Monday, May 20, 2024

Two Years Later, Judge Orders New Election for Harris County Judicial Seat; Judge Orders Redo of 2022 Judicial Race In Texas After More Than 1,400 Illegal Votes Cast

Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune
Two years later, judge orders new election for Harris County judicial seat
A judge ordered Harris County to hold a new election for the 180th District Court judge after Republican candidate Tami Pierce, who narrowly lost to Democratic Judge DaSean Jones, filed a lawsuit challenging the results. Jones won by a margin of 449 votes in 2022.
Judge David Peeples, a visiting judge from Bexar County, issued the order Wednesday in the 165th District Court, first reported by the Houston Chronicle.
Peeples ordered the new election after upholding the results in 20 other 2022 election challenges filed by unsuccessful Republican candidates in Harris County. He said the narrow margin of the Jones-Pierce race indicated the true outcome could not be determined.
Peeples said in his ruling that 1,430 illegal votes were cast in the judicial race, though it’s not clear which candidate received the majority of those ballots.
Oliver Brown, Jones’ lawyer, said in a statement they will appeal the ruling. Brown said he expects “it will be overturned because Pierce did not meet the legal standard.”
Paul Simpson, Pierce’s lawyer, said in a statement that he hoped Jones would not appeal and allow Harris County voters to participate in a new election.
“We are gratified by the court’s judgment that Tami Pierce deserves a new election,” Simpson said. “Voluminous, detailed evidence compiled by witness Steve Carlin and dozens of other volunteers revealed many problems with Harris County’s troubled November 2022 election.”
Jones was first elected to the 180th District Court in 2018. He recently won the Democratic primary for Place 2 on the Texas Supreme Court and he faces Republican Jimmy Blacklock, who currently holds the seat. --->READ MORE HERE
Mrs. Gemstone / Wikimedia Commons
Judge Orders Redo Of 2022 Judicial Race In Texas After More Than 1,400 Illegal Votes Cast
A judge ordered that a 2022 Texas judicial election must be redone after finding more than a thousand illegal ballots were cast, far exceeding the margin of victory Judge David Peeples ruled Wednesday that the 2022 race between Republican Tami Pierce and Democrat DaSean Jones for the 180th District Court in Harris County must be held again after finding “the true outcome [of the election] cannot be determined.”
Pierce contested the race after losing by just 449 votes to incumbent Jones. Jones, however, filed a motion to dismiss — which was later rebuked by Peebles as being “frivolous.”
Peeples ultimately found 1,430 invalid votes were cast, and declared it was “not realistic or feasible to determine which candidate received those votes.”
“The court has also found that a net margin of 321 votes (1146 to 825) were cast for Jones over Pierce in the extended one hour of voting on Election Day, which the court has found resulted from an official mistake by the Harris County Elections Administration Office,” Peeples wrote.
Pierce argued, in part, that 953 votes were cast by “out-of-county residents whose [Statement of Residence forms] show on their face a residence other than Harris County” and that 245 voters “submitted incomplete [Statements of Residence], which gave no information about their residence.” If a voter has changed residences but still lives in Harris County, he must submit a Statement of Residence testifying that he still meets the residency requirements for voting there. --->READ MORE HERE
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