Harris County, Texas, officials appeal to DOJ after Abbott's office says sending election inspectors

The county was informed about the inspectors by the office of the Texas secretary of state, amid finding in its audit of the 2020 election.
Detroit, elections

Officials in Texas’ Harris County have asked the Justice Department to send federal monitors for the midterm elections, following the office of GOP Gov. Greg Abbott saying it will send inspectors to the county next week when early voting in the state begins. 

The officials in the state’s most populous county made the request to the department’s Civil Rights Division, over concerns of Republican state officials trying to "chill voters' trust in the election process" and "intimidate" election workers, according to CNN.

The county was reportedly informed about the inspectors earlier this week in a letter from the director of the Forensic Audit Division of the Texas secretary of state’s office.

The letter reportedly states the office will send a "contingent of inspectors" to observe the "central count" next week, as early voting begins before the Nov. 8 Election Day.

The letter also reportedly states the inspectors will "perform randomized checks on election records" and that the state attorney general’s office will dispatch a task force to "immediately respond to any legal issues identified by secretary of state, inspectors, poll watchers, or voters."

The secretary of state’s office said the teams are necessary as a result of findings in an audit the 2020 presidential election in the county.

The director of the Forensic Audit Division said in the letter Tuesday to the county’s elections administrator that the audit has identified mobile ballot boxes from the 2020 general election that lacked "proper chain-of-custody" and requests corrective measures.

The letter to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke was written by Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and county Judge Lina Hidalgo, with the support of  Harris County Democratic Party officials.