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What to Know About Harris County’s New Elections Administration Office?

In November 2020, Harris County created the Elections Administration Office, combining the previous election related duties of the County Clerk and Tax Assessor into one new role. The Harris County Elections Commission appointed Isabel Longoria, a former special advisor to the county clerk on voting rights, to be the first election administrator in the county’s history.

Due to its sheer size, conducting efficient and accurate elections has always been a challenge in Harris County and this change should allow for a more streamlined process in the future. Some have argued, however, that shifting the election duties to a position that is appointed and not elected could create mistrust among the public. It is worth noting that of the other large metropolitan counties across the state, Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, and El Paso have already made the change to elections administrators while Travis County has not. Under the new structure, the County Clerk still handles records and probate issues, and the Tax Assessor is still responsible for property taxes and vehicle registration while the new Elections Administrator takes over the duties of voter registration and elections administration. At the end of the day, this does not change the voter registration process for the everyday citizen, nor does it change how one will cast their votes. To register to vote in Harris County you will still need to obtain a voter registration application by picking one up from the Elections Administrators Office, downloading one from the Secretary of State website, or requesting one via email at voter@harrisvotes.com.

After filling out the application you will need to return the completed form to one of the two Elections Administrators Office locations. Those locations are the Harris County Administration Building located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 200, Houston, 77002 and the Election Technology Center located at 11525 Todd Rd., Houston, 77055. Both office locations are currently open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The last day to register to vote in Texas for the November election is October 4, 2021. If you do not live in Harris County and need to register to vote, visit the links below for more information.

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Kiley Rapier

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