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Former Harris County clerk expects election problems to get worse in November

Perhaps no location was riddled with more election-related problems during the 2022 primary than Chris Hollins’ backyard of Harris County.

HOUSTON — Former Harris County clerk Chris Hollins says partisan politics have mutated mail-in voting into a modern day bogeyman used by Republicans to instill fear in voters and their constituents.  

And even though thousands of Texas voters, including many Republicans, had their mail-in ballots rejected due to recent changes to the state’s election law during the primary in March, Hollins doesn’t expect Republican lawmakers to make any changes to the law during the next legislative session in January.

But he thinks it should be a priority.

“We have our parents and grandmothers and friends and family who vote this way because it’s a safe way to vote, it’s a convenient way to vote and frankly, our entire state should have access to be able to vote that way,” the Democrat said on Inside Texas Politics.

Perhaps no location was riddled with more election-related problems during the 2022 primary than Hollins’ backyard of Harris County. There were broken machines, delayed reporting and some ten thousand votes that weren’t included in the initial tally.  

Watch the segment below:

As county clerk and elections administrator, Hollins himself oversaw a large number of changes he says were designed to make voting easier during the 2020 presidential election in the first year of the pandemic, from drive-through to 24-hour voting.  

In fact, many of those changes were the impetus for Republicans to change the state’s election laws in the first place. 

Hollins says he’s ready to help his former office in any way he can.

“I know that they’re planning on bringing in some consultants to solve some of the operational challenges that are being faced and to make sure that there’s adequate resources in the department,” said Hollins. “And also, very importantly, that voters are being educated about the changes in the new law that have made voting a little bit more challenging.”

These days Hollins is running for Houston mayor, an election that will be held in November 2023.  

As for this November, if you thought the primary was bad, Hollins says wait for the general election.

"Some of the parts of the voter suppression bill have not yet reared their ugly head. And they will in November," he warned.

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