Challenge to election law heads to Texas Supreme Court

On Aug. 15, the Texas attorney general’s office appealed a district judge’s decision blocking SB1750, a bill transferring all powers and duties of the county elections administrator to the county tax assessor-collector and county clerk in counties with a population of more than 3.5 million.

District Judge Karin Crump (D) ruled that the law was unconstitutional and unfairly targets Harris County, the only Texas county with a population of more than 3.5 million. Crump said, “Not only will this transfer lead to inefficiencies, disorganization, confusion, office instability, and increased costs to Harris County, but it will also disrupt an election that the Harris County EA [elections administrator] has been planning for months. The Harris County Clerk and the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector have had no role in preparing for the November Election.”

In its appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, the attorney general’s office said the purpose of the law was “to ensure that elections in the state’s largest counties are properly managed by individuals who are accountable to the voters, not by unaccountable bureaucrats.”

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee (D) said, “At the end of the day, we know that this is not about making elections better … It’s about undermining confidence in our elections.”