Texas Supreme Court tells Harris County count over 2,000 ballots cast late on Election Day

Around 2,073 votes were cast during an extended period on Election Day

Updated: November 23, 2022 - 11:05am

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The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that Harris County needs to include roughly 2,000 ballots cast late on Election Day and determine whether the votes will impact the outcome of any races.

The temporary order issued Tuesday states the county has to "separately identify in the vote tabulations the number of 'later cast votes' for each candidate in each race and for or against each proposition."

The reasoning for this is so that candidates, the parties and the court can ascertain whether the later cast votes would be "outcome-determinative and so that the parties can assess the extent to which further litigation is warranted.”

“Respondents are ordered to provide the Court with a copy of the canvass results, including the separately tabulated ‘later cast votes,’ as soon as they are available,” the order states.

The Epoch Times reports that 2,073 votes were cast during an extended period on Election Day where polls were open past 7 p.m.

The polls were open longer after a request from the Texas Organizing Project, along with the Texas Civil Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. The groups claimed that many polling stations in the county had opened late. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated that the ballots cast later violated Texas law.

"A trial court's last-minute intervention only made matters worse,” Paxton wrote in a petition. "Three hours before the close of the polls in Harris County, the Texas Organizing Project filed an emergency petition and application in a Harris County trial court seeking an order extending voting hours at polling locations across the entire county."

He also accused the state's Supreme Court of "acted without authority."

“Less than an hour before polling locations were set to close, the court extended voting hours one hour beyond the statutorily mandated 7:00 p.m. closing time," the Republican attorney general said. "The state moved as quickly as possible to stem the damage from the unlawful TRO, and this Court almost immediately issued a stay order. But by the time the stay order [was] issued, it was too late to unwind the clock. The result was that some ballots were cast in violation of the Election Code."

The Harris County Elections Department officials said the media department could not respond to the question regarding which races were still in play.