Earlier this year, the Houston Chronicle won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials alleging that Texas politics has been rooted in racism and voter suppression since Reconstruction. The award-winning editorial claims:
“[Election] Integrity is no more the goal for them [Texas Republican leadership in 2021] than it was for the white primary associations of the 1900s. Only today’s voter fraud warriors have laser pointers.”
With early voting almost completed in Texas, the folks in Harris County, the most populous county in the state, which includes Houston, are now calling for the Department of Justice to come to Texas to monitor the election.
This move demonstrates Harris County officials’ determination to keep their hometown newspaper’s award-winning “voter suppression narrative” alive.
With the two-week early voting period almost over, no reports of voter suppression have surfaced anywhere in the state, but that hasn’t stopped Democrat-controlled Harris County from calling in federal election observers.
The race for county control is tight in Houston. That’s particularly true of the county judge race — in Texas, county judges are administrators with wide powers. Democrats are facing a possible defeat at the polls on Tuesday and will undoubtedly cry “voter suppression” if they lose.
Bringing in the feds could help them concoct some kind of voter suppression story to cast doubt on the GOP victory. After White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said this week that increased voter turnout and voter suppression can happen at the same time, we know that when it comes to voter suppression, Democrats will say anything. They have completely lost touch with reality.
Bringing in the DOJ could also distract from the primary election disaster perpetrated by Harris County Democrats in March, when they lost almost 200,000 votes for several hours and didn’t get their final votes counted for 24 hours after the polls closed.
The elections administrator resigned in disgrace, but it’s not clear other county officials learned anything from those mistakes. County leaders are now predicting that Harris County votes won’t be counted next week until the next day — after the polls close. Other Texas major metro areas including Dallas, San Antonio and Austin expect to finish their counts on election night.
The Texas Legislature’s 2021 election reforms require that Texas’ largest counties livestream their election night counting, so whatever Harris County is doing wrong, everyone in Texas should be able to see it.
The state of Texas will have voting monitors in Harris County as well. The secretary of State always sends a couple hundred monitors around the state to be available on election night if problems arrive. And the Texas attorney general’s office announced recently that it will also have teams in Harris County on election night. Both these agencies will help serve as a reality check on Harris County regardless of whether the DOJ flies down to Texas.
Harris County Democrats — like all Texas Democrats — rarely reflect on what they did wrong when they lose elections. During early voting, Republicans appear to be getting more voters to the polls than Democrats are and already Democrats are complaining that the problem with low turnout on their side is voter suppression.
Democrats in Texas rarely ask why more Texans aren’t excited about voting for their big spending, anti-business, teacher-union backed, anti-fossil fuel candidates. Voter suppression is their only response, and if they lose on Tuesday, expect them to insist — without evidence — that voter suppression was a factor.
The media will back them up with this story even though no actual victims of voter suppression can be found.
They will also ignore the fact that 85% of Texans support last year’s Texas election reforms, according to a Texas Association of Business poll conducted during the 2021 legislative session which also found that fully 95% of Texans say it is easy to vote in this state.
That’s a testament from Democrats, Republicans and Independents that voter suppression isn’t real here — but let’s see what they say in Harris County on election night.
Sherry Sylvester is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the former Senior Advisor to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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