As electoral disputes mount, one Texas court case takes center stage

Elections in Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, the state’s biggest city, are coming under the microscope this week as the Democratic stronghold faces unprecedented intervention from the state’s GOP-led Legislature.

Various problems in last November’s Midterm Elections will be center stage in a civil trial beginning Tuesday. Erin Lunceford, a GOP candidate who lost her bid to become a district court judge in Harris County is suing to throw out the election results and have the court order a do over.

Similar court challenges have become more common around the country following baseless conspiracy theories spread by former President Donald Trump and his supporters alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen by President Joe Biden’s backers.

The Texas Legislature passed new laws this year eliminating Harris County’s top election office and permitting the state to take over more easily after a complaint is filed.

Lunceford’s lawyers allege she lost in part because of paper ballot shortages that targeted Republican voting locations. They also argue election officials made mistakes allowing illegal votes to be cast. Her opponent, Democrat Tamika Craft, won the election by 2,743 votes out of more than 1 million cast.

Craft’s lawyers and Harris County officials say there’s no evidence that ballot shortages or other problems prevented people from voting or that illegal voting took place.

Lunceford’s lawsuit is one of nearly two dozen similar ones filed by GOP candidates in Harris County who lost in November. Her lawsuit is the first that will go to trial.

“These are mistakes that cause doubt about the outcome,” Andy Taylor, one of Lunceford’s attorneys, said during a court hearing last week.




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