthy, rigorous process and is a positive example of the process ultimately working as it should."