“This takes away all of that local power and that democracy involved in the process, and it’s just a takeover of one specific county that would not actually do anything for solutions for election administration,” said Katya Ehresman, voting rights program director for Common Cause Texas.
Some voting rights advocates and members of the public who spoke against the bill Thursday acknowledged there have been problems with the administration of elections in Harris County in recent years, but they say Bettencourt’s bill won’t solve those problems.
“A lot of those solutions are done through investment of resources, of staff, not abolishing an office and potentially causing staff to leave or have their positions removed,” Ehresman said. “With 30 days left in session, we haven’t had any hearings or public testimony on online voter registration or high school voter registration or investments in our election administration. We have very little time to actually do anything proactive for our elections.”
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