In an article centered on ballot paper shortages in the 2022 mid-term elections in Harris County, Texas (County Seat: Houston), and De Kalb County, Georgia (County Seat; Decatur), accepting $2 million of Zuckerbucks in the 2020 Presidential election, there was this bit from KHOU 11 regarding the Harris County shortage:
“After reviewing help desk logs and calling presiding and alternate election judges, the county estimated 46 to 68 voting centers ran out of their initial allotment of paper[.]” However, comparing ballot paper packets distributed to the total number of votes cast, KHOU 11 “discovered 121 voting centers did not initially receive enough ballot paper to cover voter turnout[.]”
And Governor Gregg Abbott’s (R) tweeted reaction:
Harris Co. election ballot paper shortage far bigger than initially estimated. It’s so big it may have altered the outcome of elections. It may necessitate new elections. It WILL necessitate new LAWS that prevent Harris Co. from ever doing this again.
Invalidating the just completed elections and holding replacement ones may be beyond the Governor’s authority, but the thrust of his beef is valid. And beside my point here. The problem—and questions—flow from this:
[W]hile [Harris c]ounty Elections Administration Office told KHOU 11 that historical data was used for determining ballot supply needs for voting locations, the news outlet found that 52 voting centers received less ballot paper in 2022 than the number of ballots cast in 2018.
Election Administrator Clifford Tatum had told county commissioners that supplemental paper supplies were sent by his office throughout Election Day. When KHOU 11 asked Tatum where the supplies were sent, he didn’t provide any details.
The larger problem and my questions are these:
Where did they get the supplies?
If historical records actually were used, why weren’t those supplies sent at the outset instead of being withheld?